Will Hamas decide the US presidential election? At the moment it looks like it will. Donald Trump is profiting from fears that the Middle East conflict could escalate into World War III. He successfully presents himself as a leader who knows how to resolve conflicts on an equal footing with the villains of this world. Trump is now dancing with the wolves.
The Democratic incumbent Joe Biden – always referred to as Sleepy Joe by Trump – looks like a graying hare on the run. He hits a hook. He fights – but he fights with himself first. His legs are as heavy as his eyelids. His vitality reserves are visibly coming to an end.
Biden faces a tragic pincer movement
Just at the beginning of his re-election campaign, Biden finds himself exposed to a tragic pincer movement, the effect of which is exacerbated by political inadequacy.
On the one hand, there is the Israel lobby and his lifelong commitment to the country and its people. Biden spontaneously pledged his solidarity with the Israelis after Hamas’s treacherous attack, sent two warships to the Israeli coast and positioned a nuclear submarine in the region.
At the United Nations, under his leadership, the United States was among 14 nations that opposed a ceasefire like the one Jordan had requested. Not even Germany was at his side. This steadfastness makes an impression – especially in Israel and among American Jews.
On the other hand, there are the democratic youth in the USA who, together with left-wing university groups and the Muslim community, are warning of a “genocide in Gaza” and are campaigning for the cause of the Palestinians.
Emotions are running high
The accusation that they are acting as Hamas’s stirrups does not concern these young people. Emotions are running high in view of the television images that do not show Hamas killers, but rather children in front of landscapes of ruins.
In addition, the number of Muslims in the United States today, which number more than three million, will have more than doubled by 2040, replacing the Jews as the second largest religious community in the United States, says the Pew Research Center. The demographics are running against Israel and against Biden.
The fact is, this pincer movement works. The war and the political reaction to it are paying into the challenger’s account and leading to a loss of sympathy for Biden. Trump is leading in five of the six swing states – Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Michigan – which, according to calculations by the New York Times, should give him a majority in the Electoral College, the electoral body that later chooses the president.
The verdict from Nate Cohn, New York Times Chief Political Analyst:
“The results appear to be more the result of Biden’s weakness than Trump’s strength. Trump is just as unpopular as he was when he lost the election, maybe even a little more unpopular.”
It is our own people – voters, donors, sympathizers – who are turning away from Biden. A parallel Gallup poll shows an 11 percent drop in his approval rating among Democrats. This decline occurred in just four weeks.
The political inadequacy of 80-year-old Joe Biden
Which brings us to the political inadequacy of 80-year-old Joe Biden. In this historic situation, of all times, when Israel – and ultimately the 51st state of the USA – is fighting for its right to exist, Biden is affected by fickleness.
The man – as his behavior towards Israel proves – is not a stickler. He’s more of a flip-flopper. As soon as the polls fluctuate, Biden fluctuates with them.
Under pressure from politicians like Summer Lee, a Democrat who represents Pittsburgh in the House of Representatives, Biden is now also calling for a “pause” in the Israeli ground offensive. Lee calls for a move away from the Israel First policy:
“The only way to peace, the only way to save more innocent Palestinian and Israeli children and hostages, is de-escalation.”
Other Democrats, such as Rashida Tlaib, a congresswoman from Michigan, are also urging Biden to abandon Israel:
“Mr President, the American people are not with you on this issue.”
Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second-highest ranking Democrat in the Senate, said on CNN that it was time for a ceasefire:
“An attempt should be made to have a conversation between Israelis and Palestinians.”
For Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic congresswoman from California and former speaker of the House of Representatives, her eternal rival Biden’s pivot did not go unnoticed. He took “a little hit” in his Israel policy, she says smugly. And adds poisonously:
“Such maneuvers come at a price. This price is called credibility.”
Trump has more luck than sense
Conclusion: A president who allows himself to be bent by opinion polls and the party left is a weak president. So he will be unable to give his country any comfort or guidance. Tough times are, by definition, good times for tough leaders. Or to put it another way: Trump clearly has more luck than sense.