‘Who is Worse, Biden or Trump?’ – Gaza Genocide and Elections ‘24

Donald Trump and Joe Biden at the US Presidential debate. (Photo: video grab)

By Benay Blend

In 2020, the rallying cry for Democrats was “lesser of two evils,” meant to signify that Biden might be problematic, but Trump was even more so. For those of us who did not want four more years of Trump, it worked.

Four years later, the catchphrase is “Who is worse, Biden or Trump?” Given that there was been a US-funded genocide against Palestinians in the meantime, the refrain this time is not working.

Apparently, Trump is worse because he advocates full-on genocide, as he openly did last night. Indeed, each side tried to out-do the other as to who is the most genocidal candidate.

“You should just go and let [Israel] finish the job,” Trump said. “He [Biden] doesn’t want to do it. He’s become like a Palestinian. But they don’t like him because he’s a very bad Palestinian. He’s a weak one.”

Biden responded that his administration was the “biggest producer of support for Israel of anyone in the world,” thereby staking his claim as the most genocidal president in the world.

If Trump is truly worse, it is because he would “finish off” the Palestinians, while Biden practices what appears to be a more benign form of genocide, a plan that at least leaves some Palestinians alive.

Looking closer, even this measure does not add up partly because Biden has no red line, no point at which “Israel” has gone so far in its genocide that weapons shipments stop.

For example, in early May, Biden drew a red line across an “Israeli” invasion of Rafah, an area that had previously been declared a safe zone.

Yet when “Israel” bombed Rafah’s nylon tents, burning families alive, Biden claimed that it was only a “limited” incursion, not the all-out invasion that he had warned against.

As Ciudong Ng explains, Biden’s refusal to condemn the entity’s atrocities follows in the footsteps of administrations before him. Despite the barrage of “Israeli” carnage in Gaza, Biden has followed “historical precedent with mechanical precision – turning genocide into an American export.”

“Caught in the US Empire’s grip,” Ng concludes, “Palestinians remain the victims of a ‘neutral’ aggressor: a mediator that turns peace negotiations into arms deals.”

Biden supporters also claim that Trump would green light “Israel’s” desire to annex the entire West Bank, though that seems to be already happening under the current president. In a leaked recording of “Israel’s” finance minister Bezalel Smotrich’s plan to impose permanent “Israeli” control over the West Bank, it became clear that the entity will continue on its course of ethnic cleansing no matter who wins in November.

According to Khalil Tafakji, a Palestinian expert on Israeli settlements, Smotrich’s plan amounts to “a de-facto annexation of the West Bank in stages, which goes hand in hand with settlers’ violence to ethnically cleanse Area C from Palestinians.”

In one of the few post-debate reports that touched on the issue of Palestine, Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman interviewed Norman Soloman, executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and co-founder of RootsAction.org.

While Soloman admitted that both candidates are extreme militarists, he lamented that Biden’s participation in “mass murder and genocide” was left out of the debate, replacing it with how well the administration “would assist Israel in suppressing the rights of Palestinians and killing them every day.”

Despite conceding that both candidates would do more harm to Palestine than good, Soloman went on to declare that we are “facing now a fork in the road,” meaning that if Trump should win “the space to organize will be virtually disappearing except to try to mitigate the damage that will be done by the administration.”

“Under a Biden or Democratic administration,” Solomon admits, “we have huge problems, terrible foreign policy.” But he goes on to repeat what was said in 2020: “What we do have is more space to organize so we’re not just back on our heels. We can organize for real progressive change.”

In the words of activist/writer Steven Salaita on X: “Guilt-tripping Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims (among others) into voting Biden isn’t an act of persuasion. It is an abominable display of moral callousness, intellectual shallowness, political cowardice, implicit racism, and rhetorical hostility.”

Moreover, facts on the ground do not bear out Solomon’s optimistic picture of organizing under the Biden presidency. According to a report from Within Our Lifetime (WOL), the movement for Palestinian liberation has grown exponentially over the past few years.

