It’s time for Biden to get Netanyahu the Nobel Peace Prize

Philip Weiss

Mondoweiss  /  September 21, 2023

The news from the Biden-Netanyahu meeting at the United Nations yesterday is that Benjamin Netanyahu is now soaring politically despite the drag of his fascistic coalition, the widespread protests at home over his attack on the courts, and his murderous policy toward Palestinians. Oh, and his criminal indictments.

Joe Biden gave Netanyahu a pass on all that stuff, and bestowed many gifts. He said Netanyahu is invited to the White House before the end of the year. He said the U.S. relationship is as solid as ever. He said he’s working on normalizing relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia (by bribing the Saudis).

And Israel is about to get on the visa waiver program (despite apartheid restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement).

The words Palestine and Palestinians were never mentioned in the meeting. And in spite of any “differences,” Biden is a Zionist who has Netanyahu’s back:

I think without Israel, there’s not a Jew in the world that’s secure. I think Israel is essential.

Biden is giving Netanyahu the Nobel Peace Prize and other gifts without any movement on human rights issues, says Shira Efron of the Israel Policy forum.

The fact is that very likely by the end of this month this Israeli government with those extreme elements in it is going to get one of the biggest gifts the U.S. can give Israel, the visa waiver, and Netanyahu will be the bearer of this news. ‘You think the US is mad at me, but look what I got you.’

Not only that, because of the stars aligned in a magical way, even without Israel making serious concessions on the Palestinian file, the gifts Netanyahu’s going to get from this administration are visa waiver and a Nobel Peace Prize for peace with Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Muslim and Arab world. Minus the Palestinians.

Biden didn’t just throw Palestinians under the bus. He threw a lot of political allies– liberal Zionists.

Those hundreds of thousands of Jewish Israelis protesting Netanyahu’s extremist government’s moves– they wanted Biden to freeze Netanyahu.

Israeli expats staged demonstrations in the United States too. They projected signs about the “crime minister” on the walls of the U.N. They projected, “Welcome to jail, Bibi” on the walls of Alcatraz when Netanyahu was meeting Elon Musk.

Biden ignored them.

He ignored liberal Zionists in the U.S., too. They had called for a reassessment of relations by the U.S. government. This is not the time for “business as usual,” J Street said in July. While Michael Koplow of the Israel Policy Forum said that every time Netanyahu makes promises, it’s the 13 things he promised before and never came through on. So it’s time for “discord” with the White House.

It’s better frankly for there to be some public signs of discord between the two…. public messaging from the United States that it is unhappy with Prime Minister Netanyahu and the direction of his government and it would like to see certain things from him.

One thing liberal Zionists want is some lip service on settlement expansion and on preserving the idea of Palestinian state. Lip service only, of course. But they can’t even get that. Netanyahu won’t say that stuff because it’s not his government’s policy, and he doesn’t believe it anyway, and his racist ministers would get upset.

And Biden respected those rules of lip service. He never mentioned Palestinians, and I promise you he won’t mention them before November 2024.

The reason for Biden’s collapse is plain. He needs Haim Saban and AIPAC and older rightwing Jews for the funding of his campaign. He sent 22 first-term Congress-people to Israel on AIPAC’s dime this summer. Including Becca Balint of Vermont, in a total insult to the Democratic base.

As Huffpo just reported, for some Democratic congressional candidates, issuing pro-Israel statements to get AIPAC’s backing is more important than taking a stance on climate change. This is the law of the jungle that AIPAC laid down many years ago: Get a position paper from us on the Middle East in order to raise money in the wealthy Jewish community.

In the end, this is a Jewish problem. It is about the role of the rightwing Israel lobby inside Jewish communal life. It is about support for apartheid in one of the most liberal communities in the U.S.

Netanyahu has status for American Jews. Even J Street’s congressional delegation goes to meet Netanyahu in Israel. And these days J Street can only offer stunned silence (no statements at all during a turbulent political period). While Jeremy Ben-Ami endorses the U.S. protests against Netanyahu a day late, and can’t say a word against Biden.

American Jewish organizations won’t go as far as the Israeli protesters. As Koplow says, the conditioning of U.S. Jewish leaders is, Loving Israel means never criticizing an Israeli leader in the U.S.

I think there’s still a lot of discomfort, and this dates back decades among American Jews, to publicly protest an Israeli prime minister or portray a prime minister in any way as illegitimate. [These protests are] very Israeli demonstrations. For many American Jews, a lot of the protests don’t seem in their cultural milieu. There’s a sense of discomfort about it.

Right, this is a Jewish issue. The indoctrination of generations. And Joe Biden has gotten the message. The Jewish community stands with Netanyahu. So do I!

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-2006