|US Vice President Joe Biden: “If you |
were attacked and overwhelmed,
we would fight for you.”
30 April '15..
How can any Israeli just not be charmed by good ole’ Joe Biden? Time and again, especially when courting Jewish voters or when appearing on behalf of his boss Barack Obama before Jewish audiences, America’s Vice President has ebulliently let us know that some of his best friends are Zionists.
He has even famously stated: “I am a Zionist.” He instantly then added straight-faced: “You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist.” We might never have grasped this elusive truth, had he not enlightened us.
During the 2008 Vice-Presidential debate, Biden announced that “no one in the United States Senate has been a better friend to Israel than Joe Biden. I would have never, ever joined this ticket were I not absolutely sure Barack Obama shared my passion.”
Of course, it’s up to the listener to decide whether Obama is as friendly to Israel as Biden says or whether Biden has grown as unfriendly as Obama. One thing is indisputable – Biden has placed himself and Obama in the identical category.
Whatever we may think of it, Biden clearly considers what he hypes as his “Israel’s staunchest ally” status to be a license to tell us off when he deems us deserving of rebuke. After all, bosom buds accrue special privileges. This dates way back to long before his March boycott of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to the joint houses of Congress.
Back 1982, Senator Biden (D-Delaware) threatened to cut off aid to Israel. In subsequent years he hotly denied this but Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s late right-hand man Yechiel Kadisha’i unequivocally confirmed Biden’s bullying in many conversations we held.
Biden lost it on June 22, when Begin spoke at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Kadisha’i described Biden as behaving “like a meshuggner.” Biden railed against settlements and banged excitedly on his desk to accentuate his verbal admonishments.
More recently, in 2010, Biden warned us (at Tel Aviv University) that “the status quo is not sustainable.” Obviously doubting our abilities to comprehend so weighty a message, he slowly and deliberately reiterated the portentous mantra with extra emphasis on the really important syllables, so that even dim-witted vassals can get the point and get scared.
Our left-leaning media did all it could to amplify the implicit intimidations. Opinion-molders prone to running with the pack and going with the flow were duly aghast with angst.
Considering that, on average, historical memory in our midst isn’t retained beyond two-weeks’ worth, most of us tend to forget how big a deal it was five years ago. Esteemed tendentious commentators claimed to be shaken to their sensitive cores by the wagging finger and bitchy barbs of the harsh critic who, with that trademark mischievous twinkle ever-present in his eyes, kept declaring his undying love for Israel.
But upon cooler reflection, they might have realized that in effect Biden warned that if we don’t rush to slash our own throats our enemies might shortly decapitate us.