Former Vice President Mike Pence sharply criticized President Joe Biden in an editorial on Monday, calling the administration weak for its stance on recent violent clashes between Israel and the Palestinians.
“The Trump-Pence administration has opened the door to a future of peace in the Middle East based on our strong and unwavering commitment to the State of Israel,” Pence wrote in National Review. “But now Israel is suffering the worst outbreak of violence in at least seven years – a direct result of the weakness shown by the Biden administration since its first day in power.”
This is Pence’s harshest criticism of the administration, especially in the foreign policy arena, as former President Donald Trump continues to spread lies about his defeat in the 2020 election. .
Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, but did not directly call for an immediate end to the violence as the deadly conflict entered a second week. The White House said Biden “has expressed support for a ceasefire and discussed the United States’ engagement with Egypt and other partners to that end.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that Israel had “a special responsibility to protect civilians as part of its self-defense.” However, US officials have not asked their Israeli counterparts to change or stop their response to Palestinian rocket fire. Israel has been America’s closest ally in the Middle East and the biggest recipient of US military aid.
Pence has repeatedly praised the foreign policy achievements of the “Trump-Pence administration,” a phrase rarely used while in office.
“Under the Trump-Pence administration, we made it clear to the world that America is on Israel’s side,” Pence wrote. “But now President Biden has sent the world a profoundly different message. Instead of seeking peace through force, he has invited violence through weakness.”
In September, Israel signed agreements to normalize relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which were negotiated by the Trump administration.
The agreements – called the Abraham Accords – were signed by Netanyahu; the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan; and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani. Bilateral agreements are full of commitments to advance diplomacy, mutual cooperation and work for regional peace. The agreement between Israel and the UAE is more comprehensive and outlines 15 areas of mutual interest, including finance, trade, aviation, energy, health, agriculture and water.
But critics have argued that they are not fully addressing decades of conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Pence called on Biden to support Israel, but there is growing pressure from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party for an approach that recognizes Palestinian rights.
“There is no moral equivalence between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas,” Pence wrote. “President Biden and all American leaders should defend Israel’s right to self-defense and condemn Hamas terrorists – as well as their supporters and apologists – in the strongest terms.”