1. Support for Rival Opponents
In the aftermath of the Oslo Accords and the death of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Democrat President Bill Clinton and his aides went to Israel to rally for acting Prime Minister Shimon Peres against the conservative Likud leader Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu. Under the Obama administration, aides went to Israel to rally the Israeli left against Netanyahu, with emails from the State Department revealing that the Obama administration transferred tax funds to different anti-Netanyahu groups. Following the election of Prime Minister Netanyahu and his conservative coalition in Israel, The Foreign Desk reported that the Biden State Department provided taxpayer funds to the Movement for Quality Government (MQG) against the government and his judicial reforms. In response to the judiciary reforms, many on the Israeli left have called on the Biden administration to pressure the conservative government in Israel, calling on progressive politicians to help bring the government down.
2. Pressure on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Despite the bloody aftermath of the Oslo Accords, Pres. Bill Clinton pressured PM Netanyahu to follow through with the agreement and agree to the terms outlined to the Palestinians, despite the lack of effort from the Palestinian side to curtail terrorism. Following his election, Pres. Obama called for a freeze on Israeli settlements and a return to the 1967 borders, prompting outrage and criticism from Israeli officials. Officials like former President Jimmy Carter charged Israel with apartheid, expressing his praise for the Islamic terrorist group Hamas, saying that the Israeli government under Netanyahu was not committed to peace. In Congress, elected representatives like Ilhan Omar and Rashida Talib have blamed the right-wing Israeli government for stoking violence against the Palestinians, blaming them for the failure to bring about peace between the two sides. Outside of Congress, progressive political action groups like J-Street and other organizations have called on Democratic administrations and lawmakers to pressure the conservative Israeli government to make concessions with the Palestinian Authority (PA) while condemning elected leaders like Prime Minister Netanyahu and his cabinet officials.
3. Cancellation of Aid
With the Israeli-Palestinian conflict unresolved and the terrorist attacks by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad continuing, Democratic and progressive politicians have threatened to cancel Israel’s economic and military aid whenever the Israeli government defends itself from rocket attacks in Gaza and engages in counter-attack operations. Despite America supporting many nations with foreign aid in economic and military terms, many progressive groups and politicians have singled out Israel, blaming it for engaging in “apartheid” activities. In the past several years, progressive foreign policy groups have campaigned for and supported politicians vocal about sending military aid to Israel, calling on Congress to cut such funds until Israel agrees to negotiate with Palestinian terrorists. When Israel asked for funds and assistance on Israel’s Iron Dome under PM Netanyahu, radical progressive groups and politicians did not support such actions, creating a divide among Democrats supportive of Israel. In the 1980s, following the terrorist attack by Palestinian terrorists and the expansion of settlements, then-Senator Joe Biden rallied against Israeli Likud Prime Minister Menachem Begin threatening to cut off aid to the Jewish state, prompting the Israeli official to call out the Senator and his threats.
4. Diplomacy with Iran
After announcing intentions to negotiate with officials from the Islamic Republic of Iran over its nuclear program and the creation of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive agreement, also known as the nuclear deal, the Obama administration ignored worries from conservatives and right-wing parties in Israel concerned about the Islamic Republic’s true intentions and the numerous concessions to the Ayatollahs. Despite the concerns, advocacy groups shilling for Iran’s regime in Washington D.C. have voiced support for the nuclear agreement and against military strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Following the elections of Iranian Presidents like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ebrahim Raisi, progressive groups have called for Israel to restrain from acting against Iran, despite the antisemitic calls for Israel’s destruction from Islamic Republic officials. Despite acting against the Islamic Republic officials, nuclear scientists, and Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commanders, Democratic presidents and their aides have called for restraint by Israel, calling for diplomacy instead of aggressive action against Iran. With the Islamic Republic upgrading and enriching its uranium material for its nuclear program and the Biden administration’s efforts for a revived nuclear agreement, Netanyahu and his right-wing allies believe that a strike against Tehran would not be supported by the Democratic president, prompting the Israeli government to prepare its forces to go in alone.
5. Undercutting the Abraham Accords
Following the signing of the Abraham Accords under the Trump administration between Israel and its Arab allies, Democratic and progressive officials rallied against the accords, opting to continue negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and not strengthen the agreement with other Arab countries like Saudi Arabia. Before the signing of the Abraham Accords, numerous Democratic officials like John Kerry and progressive figures argued that peace between Israel and the Arab states would not occur unless Israel conceded to Palestinian terrorists and their demands. With President Biden vowing to treat Saudi Arabia as a “pariah” state and revive the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, Netanyahu and his Israeli counterparts have felt that the U.S. cannot push Saudi Arabia into normalizing relations with the Jewish state against Iran. With the latest announcement that Saudi Arabia and Iran will normalize relations brokered by the Chinese government, Israeli officials in the conservative government were shocked to see the news and the Biden administration’s minimal response to the agreement.
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