NEW ORLEANS, La. (JTA) — Vice President Joe Biden called the U.S.-Israel bond "unbreakable" in a speech at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.
Speaking before an audience of approximately 4,000 at the opening plenary of the annual federations conference in New Orleans, Biden said tensions that may seem to exist between the Obama administration and Israel do not imply a weakening of ties between the two countries.
“This administration represents an unbroken chain in American leaders who have understood this critical relationship,” Biden said. “It is one that we will not yield one single inch. President Obama feels exactly the same way I do. The ties between our countries are literally unbreakable.”
The vice president said his love of Israel dated back to 1973, when he made his first trip to Israel as a junior U.S. senator from Delaware and had an hourlong meeting with then-Prime Minister Golda Meir.
Biden recounted Meir telling him that “We Israelis have a secret weapon … We have nowhere else to go,” Biden recounted. “All these years later I feel both alarm and solace at those words. I feel that our support for Israel must continue always and forever.”
While the Obama and Netanyahu administrations had differences in recent months, especially over Israel’s construction in the West Bank, Biden assured the crowd that “The disagreements when they have existed have only been tactical in nature. They have never been fundamental.”