Biden, AIPAC clear the air

Joe Biden spoke with the AIPAC leadership to clear up any misunderstandings.

The Democratic vice-presidential candidate had a friendly 20-minute conference call Thursday afternoon with the board of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC spokesman Josh Block said.

Biden, a longtime U.S. senator from Delaware, had lashed out at AIPAC earlier this month in a conference call with Jewish media, sparked by Republican Jewish Coalition ads attacking Biden for not always voting the AIPAC line.

AIPAC has praised Biden during the election campaign, and in the earlier call Biden made it clear that his differences with the group are tactical and not on substance, and that he remains a strong Israel supporter. Thursday’s call was expansive and replete with declarations of mutual admiration.

“We had a very warm conversation with Senator Biden today, as we have many times throughout the years, about the importance of the U.S-Israel relationship, and we look forward to continuing to work with him in the future,” Block said. “We had an opportunity to express our appreciation for his strong leadership in support of the U.S.-Israel relationship, and we were pleased to hear Senator Biden reaffirm his desire to maintain his close relationship with AIPAC as we work together to strengthen the special friendship between the two democracies over many years to come.”

An adviser to the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) agreed that the conversation was a success.

“Sen. Biden expressed his appreciation for AIPAC’s important work supporting Israel’s security and the U.S.-Israel relationship, and that he looks forward to continuing to work with them as partners on these issues in the future as he has in the past,” said the adviser.

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