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Campus Meltdown: Biden’s ‘Very Fine People on Both Sides’ Moment

The president faces his own Charlottesville.

by | Apr 26, 2024 | Articles, Good Reads, Opinion, Politics

As the left protects democracy by trying to imprison and bankrupt the leading candidate for president, the same logic in a world turned upside-down has driven increasingly menacing anti-Jewish campus protests across the land. Hundreds have been arrested from among the mobs aligning with an openly terrorist organization that flaunts its murderous history and calls for death to Jews and to America itself. In troubling times such as these when the nation is gripped by crisis, the people turn to the president to exercise leadership and provide moral clarity. So where does Joe Biden stand?

In one of his shouted answers as he was rushing past the media this week, Biden stated: “I condemn the antisemitic protests. That’s why I’ve set up a program to deal with that. I also condemn those who don’t understand what’s going on with the Palestinians.” In one sentence, he decries hatred of Jews. In the next, he excuses it in the vaguest terms (“what is going on with the Palestinians”). God forbid he say anything to offend those pesky left-wing voters.

If this sounds like a mirror image of 2017 or a reversal of fortune, it should. Of all the false representations underpinning the left’s claim that Donald Trump is evil, the one that jumps to the top of the list is Charlottesville, and Trump’s statement that “you also had people that were very fine people on both sides” of an explosive debate. By purposely omitting the fact that he was referring not to rioters but to the legitimate debate over the toppling of historic statues, and ignoring the 45th president’s condemnation of violence by neo-Nazis in the same speech, the left and its handmaidens in big corporate media created a narrative so false, and yet so powerful, that Joe Biden claims it was the impetus for him running for president for the third time in 36 years.

But now, the Middle East tinderbox is Joe Biden’s own “very fine people on both sides” moment.

Joe Biden and Moral Equivalence

Based on what we have witnessed from Ivy League presidents testifying before Congress this year – two of whom subsequently resigned – we would expect administrators in the grip of wokeness at elite universities to surrender to the haters. The craven president of Columbia University, Minouche Shafik, all but affirmed the legitimacy of the radicals’ demands this week by negotiating with them instead of dispersing them, and then she apologized for the one thing she did right: summoning the police. We might also expect the unspeakable horrors and de facto declaration of war by Hamas on October 7 to be forgotten over time or subjected to revisionist history of the kind that denies or minimizes the Holocaust.

But we should also expect the president of the United States to be able to distinguish between right and wrong, friends and enemies, good and evil. We should expect any president to lay out the stakes of the conflict. In this case, the stakes are Western civilization itself. Will we affirm and uphold a world epitomized by the US and Israel, or by Gaza and Iran? Is it really so difficult to choose between a thriving democratic ally or a terrorist enemy calling for the extinction of that ally and our own country?

For Joe Biden, the answer is somehow too difficult. The mobs carry on in large part because this president has done or said nothing to stop them and nothing to distinguish between the offensive actions of Hamas that started the war and the defensive response of Israel. But even more importantly, the radicals carry on because neither Biden nor anyone else with standing has told them they are not just wrong but dangerously wrong. Biden was strong in his vocal support for Israel on October 8, but has been backtracking, prevaricating, and increasingly critical of Israel ever since, providing just the kind of opening the mob continues to exploit, even as they call the enfeebled president supposedly defending their cause “Genocide Joe.”

It seems Joe Biden has boxed himself into a corner on the Middle East and his re-election campaign. He needs the votes of two historically Democrat-leaning constituencies, Jews and Arabs, both of whom are dissatisfied or infuriated with Joe Biden. This 46th president will not be able to settle a dispute decades or even centuries in the making. But at the very least, he can use the bully pulpit of the presidency to actually defend democracy and fight tyranny abroad, even if he does the opposite at home. Yet by claiming some kind of moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas, saying there are essentially very fine people on both sides, he has lost faith on all sides.

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