But despite his claims to the contrary Biden has never been a huge friend of Israel.
During the 2008 Presidential campaign season, Biden exclaimed that Israel would have to get used to a nuclear Iran. Within his first three months in office he warned Israel not to attack Iranian Nukes:
With his brief comment Tuesday, Biden became the highest-ranking administration official to caution the Jewish state against a military strike. In the interview, Biden was asked whether he was concerned that Netanyahu might strike Iranian nuclear facilities.When Biden was a young US Senator, he was very confrontational on Mid East Issues. At one hearing in 1982 he tried to intimidate Menachem Begin by pounding his fist and raising his voice threatening to cut off US Aid to Israel--you can't threaten Begin
"I don't believe Prime Minister Netanyahu would do that. I think he would be ill advised to do that," Biden said. "And so my level of concern is no different than it was a year ago."
But many U.S. officials believe Israel is serious. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, head of U.S. forces in the Middle East, told senators this month that the Israeli government may be "so threatened by the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon that it would take preemptive military action to derail or delay it."
During that committee hearing, at the height of the (first) Lebanon War, Sen. John [sic] Biden (Delaware) had attacked Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria and threatened that if Israel did not immediately cease this activity, the US would have to cut economic aid to Israel.When Biden was in the Senate and the upper-body sent out "non-binding letters supporting Israel, Biden support was missing:
When the senator raised his voice and banged twice on the table with his fist, Begin commented to him: "This desk is designed for writing, not for fists. Don't threaten us with slashing aid. Do you think that because the US lends us money it is entitled to impose on us what we must do? We are grateful for the assistance we have received, but we are not to be threatened. I am a proud Jew. Three thousand years of culture are behind me, and you will not frighten me with threats. Take note: we do not want a single soldier of yours to die for us."
- November 2001, Bond/Schumer Letter Urging President Not to Meet
with Arafat until the Violence Ends, 89 Signers: Sen. Biden did not sign
this letter urging President Bush not to meet with Arafat until
Palestinian violence ceased. The letter had 89 signers.
- March 2004, Schumer-Hatch-Clinton-Smith Letter Urging Kofi
Annan to Reverse Support for ICJ Hearings on the Security Fence, 79
Signers: Sen. Biden did not sign this letter urging Kofi Annan to
reverse support for the International Court of Justice Hearings on the
Security fence which ultimately had 79 signers.
- December 2005,Talent/Nelson Letter Urging Pres. Bush to Press Palestinian Leadership to Bar Terrorist Groups from Participating in Palestinian Legislative Elections, 73 co-signers: Sen. Biden did not sign this letter barring terror groups from participating in Palestinian elections which ultimately had 73 co-signers.
- June 2008, Landrieu/Collins Letter to President Bush Supporting Israel’s Quest for Peace, 77 Signers: Sen. Biden did not sign this pro-Israel letter which had 77 signers.