Oliver Willis

Joe Biden Is Letting Israel Have It Again

Vice President Joe Biden has been the administration’s “bad cop” often with regard to Israel, criticizing the right-wing government there for settlements, etc. Looks like Biden is at it again, and he’s echoing some of the second-term bluntness we’ve seen from President Obama for a while.

Biden, in a speech to the advocacy group J Street, offered a grim outlook for peace efforts, reflecting dim hopes for progress during the remainder of the Obama administration. Although he said both Israelis and Palestinians shared blame for undermining trust and shirking responsibility, he was emphatic in his critique of Netanyahu’s government, suggested his approach raised “profound questions” about how Israel could remain both Jewish and democratic.

“I firmly believe that the actions that Israel’s government has taken over the past the past several years — the steady and systematic expansion of settlements, the legalization of outposts, land seizures — they’re moving us and more importantly they’re moving Israel in the wrong direction,” Biden said.

Often Israel has had to be reminded that in the relationship between them and the United States, it is not a team of equals. There’s a junior and senior partner in this relationship, and we can’t constantly be the one who takes the brunt for their provocations but also the ones who have to clean up their messes.