Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) slammed President Joe Biden for “snubbing” the Israeli premier by continuously refusing to offer him an invitation to the White House, and he accused the current administration of being the “most relentlessly anti-Israel” one in U.S. history.
On his podcast Verdict with Ted Cruz on Monday, the Texas senator addressed President Joe Biden’s recent “attacks” on Israel, asserting that “Team Biden has been the most relentlessly anti-Israel administration our federal government has ever seen.”
After being pressed on his refusal to offer an invitation to Israel’s elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria the previous night, President Biden described the current makeup of the Jewish State’s government as one consisting of “the most extremist members of cabinets that I’ve seen,” as he noted that the Israeli president is slated to visit instead.
Cruz, who is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, explained that Israel’s president — which is “mostly a ceremonial role” — is currently the leader of the opposition and that extending an invitation to him is equivalent to a leader in the Western world boasting of having “invited the guy from the out-of-power-party” instead of the U.S. president himself.
“The opening comment is laugh-out-loud absurd,” he stated. “We invited the guy from the opposite party, so that should be sufficient. Why? Because, I, a left-wing Democrat, hate the leader that the people of Israel elected.”
Accusing the Biden White House of “ostentatiously going out of their way to snub the elected leader of Israel,” Cruz claimed the president and his administration have been “the most relentlessly anti-Israel administration our federal government has ever had.”
“We have seen in the Biden White House a granular, systematic, comprehensive and exhaustive attempt to undermine our friend and ally the State of Israel,” he stated, adding that “it is shameful.”
In the Biden White House, we have seen a granular, systematic, comprehensive, and exhaustive attempt to undermine our friend and ally, the State of Israel.
It is shameful. #Verdict https://t.co/bSyHrIcKAf
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 11, 2023
Cruz argued that the matter goes back to the opening weeks of the Biden administration, “where the State Department put out written guidance banning anyone at the State Department from using the words ‘Abraham Accords.’”
“The Abraham Accords were historic peace agreements that were entered between Israel and multiple Arab allies. The Trump administration was critical in brokering the Abraham Accords. They were groundbreaking, and yet the Biden administration hated them and put in writing that the State Department must refer to them as ‘normalization agreements,’” he stated.
“Ultimately, when they got called out for it, when this written guidance was made public — and I will admit I played a critical role in making it public — it was further discovered that that was done at the direction of the Biden White House,” he added.
He also accused the Biden Department of Justice and the FBI of “actively investigating and targeting the Israeli military for the death of a Palestinian who was in the middle of an active firefight.”
“It is absurd,” he exclaimed. “There’s no other ally that we would unleash the Department of Justice and FBI to go after their military,” he stated.
In contrast with the Biden administration that “despises” Netanyahu, as the president referred to him as the most “extreme leader that we’ve ever had in 50 years,” Cruz heaped praise upon the “longest serving Prime Minister in the history of Israel,” noting that: “We just finished the single worst year for violence in the Middle East in history, and it’s not Benjamin Netanyahu that’s new — it’s Joe Biden, it’s his policies of appeasement.”
“He has been funneling cash into Hamas, into Hezbollah; into the terrorists,” he stated, noting that Biden “and the cronies around him are actively funneling billions of dollars into Iran to help them develop nuclear weapons that could well be used to murder millions of Israelis and millions of Americans.”
“To say it is backwards would be a massive understatement,” he added.
Having “gotten to know Netanyahu quite well” over time, Cruz claimed that “of all of the world leaders I’ve met at this point … I don’t think there is another who has impressed me more with the seriousness of his mission” than the Israeli prime minister.
“Benjamin Netanyahu understands that he has a responsibility to protect the safety of the citizens of Israel from forces that surround Israel that would drive them into the sea and I have told him this before but I believe … Netanyahu has a Churchillian steely-eyed gaze on the threats facing Israel and America — in particular, the threat of a nuclear Iran,” he stated.
