I have devoted my life to fighting anti-Semitism, defending Israel’s security and seeking restitution for Holocaust survivors. I can proudly affirm that Biden has been a highly outspoken and effective leader for these causes throughout his public career as a US senator and vice president.
But beyond that, Biden is a deeply decent man with a strong moral core. President Donald Trump sees the country as red states versus blue states. Biden, on the other hand, sees the country for what it is — the United States of America. As president, Biden will bring us together, give no quarter to hatemongers, and begin the work of healing our nation’s wounds from Trump’s divisive rhetoric and his tendency to throw kerosene on smoldering embers.
Israel will always have a time-tested friend in the Oval Office with Biden, who has shown his deep personal commitment to Israel as a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its eternal capital
. His support for Israel was imparted to him by his father
and it has lasted a lifetime. In 1973, he visited Israel for the first time and later called
his encounter with Prime Minister Golda Meir “one of the most consequential meetings I’ve ever had in my life.” It was the first of many trips to Israel (Trump, on the other hand, has been only once
Meir impressed upon him the sense of vulnerability under which Israelis live and it seems that lesson remains seared
in his consciousness to this day. In remarks he delivered during the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s Policy Conference earlier this year, Biden said, “Israelis wake up every morning facing an existential threat from their neighbors — a rain of rockets from Gaza … threats and missiles from Iran and Hezbollah.” For him, these are not mere words. Biden was an early advocate for US aid to deploy Israel’s lifesaving Iron Dome anti-missile system. As vice president, he was a central architect of the $38 billion military aid package
to Israel –the largest in history.
He has been a lifelong defender of Israel’s qualitative military edge and will safeguard it as president. Biden has also fervently opposed the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and the Democratic Party’s 2020 platform
explicitly opposes “any effort to unfairly single out and delegitimize Israel, including at the United Nations, or through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement.” Biden’s record of concrete support for Israel is longer, deeper, more heartfelt and less politically motivated than Trump’s.
When I successfully negotiated billions of dollars in European compensation and restitution payments to Holocaust survivors on behalf of the American government, I had no greater supporter than Joe Biden, first in his capacity as the top Democrat responsible for European issues on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and later as our nation’s vice president.
In 2013, Biden launched an unprecedented domestic initiative for the US government to specifically aid aging Holocaust survivors, more than a third of whom are living in or near poverty after suffering so grievously during their youth. His work ultimately led to $12 million
in new federal funding for Holocaust survivors in the US to be disbursed over five years.
Furthermore, Biden insists
that “we must educate every successive generation to exactly what happened, so that we can never forget the horrors of the Shoah.” Only 15 states
require Holocaust education as part of their secondary school curricula, but I am confident Biden will work toward having all 50 states teach the Holocaust and its lessons.
By electing Biden, we will put a mensch in the White House who is committed to the best of Jewish and American values to help the needy. I know from personal experience that Biden is someone who does the right thing, not just for show or for personal advantage. I remain eternally grateful that he made time in 2013 to join and address the shiva of my beloved, late wife, Fran, despite his busy schedule as vice president. He did so unannounced and without any press coverage.
Drawing on his deep and abiding decency, humanity and empathy, Biden will work every day to heal and unite our divided country, and to appeal to the best of America. Joe Biden deserves the support of Jewish Americans, and I urge you to cast your vote for him.