Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Deciphering Biden

David Hazony and Jennifer Rubin both weighed in yesterday on VP Joe Biden’s comments about a possible Israeli strike on Iran. I wish I could see a silver lining in the interview. But I think the language used by the VP is purposely vague and could actually be construed the opposite way. Consider this:

Biden also said Israel is “entitled to do that. Any sovereign nation is entitled to do that. But there is no pressure from any nation that’s going to alter our behavior as to how to proceed” — which means that a sovereign Israel may see Iran’s nuclear program as an existential threat, but a sovereign America may not let such perception influence its policy of engagement: “What we believe is in the national interest of the United States, which we, coincidentally, believe is also in the interest of Israel and the whole world.”

Biden, in fact, seems to be saying that U.S. engagement with Iran is in Israel’s interest — not bombing. He goes on to say that this course of action is “in the national interest of the U.S.” — presumably a strike would sabotage engagement and thus run contrary to U.S. national interest. He adds that “coincidentally,” this behavior also serves Israel’s interest and the interest of the world community. How is a strike going to coincide with this interest? Biden’s statement could be just as easily construed as a warning to Israel — don’t do it, you are harming our interest and, in the process, yours as well. And the world’s — which means, if you go ahead, you are alone.

Of course, Israel is “sovereign” and can choose to isolate itself by standing in the way of the U.S. — but it may not be the wisest course of action. So don’t hold your breath — this administration will stay the course for now.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.