Dershowitz Decries Biden Attack on Netanyahu in J Street Speech as ‘Payback From White House’
Vice President Joe Biden’s jabs at Israel’s prime minister during a speech Monday evening at a gathering for a left-wing Israel lobbying group amount to “payback from the White House,” retired Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz told The Algemeiner on Tuesday.
In an address delivered at J Street’s annual convention in Washington DC, Biden singled out Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for criticism, expressing his “overwhelming frustration” with the Israeli leader’s policies.
“I firmly believe that the actions that Israel’s government has taken over 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,” the vice president asserted.
While Biden did make mention of the failure by Palestinian officials, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, to condemn acts of terror against Israel, the vice president vowed to “push them [Israel and the Palestinians] as hard as we can” towards a two-state solution. “There is at this moment no political will that I observed from either Israelis or Palestinians to go forward with serious negotiations,” he said.
“This was payback from the White House and Joe Biden was just dead wrong,” said Dershowitz. “Netanyahu has offered over and over again to sit down without preconditions and negotiate peace. To create moral equivalence between Netanyahu and Abbas is to create a false equivalence.”
According to Dershowitz, Biden’s omission of the Palestinians’ long-standing practice of rejecting Israeli peace offers only serves to fuel the flames of criticism against Israel. In 2008, when then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert “offered the Palestinians everything, Abbas did not respond,” Dershowitz said. “Why didn’t Joe Biden mention that? Ninety percent of the responsibility lies on Abbas, and to create a false moral equivalence is to play into the double standard directed against Israel.”
Biden’s remarks — which came hours after a suspected terror attack on a Jerusalem bus that injured 21 — also questioned how, under the current policies of the government, Israel could remain both Jewish and democratic.