Editors at National Review Online criticize President Biden’s approach toward support for Israel.

Speaking at a Holocaust remembrance ceremony, President Biden addressed the slaughter of 6 million Jews by Nazis during World War II, which he then linked to the Hamas attacks of October 7. The same day, it was confirmed that his administration had paused delivery of lethal aid to Israel over its intention to invade Rafah — a necessary move to destroy Hamas and prevent future attacks.

While this would seem contradictory on the surface, one line from the speech makes it clear where Biden is coming from. “Never again,” Biden told the audience, “simply translated for me, means ‘never forget.’”

Not forgetting the Holocaust as a historical event is easy. Nazi Germany no longer exists, and there isn’t much political risk to simply saying that the atrocities it committed were horrific. But “never again” requires taking actions today that may be politically difficult in real time.

In the wake of October 7, Biden seemed to understand that preventing further atrocities required supporting the efforts of Israelis to destroy those responsible. About a week after the massacres, Biden said that Hamas needed to be entirely eliminated. He said that the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security was “ironclad” and that he had Israel’s back. 

But in the face of mounting political pressure from within his party to abandon his support for Israel, Biden buckled. For months, Biden has twisted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s arm privately and lashed out publicly in an effort to prevent Israel from taking out Hamas’s remaining stronghold in Rafah, which is also believed to be the location of the hostages still being held. This week, as Israel took targeted action at the Rafah crossing along the border between Gaza and Egypt — the exact sort of limited engagement that the Biden team previously said they were okay with — administration officials disclosed that the U.S. had taken the dramatic step of pausing shipments of bombs that are ready to go to Israel.