From the perspective of many Israelis and Israel-supporters, the United States went from a president openly hostile to Israel in Barack Obama, to one who deferred to Israel in an unprecedented way in Donald Trump, to one who is now slyly trying to undermine the Jewish state in Joe Biden.
That was the charge leveled against Biden on Monday by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) after the White House announced it would cut scientific and technological cooperation with any Israeli institutions situated beyond the “Green Line” in the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria. The new policy presumably also includes the eastern side of Jerusalem–which Israel annexed in 1980, a reality the US State Department continues to reject–and possibly also the Golan Heights–which Israel annexed in 1981 and Trump officially recognized as sovereign Israeli territory.
“Joe Biden and Biden administration officials are pathologically obsessed with undermining Israel. Since day one of their administration they have launched campaigns against our Israeli allies that are granular, whole of government and done in secret,” Cruz stated.
The outspoken senator said he will do all that he can to reverse the decision and “such antisemitic discrimination by the US government in the future.”
“The State Department is telling the entire US government not to cooperate with Jews in Judea and Samaria. And of course it was sent to Congress in secret, and only revealed because reporters found out,” Cruz noted. “The Biden administration defends funding scientific research in Wuhan with the Chinese Communist Party, but they’re discriminating against and banning cooperation with Jews based on where they live.”
Morton Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America, issued a statement joining Cruz:
“The ZOA condemns the Biden administration’s reinstatement of a discriminatory, antisemitic boycott of research, development, science and technology cooperation and joint projects with Israel, in lawful Jewish areas that invading Arab nations seized from the Jewish people in 1948-1949, which Israel recaptured and liberated in the defensive 1967 war.”
The ZOA statement pointed out that nearly one-fifth of the students at Ariel University—which is impacted by the boycott—in Samaria are Arabs:
“This boycott targeting Jews will end up also hurting local Arabs, hurt the cause of peaceful co-existence, politicize science and set back scientific advancements that could have benefited the US, the Middle East and the whole world.
“It may also inspire more Palestinian Arab terrorism giving the anti-Israel extremists and terrorists an ugly victory. The ZOA has often pointed out that boycotts of Jewish businesses harm Arab workers as well as Jewish workers. Similarly, this Biden/Blinken boycott aimed at Jews will do widespread harm beyond its Jewish target.”
US officials in Tel Aviv for Israel Cyber Week
In related news, Nathaniel Fick, the inaugural US ambassador at large for cyberspace and digital policy, will deliver remarks at Israel Cyber Week and meet with Israeli counterparts and US and Israeli private sector representatives on a June 26 to 29 trip to Tel Aviv, the US State Department stated.
Per the event’s website, Fick’s remarks are titled “Capture the Flag: Defending Taiwan’s Democracy from Foreign Interference.”
Liesyl Franz, US deputy assistant secretary for international cyberspace security, will join Fick at the annual, international event (now in its 13th year), per Foggy Bottom.
“In their bilateral engagements and in Ambassador Fick’s formal remarks at the Israel Cyber Week Plenary, they will discuss US efforts to implement an affirmative vision for a secure cyberspace by working with our allies and partners in the region to build a defensible, resilient and rights-respecting digital ecosystem,” the department stated.
“Ambassador Fick will also meet with Israeli government officials to discuss our two countries’ technology and cybersecurity collaboration as we seek to promote peace and prosperity in the region.”
The Israel National Cyber Directorate tweeted that the event, held at Tel Aviv University, drew “10 official delegations, participants from 80 countries, 30 of our representatives among the 400 speakers in about 50 events.” Per the event’s website, 10,000 attendees are expected.
Ann Dunkin, chief information officer of the US Department of Energy, is scheduled to deliver a keynote, and Cordell Schachter, chief information officer of the US Department of Transportation, is also a scheduled speaker.
The question is if these US officials will now do their best to avoid Israeli experts or firms that are situated in Judea and Samaria.
With reporting by JNS.
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