Beware the Ides of March—Redux

Not unlike Julius Caesar, Israel received a number of stabbings over the past few weeks, none of which, fortunately, has been fatal.
April 1, 2024
ANDREY DENISYUK/Getty Images; mikroman6/Getty Images

Beware the Ides of March. Not that Ides! This past Ides of March—give or take a few days. The infamy of that earlier Ides lives on, 2,068 years later, with a similar drama of betrayal, and one not without biblical significance. Today, however, it’s not Julius Caesar asking, “Et tu, Brute?” but the nation-state of Israel, a large knife lodged in its back, wondering, “Et tu, Bide?”

Yes: President Joe Biden, perhaps fearing the fate that dethroned Caesar, decided that he must throw Israel under a chariot to remain in the Oval Office. The United States failed to veto a U.N. Security Council Resolution calling for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza and the release of “some” (why not all?) of the Israeli hostages. Oh, and the Resolution somehow never got around to rebuking Hamas.

The vote was 14 countries in favor, with only one abstention—the United States. The world certainly is loath to condemn Hamas. Insulting Islamic maniacs is so yesterday’s diplomacy. And it risks having terrorists set off bombs or take hostages—when they’re not beheading babies and raping the corpses of Israeli teenagers. (The Taliban announced this week that the stoning of women will resume in Afghanistan.)

Can anyone believe we are even having these discussions? The world actually tolerates this barbarism. These global rallies aren’t even pro-Palestinian—they are pro-Hamas!

The combined forces of Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), the Squad and the Congressional Black Congress, along with voters in Dearborn and Minneapolis, apparently are running the table for the Democratic Party. The same people who have made life miserable for hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East and Persian Gulf have overtaken the city streets (and bridges, train stations and town halls) near you.

So President Biden sent a message to Israel’s enemies that he, too, knows how to bash the Jewish state. He went one step further: withholding some weapons that Israel requested. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff reported that while some of Israel’s request was rejected due to unavailability, in other instances, what Israel needs “we’re not willing to provide right now.”

President Biden had good training for such betrayal of a democratic ally. Back when he was Vice President, during the final days of the Obama presidency, the United States abstained from U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, which charged that all Israeli settlements, along with Israel’s presence in East Jerusalem and the Western Wall, are illegal. That’s right: a return to the indefensible borders that existed before the Six-Day War.

Some people have never forgotten Obama’s parting shot. (I haven’t.) Up until that point, the United States consistently vetoed the many resolutions that have condemned Israel since 1948—usually a multiple of the condemnations against all the other nations combined. Yes, we’re talking about Syria, Iran, China, North Korea and Russia—all deemed citadels of human rights, compared to Israel.

That these were one-sided, antisemitic screeds is why the United States nearly always exercised its moral leadership by vetoing them —killing it before it gained any symbolic currency. But not last week. Biden was too busy giving comfort to terrorists and courting the vote of people who hate America.

Nice judgment, Joe.

Of course, the Biden administration didn’t seem to grasp why Israel’s supporters were alarmed. The vote represented no change in official policy, they maintained. “We didn’t actually vote for the temporary ceasefire! We just stood on the sidelines and watched the other 14 countries gang up on the Jews.”

There is no excuse for abstaining when the Resolution left Hamas unscathed, while global antisemitism skyrockets around the world. At such a dire moment, a declaratory statement from the United States defending its regional friend was expected and required. Doing less emboldened Hamas, and gave a shout-out to the Arab Street, which won’t stop shouting.

Joe Biden surely knows that. At the star-studded Democratic Party fundraiser in Radio City Music Hall this week, some of the tickets were purchased by pro-Hamas protesters who were forcibly removed while screaming obscenities. Outside they joined a crowd of well-wishers that resembled the same death-chanting, flag-burning mobs that have immobilized London, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Madrid and Copenhagen.

For a moment, Sixth Avenue in Manhattan was the sister city of Jenin.

And right around the block on Fifth Avenue, like Bethlehem. Easter Mass was interrupted by pro-Hamas belligerents who seized the chancel and unfurled a banner at St. Patrick’s Cathedral—perhaps the holiest house of Christian worship in the United States.

Not unlike Julius Caesar, Israel received a number of stabbings over the past few weeks, none of which, fortunately, has been fatal.

Taking their cue from British Foreign Secretary David Cameron, who called for the recognition of a Palestinian state, 19 Democratic Senators signed a letter to President Biden, encouraging him to do the same.

Meanwhile, university life remains untenable for Zionists. Harvard Law School’s student government violated its own constitution to hurriedly pass an anti-Israel resolution. Queens College reported graffiti on its campus buildings: “You better start hiding, Jews”; “Israelis, I’m coming after you”; and “Hitler, please come back. Teach Jews a lesson.”

Who actually stands with Israel these days, given the number of people sitting on their hands, passively abstaining?

Jewish-Americans, who have historically voted the Democratic ticket like lemmings, must decide whether to reverse course and avoid abetting their political demise.

Donald Trump is not the ideal solution, either. Just this past week he criticized Israel’s handling of its war in Gaza. There is lingering doubt whether his administration’s stalwart support for Israel had more to do with his son-in-law, his bankruptcy lawyer, and the chief legal officer of the Trump Organization, who comprised his Middle East brain trust, than his own understanding of the region.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., anyone?

Speaking of third-party options, yet another wound that Israel suffered this week was the death of former vice-presidential candidate Senator Joe Lieberman—an old-school, bi-partisan centrist and Israel absolutist. There is no one in the Chamber with those credentials anymore.

Quite a maddening and sorrowful Ides of March it has been. President Biden could very well benefit from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” It might make him question whether his Senators are more trustworthy than those surrounding Caesar. And it just might jolt him to understand why his recent tilt away from Israel is “the most unkindest cut of all.”

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