Pro-Biden vote is wasted vote


To the Editor:

In her letter of Feb. 2 defending the Biden administration’s support for the Israeli government, Linda Vadasz makes a number of inaccurate, misleading, and unfounded statements that must not go uncontested.

She begins with a perfunctory disapproval of the violence against innocent Gazan civilians, then immediately places the blame for that violence on Hamas for starting “this latest conflict” and using civilians as human shields; on the International Court of Justice for not explicitly ordering a ceasefire; on Palestinian rejection of a two-state solution; and, absurdly, on Arab leaders’ preference for martyrizing their brethren rather than accepting a two-state solution. The letter repeats the lurid but wholly unsubstantiated accusations about Hamas having beheaded babies. 

In essence, Ms. Vadasz blames the Palestinian victims of genocide for their fate. Finally, referring to an earlier letter to the editor by Linda Cohen, she criticizes Cohen’s position that voting for Biden is morally unacceptable because of his support for genocide. The principled refusal to vote for Biden, Vadasz argues, will help Trump win the election.

The “human shield” line is so preposterous and transparently cynical that it ought to be retired from the repertoire of Zionist apologetics. The statements of Israeli government officials (e.g., National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir) as well as their actions reveal that their intention is to carry out ethnic cleansing. Nothing excuses the mass killings and collective punishment of 2 million people.

The ICJ’s ruling went as far as it could within the limits of the court’s jurisdiction. The ruling does, however, instruct the Israeli state to “take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts” that fall under Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, including “(a) killing members of the group; (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”

The argument regarding Palestinian rejection of the so-called two-state solution relies on the premise that such proposals are reasonable from the Palestinian perspective, ignoring the fact that more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs were forcibly expelled from their native lands incident to the foundation of the Israeli state in 1948, have been denied the right of return, and have been oppressed under deplorable apartheid conditions ever since. The implication that the history of the conflict began on Oct. 7 is therefore at best ahistorical and naive.

But even if we grant all of its premises, Linda Vadasz’ argument still makes no moral sense. As the substantial majority of world opinion now holds, the Israeli war of annihilation on Gaza is genocide, is unacceptable, and has to stop. Within the U.S., current survey data show that most Democrats disapprove of the genocide. The criminality of the Israeli government’s mass murder of nearly 30,000 civilians is incontrovertible; there can be no justification. Likewise undeniable is the complicity of the Biden administration, which provides billions of dollars worth of lethal weaponry as well as logistical and intelligence support.

It is therefore unconscionable to second-guess anyone’s refusal to vote for the war criminal Biden, regardless of whom he is running against. The time has come to stop relativizing. Lesser-evilism is a dead end; the choice between two geriatric criminals is not a choice. If Trump wins, as he likely will, it will be ludicrous to blame disillusioned Democrats rather than the despicable pro-genocide policies of the Biden administration.


David Mintz
Oak Bluffs