Yet along with this growth has come “a heightened landscape of severe political repression.” Specifically, the New York Police Department (NYPD), along with city, state, and federal officials, has heightened the use of surveillance technology, often duplicating the same technology used by the Zionist occupation, to police the activity of “Israelis.”

Along with monitoring individual speech and social media posts, the police have employed aggressive tactics, often illegal, to scare protesters into submission.

“Part of our duty in fighting for the liberation of Palestine,” the report concludes, “is to fight against the state repression that is being mobilized against our community and communities of New York.”

This repression has been replicated in other cities against other groups. At the University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque, where I live, 16 students and community members were arrested during an occupation of the Student Union building on April 29-30. All 16 were charged with criminal trespass and wrongful use of public property except for UNM alumni and former Kiva Club Vice President Siihasin Nazbaa, who was additionally charged with criminal trespass involving $40,000 in damages.

According to UNM Palestine Solidarity Camp’s post on Instagram, police targeted Siihasin because she is an Indigenous (Diné) water defender and land protector who has been active at other protests. According to a 2023 report, members of Indigenous communities are up to seven times more likely to be incarcerated than their white counterparts.

Big Tech has also contributed to the repression of organizing, especially if it is for Palestinian liberation. Attempting to suppress Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Meta has targeted individual chapter accounts as well as Samidoun Network’s primary account, thus depriving its 28,000 followers of information.

On a timeline posted online, Samidoun notes that this targeting is part of Meta’s repression of “anything that challenges the Zionist occupation it [Meta] protects.”

The Palestine Chronicle has also been the target of “defamation and harassment” after media outlets charged that a freelance Palestinian journalist, Abdallah Aljamal, and his family were harboring an Israeli captive in their home. Moreover, they accused Palestine Chronicle and Al Jazeera of “hiring” the alleged hostage taker, an allegation that has led to serious threats made to Palestine Chronicle staff and their families.

“As our solidarity escalates, Meta’s censorship desperately intensifies,” replied Samidoun in response to this escalation of Zionist repression. For its part, Palestine Chronicle interpreted the attack on its platform as “an extension of, and not just a cover for, genocide by the same powers who are egging the genocide along.”

On the night of the debate in Atlanta, Palestine Action U.S. documented the action in the streets, though very little was mentioned on mainstream news. “The days of protest are behind us,” they said. “It is time that we follow the lead of the militants of oppressed nations. It is time to change our orientation from one of protests to one of resistance.”

In preparation for the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Chicago, there is a coalition already formed to march on the proceedings while making a series of demands. In a separate statement, participants hold Biden and the Democratic party responsible for the genocide in Palestine, thereby demanding that the Democratic party halt all aid to “Israel,” tax money which they charge has enabled the current genocide to continue.

A Biden win will initiate a “concerted effort” to “restore America’s image and get back to the business of imperialism disguised as ‘global problem-solving,’ predicts Louis Allday, and Trump’s “candid admissions” regarding the motivations behind US foreign policy will be “substituted with statesman-like messaging about humanitarian intervention and the international community’s ‘responsibility to protect.’”

All those who oppose ‘Israeli” genocide in Gaza, as well as “all forms of racism and imperialism, of the refined variety or otherwise,” concludes Allday, “must resist these dishonest attempts to portray a Biden win as anything more than an administrative reshuffle within the bi-partisan management of a genocidal empire that, whoever is President, represents a grave danger to its own people and the future of everyone else on this planet.”

– Benay Blend earned her doctorate in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Her scholarly works include Douglas Vakoch and Sam Mickey, Eds. (2017), “’Neither Homeland Nor Exile are Words’: ‘Situated Knowledge’ in the Works of Palestinian and Native American Writers”. She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
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1 Comment

  1. Vote for Dr. Jill Stein, a person of courage and integrity! She is the only way out of these cycles of illegal wars cooked up by self-interested crooks.

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