Joe Biden and the Jewish Community: A Record and a Plan of Friendship, Support and Action
Vice President Joe Biden has consistently made solidarity with Israel, combatting anti-Semitism, and fighting for social justice pillars of his decades-long career in public service. As President, Joe Biden will continue to ensure that the Jewish State, the Jewish people, and Jewish values have the unbreakable support of the United States.
The Rising Tide of Hate, Bigotry and Anti-Semitism under Donald Trump
- After the resurgence of anti-Semitism in Charlottesville, and Trump’s failure to clearly condemn it, Joe Biden decided he had to run for president. The fight is for the soul of our nation.
- Since Trump took office, the United States has experienced a historic increase in hate crimes and bias incidents targeting Jewish Americans and other minority communities.
- Trump, in clear language and in code, dangerously encourages and emboldens xenophobia, prejudice, and hatred among white nationalists and anti-Semites. He assigned moral equivalence between white supremacists and peaceful protesters against them with the words: “very fine people on both sides.”
- There is a short line from the chants in Charlottesville of “Jews will not replace us,” to the shooter at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh saying Jews “were committing genocide against his people.”
- From Charlottesville to Crown Heights, Pittsburgh, and Poway, Jewish Americans have seen hatred rise against them and need, more than ever, reassurance that our political leaders have their backs.
A Biden Administration Will:
- Lead a comprehensive approach to battling anti-Semitism that takes seriously both the violence that accompanies it and the hateful and dangerous lies that underlie it. Joe Biden will call hate by its proper name, whatever its source, and condemn it — every time.
- Restore funding for a critical effort to address domestic extremism, which the Trump administration has cut.
- Work for a domestic terrorism law that respects free speech and civil liberties, while making the same commitment to root out domestic terrorism as we have to stopping international terrorism. Biden will appoint leadership at the Department of Justice who will prioritize the prosecution of hate crimes.
- Break the nexus between extremism and gun violence by enacting sensible gun control laws, banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines to get these weapons of war off our streets.
Joe Biden’s record of unstinting support for Israel
- Joe Biden’s stalwart support for Israel and his commitment to protect Israel’s security and strengthen our two nations’ partnership is deeply personal and spans his entire career.
- Since his first trip to Israel in 1973 shortly before the Yom Kippur War, Biden’s commitment to Israel’s security has been unshakeable, fighting in the Senate for critical aid to Israel, calling it “the best $3 billion investment we make,” and opposing dangerous arms sales to its enemies.
- As Vice President, Biden helped ensure unwavering support for Israel’s security. During the Obama-Biden Administration, he was a key advocate in securing support for lifesaving technologies like the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow 3 anti-rocket and missile defense systems.
- Biden helped shape the unprecedented $38 billion, ten-year memorandum of understanding for defense assistance to Israel signed in 2016, the largest such military aid package in U.S. history.
- Biden has led efforts to oppose the delegitimization of Israel, whether in international organizations or by the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement here at home.
- Biden took historic steps to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The Obama-Biden Administration imposed crippling multilateral sanctions, which brought Iran to negotiations, paving the way for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that prevented a nuclear-armed Iran.
A Biden Administration Will:
- Sustain our unbreakable commitment to Israel’s security – including the unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation pioneered during the Obama-Biden administration, and the guarantee that Israel will always maintain its qualitative military edge.
- Work with the Israeli and Palestinian leadership to support peacebuilding efforts in the region. Biden will urge Israel’s government and the Palestinian Authority to take steps to keep the prospect of a negotiated two-state outcome alive and avoid actions, such as unilateral annexation of territory and settlement activity, or support for incitement and violence, that undercut prospects for peace between the parties.
- Reverse the Trump Administration’s destructive cutoff of diplomatic ties with the Palestinian Authority and cancellation of assistance programs that support Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation, economic development, and humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza, consistent with the requirements of the Taylor Force Act, including that the Palestinian Authority end its system of compensation for individuals imprisoned for acts of terrorism.
- Urge Arab states to move beyond quiet talks and take bolder steps toward normalization with Israel.
- Firmly reject the BDS movement — which singles out Israel and too often veers into anti-Semitism — and fight other efforts to delegitimize Israel on the global stage.
- Hold Iran’s government accountable and rejoin a diplomatic agreement to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, if Iran returns to compliance with the JCPOA, using renewed commitment to diplomacy to work with our allies to strengthen and extend the Iran deal, and push back against Iran’s other destabilizing actions.
- Ensure that support for the U.S.-Israel alliance remains bipartisan, reversing Trump’s exploitation of U.S. support for Israel as a political football, which harms both countries’ interests.
- Support the critical economic and technological partnership between the United States and Israel, further expand scientific collaborations and increase commercial opportunities, and support cooperation on innovation throughout the region.
The Biden Agenda Reflects the Values of the Jewish Community
- Biden’s ties to the Jewish community are wide and deep, and span his entire career in public service. He has stood with American Jews through the shared fights for the values we share.
- As President, Biden will carry forward the fight to achieve bold, progressive change that aligns with the values that American Jews cherish: equality and dignity for all, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or creed, and a brighter future for our children.
- In celebrations with Jewish community leaders, including at Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, and Hanukkah, Biden has regularly shared his belief that “Jewish heritage is American heritage.”
- Biden has lived out a shared commitment with the Jewish community to “repair the world.” He knows what it takes to fight and win the battles to advance the causes important to Jewish Americans.
A Biden Administration Will:
Pursue a visionary agenda to provide equal opportunity and equal rights, pursue justice, and reward those who actually do the work in our economy in the following ways:
- COVID-19 Pandemic. Take decisive action to address the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis and restore science, trust, and credibility to our response. Biden has laid out comprehensive plans on how he would ensure that working families, small businesses, and essential workers get the relief and protection they deserve.
- Health Care. Build on the Affordable Care Act by giving Americans more choice, reducing health care costs, and making our health care system less complex to navigate. Ensure everyone has access to free COVID-19 testing, treatment, and ultimately a vaccine.
- Climate Change and Clean Energy. Create a Clean Energy Revolution to address the grave threat of climate change and lead the world in addressing the climate emergency.
- Immigration. Pursue policies that safeguard our security, provide a fair and just system that helps to grow and enhance our economy, and secure our cherished values.
- Equity. Be unflinching in confronting the systemic racism that is built into our laws, policies, and institutions and take aggressive action to correct them — ripping out the inequities in housing, health care, education, the economy, and our criminal justice system.
- Women’s Rights. Expand on the Violence Against Women Act that Joe Biden helped enact into legislation, to end violence against women and protect women’s civil rights.
- LGBTQ+ Rights. Provide the moral leadership to champion equal rights for all LGBTQ+ people, and fight to ensure our laws and institutions protect and enforce their rights.
- Gun Violence. Pursue constitutional, common-sense gun safety policies to end our gun violence epidemic. Joe Biden led on the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, and on enacting a 10-year ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. As president, he will defeat the NRA again.
- American Leadership. Restore dignified, moral American leadership at home and abroad, taking immediate steps to renew our own democracy and our core alliances, while reinvigorating and empowering a coalition of democracies in addressing the most urgent global challenges.