This US election has yet again been dubbed as a choice between the lesser of two evils, however on the question of Palestinian human rights both have similarly abismal records and are backed by Zionist Lobby groups.
Donald Trump has been widely regarded as a heavily Israel partisan President, putting forth a so-called “peace plan” which would have awarded Israel most of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and all the illegal settlements. The Trump administration has abandoned the idea of the West Bank being occupied territory and instead taken the line that it is disputed.
Even on the question of the Syrian Golan Heights, Trump officially recognised it as part of Israel and infamously recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital, moving the US embassy there in 2018. Trump also presided over the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the al-Naqab (Negev) region, which is recognised as part of Israel and stood by as over 300 non-violent Palestinian protesters were massacres along the seperation barrier between Israel and the Gaza Strip. In addition the US officially withdrew funds from UNRWA, the UN body set up after the ethnic cleansing of Palestine between 1947-49, to provide for Palestinian refugees.
The US also kicked the Palestinian Authority out of Washington D.C. and shut down the so-called peace process, destroying hopes for a Palestine- Israel two-State settlement, initiating Arab regime normalisation with Israel. Normalisation spelt the end of the Arab Peace initiative and took a key bargaining chip off the table for the Palestinain Authority.
But despite all of Trump’s attacks on Palestinian rights, his competitor Joe Biden has an equally abysmal record and wishes to continue the legacy, just in a more covert way. The policy of Democrats, opposed to the new Trumpian Republican Party, is to feign support for Palestinian rights and pay lip service to a so-called two-State solution. But what will Biden actually do to bring the two-State solution back?
The answer is nothing much. According to his own words, Joe Biden will not move the US Embassy back to Tel Aviv, from Jerusalem, rescinding US recognition of Jerusalem as the “undivided capital” of Israel. There are also no signs to suggest Joe Biden will go back on recognition of the occupied Golan Heights, as part of Israel, nor that a Biden administration would re-fund UNRWA.
It is possible that Joe Biden will attempt to revive talks with the Palestinian Authority, but this is only likely to end up weakening the Palestinian cause even further, by bringing back Mahmoud Abbas’s PA to the negotiating table and the Oslo Accords. If the PA, which it seems to be willing and ready to do, is open to receiving funds and opening up dialogue with the US and Israel again, this will likely drive yet another wedge between the PA controlled West Bank and the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip.
On top of this all, Joe Biden presided over two massacres inflicted upon the Gaza Strip, during both 2012 and 2014, whilst Vice President to Barack Obama. He also openly proclaimed himself as being a Zionist and infamously announced his pride in being a Zionist, as in his own words, “You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist”.
But why is it that across Party lines, there is such agreement when it comes to supporting the Zionist Apartheid Regime of Israel in the United States. Republicans and Democrats are seen to rarely agree on much, but when it comes to regime change war, apartheid regimes and big corporations these are all issues were bipartisan support is expected.
Why do such Bipartisan support for Israel?
To become US President, it is undoubtedly true that in almost all cases you have to be the candidate to expend the most amount of money on your campaign. In order to secure this money, there are special interest groups whose interests you must fulfill. The way the US political system is set up, is that Lobby groups and large donors are keys to success.
When it comes to foreign policy, what is known as the Israel Lobby (AIPAC) are at the top of the list of the most important groups to ensure support from. The interests of AIPAC, are the interests of Israeli advocates whose loyalty is to ensuring the best deals for the Israeli regime.
AIPAC works in several ways and was revealed to be even breaking US law in the amounts of money, through which its advocates contribute to politicians and their campaigns. In the case of the Israel Lobby itself however, the access they grant is perhaps the most important aspect to gaining their approval.
When it comes to Trump and Biden, there are two names of financiers that are key to outlining the importance of Israel to both candidates, Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson.
Sheldon Adelson is Donald Trump’s single largest donor and to give an example of how much Adelson is willing to spend for the cause of Israel, in the last 50 days of Trump’s campaign leading up to this election, it was revealed that Adelson had set out to spend up to 50 million in order to secure a Trump win.
Haim Saban is one of the largest financiers of Joe Biden’s campaign to become President and to give a flavor of the amount of money the Hollywood business tycoon is willing to spend for Israel’s interests, back in September Saban raised in a single event 4.5 million for Joe Biden’s campaign.
Haim Saban is technically backing Biden’s Democratic Party, but has been on record praising Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, on his work for Israel under Trump. Pointing to the fact that these financiers such as Saban and Adelson are only interested in Israel when it comes to their support. Evidence of this Israel partisanship from both Saban and Adelson can be tracked down from their very own words, as they routinely proclaim they are “one issue” guys and that their issue is Israel.
Also another aspect to the blind support of Israel, is down to the Evangelical Christain Lobby and their bulk of the voting populace. Evangelical Christians are a huge portion of the US population, making up roughly 30-35% of the country, many of which are ardent Zionists believing that Israel is key to the return of their proclaimed Messiah Jesus Christ.
If you are making a run for President and want to leave the apartheid regime of Israel behind, then this could mean leaving behind tens of millions of potential voters, which could easily swing an election.
A lesser of two evils?
The question now is whether Biden is better than Trump when it comes to the plight of the Palestinians. To answer this question, will enter the area of speculation as it is not an absolute that either Trump or Biden will act exactly as they are predicted to.
It can be stated with some certainty that Donald Trump will continue to have a negative effect on the plight of the Palestinians and follow through with Netanyahu’s strategies for combating any potential peace settlement for Palestinians.
When it comes to Biden, it is unlikely that he will be so brazen in his contempt for the Palestinian people, however his effect maybe even worse than that of Trump. If he is able to restore relations with the Palestinian Authority, this could prove even more harmful to Palestinian Unity amongst factions and help usher in a new era of so-called “peace talks” underwhich Palestinians will loose even more than they previously have.
Under Obama the support displayed for Israel in terms of foreign aid support was overwhelming, this coming from a man who was formerly in touch with the late Edward Said. Obama was promising real change for the Palestinians and he turned out to be perhaps more pro-Israel than his pre-descessor, however Biden, does not even bother to mention the plight of the Palestinians.
Ultimately, it seems as if both candidates could potentially be equally as destructive when it comes to the Palestinian issue.