It was just a matter of time before notable political voices would start to draw moral equivalence between the horrific Hamas terrorist butchery of innocent Israelis and the oft-referenced mythological occupation of Palestine by Jews. And so it was with former President Barack Obama’s remarks during a Pod Save America interview on Nov. 4. In his famous “reasonable tone,” Obama reflected:
“If there is any chance of us being able to act constructively, to do something. It will require an admission of complexity, and maintaining on the surface what may seem contradictory ideas. That what Hamas did was horrific and there is no justification for it. And what is also true, is that the occupation and what is happening to Palestinians is unbearable.”
Obama went on to say that there is a Jewish history that “may be dismissed” unless your family, uncles, grandparents, and great-grandparents “tell you stories of the madness of anti-Semitism.” Let’s stop for a moment and deconstruct what Obama is really saying: There is a comparison to be made between Hamas’ subhuman slaughtering of Jewish babies and pregnant women in southern Israel and some undefined (by Obama) “occupation” of rightfully Palestinian land that creates a shared blame. What land? What occupation?
To gloss over any criticism of his administration for executing foreign policy that underpins the Hamas-Israel war, Obama intellectualized the issue, saying, “And so, if you want to solve the problem, you have to take in the whole truth, and you then have to admit nobody’s hands are clean.” Do you see what he did there? The culpability is so big that no single person or administration (like Obama’s) should be blamed. If nobody is blameless, then everybody is either equally to blame or all escape blame.
Joe Biden Target for Comments by Obama
It wasn’t the first time Obama chimed in on the Middle East turmoil, lecturing Israel earlier that cutting off food and water to Gaza could “harden Palestinian attitudes for generations” and earn international condemnation. Make no mistake, though Obama’s recent “moral equivalence” comments were made to a podcast audience, his words were directed squarely at President Joe Biden. And the commander-in-chief listened. “Even more eye-popping are the blunt words [Obama] chose — ‘nobody’s hands are clean’ — which will almost certainly be used by critics of Israel as they push for a ceasefire,” Rachael Bade explained in a Politico article. Suddenly, the feckless White House staff was all in favor of a humanitarian pause, a ceasefire by any definition. That message was ignored in Jerusalem.
But Obama spun the narrative that Israel is equally guilty for the brutal Oct. 7 Hamas attack because the Israel Defense Force was exercising its right and responsibility of self-defense in destroying Hamas. The White House stepped up to heed the counsel of Joe’s former boss. The Biden administration immediately launched a campaign against Islamophobia, not anti-Semitism, which in the United States is a much more rampant problem. The Biden team’s talking points included anti-Semitism only when the disproportionate hate against Jews arose.
But Biden’s message should address the anti-Jewish crowd, the ones protesting outside the White House. “The Anti-Defamation League reported a 37% increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes, which it claimed was the highest number in almost three decades,” Leesa K. Donner, Liberty Nation’s editor-in-chief, wrote recently. But focusing on Islamophobia shows Biden sees the actions of Israel and Hamas as morally equivalent.
To set the record straight, not all US leaders or others who have worked to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conundrum have equally dirty hands. “The Biden administration’s misguided efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal, to undermine the Abraham Accords, and to offer ridiculous financial rewards for prisoner exchanges have emboldened Iran,” James McGee wrote in The American Spectator article “There Is No ‘Moral Equivalence’ Now.” Monetary gifts to Iran finance Hamas’ terrorist actions, like those seen in southern Israel. When Iran is financially flush, as it was when Obama gave it a pallet of cash, it hands out money to its proxies, from Hezbollah to the Houthis and, yes, to bloodthirsty Hamas.
The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.