A Nation at the Crossroads Biden vs Trump – Round Two

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DAVE GORDON 

 

 

The upcoming presidential election will be a rematch of 2020, with former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden both looking to secure second terms. Not surprisingly, Donald Trump was the winner of the GOP primary. Nikki Haley, his only standing opponent after others dropped out in January, ended her campaign in early March after a Super Tuesday blowout. Both Trump and Biden are already on the campaign trail.  

 

2024 Presidential Election 

 

As the campaign unfolds, the American electorate grapples with critical questions about the nation’s future. The 2024 election promises to be a pivotal moment in U.S. history, shaping the trajectory of the country for years to come. Let’s delve into the policy differences between former President Trump and current President Biden.  

 

 

Israel and Her Neighbors 

 

The Abraham Accords has withstood the strain of the current Israel-Hamas war. The agreements between Israel and Bahrain, UAE, Morocco, and to a certain extent Sudan, have held up.  Many Middle East analysts have said that Saudi Arabia is next in line. So far, President Biden has not been able to broker a deal with Saudi Arabia. However, progress has been made and normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia still remains on the table. 

An article in The Hill, written by Gerald Feierstein (former US Ambassador to Yemen under President Obama and former U.S. State Department Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs), stated,  “While all of the Abraham Accord partners – the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco – have been critical of Israeli military operations in Gaza and of the high number of innocent Palestinian casualties, reflecting intense popular anger in their own countries, none has taken irreversible steps to sever ties with Israel or take other substantial measures against Israel. Saudi Arabia, as well, has indicated that it has not abandoned hope for reaching an agreement on normalizing ties with Israel. 

Battling Hamas 

Feierstein added, “Underlining these nations’ position, undoubtedly, is a view they share with Israel: that Hamas, with its Iranian backers, is a significant threat to their interests and the region at large. They recognize as well that ties to Israel enhance both their own security and economic development.” 

 

Concerning Hamas, Trump proclaimed on Fox News that Israel needs to simply “finish the problem,” referring to eliminating the terror threat for good. The “horrible invasion” occurred, in his view, “because they [members of Hamas] have no respect for Biden” – implying that the U.S. is currently soft on terror.  

 

Although President Biden has supported Israel in its fight against Hamas, he claimed that Netanyahu’s strategy regarding the war in Gaza is “hurting Israel more than helping Israel.” In mid-March the president also said Netanyahu “must pay more attention to the innocent lives being lost as a consequence of the actions taken” in Gaza. Netanyahu, for his part, said in a Politico interview that Biden was wrong on all these counts. 

 

Calls for a Ceasefire 

 

On March 3rd, Vice President Kamala Harris said in a speech that “Israel must not impose any unnecessary restrictions on aid” – yet Israel has been allowing aid convoys for months already. Harris went on to say, “Given the immense suffering in Gaza, there must be an immediate ceasefire.” The implication was that Israel should halt counteroffensives to eliminate the terror threat.  

 

In an interview with British journalist Douglas Murray, Associate Editor of The Spectator, and frequent pundit on Israel in the media, Murray told Community Magazine that the Biden administration’s call for a ceasefire was a play of political posturing.  

 

Murray posited, “They have several various governments that are saying ceasefire, for domestic political reasons.” The president and vice president – if seen to be too pro-Israel – “believe there’s a possibility that this war will depress voter turnout among the Democrat base, and in a possibly very tight election later this year, could damage the re-election chances.” 

 

Americans’ Economic Concerns Pre-Elections 

 

In addition to foreign policy, many Americans are worried about their pocketbooks and the rising cost of living. According to a Gallup poll in mid-March, some of the high priority economic issues for Americans include the high cost of living, inflation, taxes, unemployment/jobs, the gap between rich and poor, corporate corruption, wage issues, and fuel/oil prices. 

 

Biden’s $7.3 billion budget for 2025 calls for increased taxes for the wealthy and for corporations to help pay for Social Security and Medicare. Additional funds are earmarked for addressing climate change, reformatting Medicare, and funding national paid leave.   

 

The proposed universal pre-school for three- and four-year-olds did not come to fruition. Likewise, Biden’s proposals for gun background checks, the requirement for all federal candidates to reveal tax returns, increased transparency for election spending, expanded social security benefits, allowance of foreign prescription drugs, and tuition-free college have not been realized.  

 

Non-Economic Concerns 

 

The same Gallup poll cites that other top concerns for Americans are immigration, the government/poor leadership, poverty/hunger/homelessness, unifying the country, race relations/racism, and crime/violence.  

 

According to Trump’s website, his campaign believes the big issues for our country include “defending our borders, restoring energy independence, and leading with strength and pride on the world stage.” His top issues are economic prosperity, securing America’s borders, public safety, reclaiming free speech, and dismantling the Deep State.  

 

Also on Trump’s site is his pledge to “protect the Gd-given right of every parent to be a steward of their children,” and to promote homeschooling and to provide families with the school of their choice for their children, be it public or parochial.  

 

The upcoming election presents a chance for the American electorate to choose a candidate who they feel will best represent them and their values regarding both foreign policy and domestic priorities. We as Jews look at every election with an eye to how the candidates feel about Israel and our community. We pray that Gd will grant us leaders who will always stand up for us and for Israel.