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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Biden Threatened to Cut off Aid to Israel

This may give some insight into Joe Biden's approach to Israel. Back in March 1992 Moshe Zak recounted that the Senator made the mistake of Confronting Prime Minister Menachem Begin (June 22 1982) during his Senate foreign relations committee testimony. After Biden threatened to cut off aid to Israel. Begin just let him have it. Read this report of their confrontation, that was published by Soccer Dad almost two years ago (way to think ahead Dave) and another recount of the issue from Time Magazine 7/5/1982:

When Jewish Leaders Could Stand Up To The US

But Biden is a politician, and while he may make a show of his support of Israel now, Daniel Freedman recalls an encounter between Joe Biden and Prime Minister Menachem Begin, when Biden was somewhat less vocal in his support of Israel.

When hearing the name Biden, we always think of the famous exchange between Biden and Prime Minister Begin. As Moshe Zak recounted in a March 13, 1992, piece in the Jerusalem Post:

In a conversation with Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, after a sharp confrontation in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the subject of the settlements, Begin defined himself as "a proud Jew who does not tremble with fear" when speaking with foreign statesmen.

During that committee hearing, at the height of the 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 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."

After the meeting, Sen. Moynihan approached Begin and praised him for his cutting reply. To which Begin answered with thanks, defining his stand against threats.

Time Magazine had a similar recap of the incident, this is from the July 5, 1982 Issue

Senator Joseph Biden, a Delaware Democrat, jabbing his finger at Begin, warned that U.S. support for Israel was eroding. Begin shouted back: "Don't threaten us with cutting off aid to give up our principles!


Anonymous said...

Obama has surrounded himself with folks who hate Israel. Including the likes of Daniel Kurtzer. He's as bad as J.Carter. On Biden, there is an informative link with his voting record, and also an interview in which Biden reiterates the myth that Muslims don't like us because they don't "trust us." Wrong, they don't like us because we're the infidel. It's the house of Islam vs. the House of War. Link:

YMedad said...

Begin's wrap up summary is here