The upcoming US elections will be critical for the future of Jews, Israel, the US, and, indeed, the entire world. Below are some key reasons, many of which relate to President Trump’s negatives, why Jews should support Joe Biden:
1. There is an overwhelming consensus of climate experts that the world will soon experience catastrophic climate events unless major changes soon occur, and there have been many recent examples of severe climate events. However Trump is not only in denial about climate change, but, along with most Republican legislators, has been doing all he can to roll back or weaken legislation designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Given Trump’s horrible environmental record, it is no surprise that two former Environmental Protection Agency directors under Republican administrations, Christine Todd Whitman and William Reilly, are supporting Biden.
Israelis should be especially concerned about climate change. The much hotter and drier Middle East that climate experts are projecting increases the likelihood of violence, terrorism and war, according to military experts. Also, if the rapid melting of polar icecaps, glaciers, and permafrost continues, the coastal plain that contains most of Israel’s population and infrastructure will be inundated by a rising Mediterranean Sea.
2. Trump’s bungled response to the Coronavirus outbreak, initially playing it down, downplaying the importance of wearing masks and social distancing, and lying to and misleading the American people, even after he was stricken by the virus, makes the situation far worse than it needed to be. The result is that tens of thousands of Americans died unnecessarily and the US, with only about four percent of the world’s people, has about 20% of the worlds COVID-19 infections and deaths. Despite the repeated warnings of medical experts, Trump held many rallies indoors, with thousands of his supporters attending without social distancing and with very few wearing masks. Basically Trump failed to protect the American people and the results have been disastrous for him and so many others.
3. Trump’s policies are contrary to basic Jewish values of concern for the disadvantaged, the stranger, the hungry and the poor. For example, rather than working to improve Obamacare, Trump supported legislation that would have resulted in tens of millions of Americans losing their medical insurance, many others having to pay higher premiums, and people with pre-existing conditions finding it very difficult to get affrdablemedical coverage.
Also, rather than support efforts to rebuild the US’s crumbling infrastructure – which was graded D+ by the American Society of Civil Engineers – Trump and Republican legislators pushed through a tax bill that overwhelmingly benefited the wealthiest Americans and corporations. This greatly increased the US annual national deficit, giving the Republicans an excuse to carry out their long-time desires to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, environmental protection and healthcare.
4. A Trump victory would insure a very lopsidedly conservative Supreme Court for at least a generation. Judaism mandates that an abortion is necessary in cases where a women’s life is in danger, but that right would very likely be taken away in many states by a very conservative Supreme Court. Also, such a court would enable Trump and Republican legislators to eliminate Obamacare and to turn back the many positive social programs that Democrats pushed through for many decades, despite consistent Republican opposition.
5. According to the Washington Post fact checker, Trump has made over 20,000 false or misleading claims since becoming president, some of which he repeated even after being corrected. This includes 1,200 such claims about the coronavirus pandemic, a factor that contributed to the high rate of US infections discussed above. Other fact checkers also found a huge number of Trump lies and misrepresentations.
6, There is also the issue of Trump’s character. As The New York Times’ conservative columnist Bret Stephens, a former chief editor of The Jerusalem Post, wrote, Trump’s character involves “lying, narcissism, bullying, bigotry, crassness, name-calling, ignorance, paranoia, incompetence and pettiness.” Also, as many people, including some close associates and even some family members have pointed out, Trump’s main consideration is his own benefit, rather than what is best for the nation.
7. A huge number of prominent Republicans are supporting Joe Biden because they believe that Trump is unfit to be president. On the opening day of the Republican convention, 20 former Republican lawmakers declared they were supporting Biden. Over 70 former national security officials, including many Republicans, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell, announced their endorsement for Biden in a letter saying Trump has “gravely damaged America’s role as a world leader,” “shown he is unfit to lead during a national crisis,” and “solicited foreign influence and undermined confidence in our presidential elections.” Also, many former Trump administration officials. Including former security advisor John Bolton and former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, have sharply criticised Trump and indicated that they will not vote for him.
8. Rather than being a unifier, as Biden would likely be, Trump’s actions and statements have greatly increased divisions in the US. There has been a recent sharp increase in antisemitism and activism by white supremacist groups. Trump has praised such groups and retweeted neo-Nazi accounts. He and other Republicans have tried to make support for Israel a wedge issue, alienating many American Jews. He has also implied several times that Jews care primarily about their financial interests and more about Israel than they do about the United States, beliefs commonly expressed by antisemites.
9. Both Biden and Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris have often shown that they support and care deeply about Israel and have often spoken out against antisemitism. They have stated that they would not make support for Israel conditional on Israeli actions. While the Republicans did not bother to draft a platform in 2020, the Democratic platform is very supportive of Israel.
10. Trump has done some positive things related to Israel, for which he deserves credit, but he has not increased chances for a resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, nor reduced prospects for future terrorism. Some of his actions have alienated Palestinians and other Arabs, European nations, US Democratic politicians, and many American Jews. And the positives are far from making up for the many negatives mentioned above, including making it far more likely that Israel will suffer greatly from climate change. Trump is the type of person who would turn away Israel if it was harmful to his interests.