Ben Shapiro: The Biden Middle East Delusion

The perspectives and thoughts expressed in this op-ed are the exclusive purview of the author.

This week, the Biden administration took the first step toward what appears to be an inevitable break with Israel in Israel’s war to extirpate the terrorist group Hamas from the Gaza Strip. Since Hamas’ vicious terror assault on Israel on Oct. 7 — an attack that killed at least 1,200 Israelis and left 250 Israeli hostages in Hamas’ hands — Israel has taken extraordinary measures to protect civilian life in Gaza while destroying Hamas’ military capacity. In the process, Israel has lost nearly 300 of its own soldiers, with thousands wounded. Despite total air superiority, Israel’s care on the ground has meant a successful terrorist-to-civilian kill ratio unprecedented in the history of modern warfare.

Nonetheless, the Biden administration has been champing at the bit to hamstring Israel in its efforts to defend itself. In the last two weeks, the Biden White House has activated Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to call for the ouster of the sitting Israeli government; deployed Vice President Kamala Harris to publicly warn Israel about the dangers of a military operation in the last Hamas stronghold, Rafah; and abstained from a United Nations Security Council resolution separating calls for a ceasefire from calls for a hostage release.

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None of this makes sense if the United States wishes Israel to finish off Hamas.

It all makes perfect sense if the Biden administration is seeking to placate its far-left wing, particularly the pro-Hamas voters in Dearborn, Michigan. Biden is currently losing Michigan handily to Republican nominee Donald Trump. If he loses Michigan, he almost certainly loses the election. And Biden believes that he cannot win if he does not outperform among the state’s approximately 200,000 Muslim American voters. By polling data, 49% of Muslim Americans believe Hamas’ rationale for the Oct. 7 terror attack was valid; 21% of Muslim Americans approve of the Oct. 7 attacks themselves.

But Biden isn’t losing Michigan because he’s losing Muslim American voters. Those voters will overwhelmingly vote for him, because the alternative is the most pro-Israel president in American history, Donald Trump. Not only that: Michigan is home to approximately 105,000 Jewish voters, and millions of Christian voters, many of whom Biden is risking by undercutting Israel in its existential war.

But Biden has been captured by his left flank. He has been told that he must pander to the most radical members of his coalition, getting them out to vote, rather than reaching out to political moderates and independents. That’s idiocy. The real reason he’s losing Michigan isn’t his lack of popularity among blue-collar voters — the same lack of popularity that explains his lagging poll numbers in states with lower Muslim populations like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and Nevada.

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All of this foolish political manipulation is the result of a Democratic myth fostered by Barack Obama’s successful 2012 campaign: the myth that Democrats can win simply by appealing to their minority coalition, along with hard-left white women in the suburbs. Obama was able to push that coalition to victory because he was a unique candidate; Democrats ever since have been attempting to mimic that strategy, to their electoral detriment.

Here’s the reality: Joe Biden will never be a favorite among leftist radicals. It was his supposed moderation that lifted him to victory in 2020. Abandoning that moderation likely means that he will find himself out of a job come January 2025.

Ben Shapiro, 39, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” and co-founder of Daily Wire+. He is a three-time New York Times bestselling author; his latest book is “The Authoritarian Moment: How The Left Weaponized America’s Institutions Against Dissent.” To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



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