Cruz also slammed President Biden for drawing a “false equivalency” between Israel and its enemies when “he says the terrorists who strap on a suicide vest and go into shopping malls or children’s schools and murder women and children and infants — they’re just exactly the same as the Israeli soldiers who are trying to protect those women and children and infants.”
“It is shameful; it is disgraceful,” he stated.
Noting that many Democrat voters “believe rightfully that America should be a strong and resolute ally with Israel,” Cruz asserted that one “cannot look at the Biden administration‘s record and conclude anything other than this White House is adamantly opposed to standing with Israel.”
“If you’re a Democrat who actually thinks America should stand with Israel, what do you think of the fact that Joe Biden publicly snubs the elected Prime Minister of Israel?” he asked.
He claimed the fact was most recently manifested in a “new policy that was announced from the Department of State that targets Israeli Jews, who live in the Golan Heights and live in Judea and Samaria and in fact, who live in parts of Jerusalem — the capital of Israel; to ban bilateral scientific and technological cooperation.”
“The State Department distributed it to all the relevant U.S. government agencies, and it is effectively Joe Biden implementing a policy of BDS — boycott, divest and sanction,” he stated, adding, “it is targeting Israel [and] explicitly targeted at Israeli Jews” and is “antisemitic.”
“So when Joe Biden says, well, no one stood stronger with Israel than he has — well, holy cow, with friends like that who the heck needs enemies,” he added.
Cruz also accused the current administration of having been “granular in how they work to undermine Israel,” and of “funding millions of dollars to the Palestinian Authority while they continue what are called ‘pay-to-slay’ policies.”
“If you’re a Palestinian terrorist and you strap on a suicide vest and you murder a bunch of children, the Palestinian Authority will send a check every year for the rest of your life to your widow and your children. They will pay you to murder innocent children,” he explained.
Though Cruz noted that he supported legislation passed through Congress that bars payment to government entities that “pay terrorists and reward terrorism,” he noted that the Biden administration is “actively circumventing it.”
Referencing President Biden’s meeting with the “socialist anti-American leftist” leader of Brazil Lula da Silva in February, Cruz noted that Biden “happily welcomed him in with open arms and bear-hugged him.”
“If you hate America, the Biden White House loves you; but if you are the elected leader of Israel, you are not welcome in the Biden White House,” he noted.
Biden has refused to offer the customary invitation to Netanyahu, who was elected democratically six months ago, though he met with both of the Israeli prime minister’s predecessors, who led governments formed by minority party coalitions.
Though Netanyahu and his right-wing coalition won the November election with a collective, decisive majority, and despite his posturing as a defender of democracy, Biden continues to deny Netanyahu the treatment of a legitimate leader and as one of America’s closest allies.
In March, Biden declared he would not meet with Netanyahu even after the latter suspended his judicial reforms, though the declaration contradicted U.S. Ambassador Tom Nides, who had promised a meeting as an incentive.
As Biden continues to snub the democratically elected Israeli government, China has moved to take advantage of the current administration’s hostility to long-term U.S. allies, with Netanyahu accepting last week an invitation to visit Chinese President Xi Jinping.
This was not the first time the Biden administration took heat for its attitude toward the current Israeli government.
Last month, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman described President Biden’s refusal to meet the Israeli prime minister since the latter’s election in November as “despicable.”
“This idea that Biden can get away with not meeting with Netanyahu…,” he said. “On the one hand, we preach about democracy and how important it is, and [yet, on the other,] we refuse to meet with Israel’s democratic leaders.”
In May, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) vowed that if President Joe Biden continues to isolate Netanyahu, the U.S. House would invite him to Washington, regardless, noting that Netanyahu is “a dear friend, as a prime minister of a country that we have our closest ties with.”
More recently, former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman slammed the Biden administration for its having yet to invite the Israeli premier to the White House while accusing it of “strengthening” the otherwise “weak” Iranian regime.
Lieberman demanded an immediate invitation for Netanyahu and called to make the Islamic Republic of Iran “more afraid” of the U.S.
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.
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