U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told The Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly that the United States will continue to defend Israel in the global community, and lauded a new effort of the Jewish Federations, the Israel Action Network, which is aimed at countering efforts to deny Israel’s legitimacy.
“The Jewish Federations’ recent initiative to counter de-legitimization attempts through the Israel Action Network is so important and so appreciated by the President and me,” Biden said.
“We think it is critical to keep the international spotlight on the genuine threats in the region like Iran’s nuclear program – not Israel, The United States will continue to do whatever we can to defend Israel’s legitimacy whenever and wherever it is questioned.”
“It should be clear to all that efforts to chip away at Israel’s legitimacy will be met by the opposition of the United States of America.”
He reiterated what he said was the Obama administration’s deep commitment to Israel’s security and to preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
“When it comes to Israel’s security there can be no daylight –no daylight– between Israel and the US,"We (Obama Admin.) are unequvocally committed to Israel's security, period..period.." he said.
"Let me be perfectly clear, we are absolutely committed to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons"
Biden went on to urge support for ongoing peace talks as a key to defending Israel’s security. “We all know that the only true way for Israel to gain the long-term security it seeks and deserves is for genuine, secure peace with its neighbors. There is no substitute – as Bibi and I spoke this morning – there is no substitute for direct face-to-face negotiations leading eventually to states for two people secured – the Jewish State of Israel and the viable independent state of Palestine. Ladies and gentleman, that is the only path to the Israeli people’s decades’ long quest for security and the only path to the Palestinian people’s legitimate aspirations for nationhood.”
Biden concluded his speech reassuring: Ladies and Gentlemen: As long there is a breath in me , this government will stand with Israel."
Biden’s address got off to a precarious start. Just before he began talking a man in the audience yelled out calling on the vice president to help build a Jewish temple in Jerusalem, which would be built instead of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The crowd of hundreds of Jewish delegates let out a collective sigh of disappointment and Biden ignored the remark proceeding unhindered with his speech.
Biden, who was first elected in 1972 to the Senate, told his audience the story about his encounter with then Israeli prime minister Golda Meir on his first visit to Israel. He recalled how the U.S.-born Israeli politician told him her famous that the Jews’ secret weapon was that they have nowhere to go, right before a joint press conference.
“I thought she said it only to me but turns out she said it to thousands of people,All these years later I still feel that our support for Israel must continue forever.”