Biden at Rosh Hashanah event says ‘no daylight’ between Israel and U.S. on Iran

WASHINGTON (JTA) – At a Rosh Hashanah reception at his residence, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said "there is no daylight" between the United States and Israel when it comes to Iran.

Biden, in a  short address before the reception Wednesday on the grounds of the Naval Observatory in northwest Washington, reaffirmed the Obama administration’s commitment to Israel’s security.

According to tweets posted by Nathan Diament, the Washington director of the Orthodox Union, Biden said that "Both our nations are intently focused on the threat of Iran" and "there is no daylight" between the United States and Israel.

Diament also quoted Biden as saying that "We will use all the elements of our national security, including military" to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

The remarks come in the wake of a rare public split between the Obama administration and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Iran, with Netanyahu accusing the administration of not making clear what would trigger a U.S. strike on Iran.

Guests said Biden also spoke about the murder the day before of four U.S. personnel, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Among the approximately 75 guests at the event were top Jewish communal officials, including Richard Stone, the chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director; Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, the executive vice president of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly; and Stephen Savitsky, chairman of the Orthodox Union.

Also attending were Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to Washington; U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee; and Jack Lew, the White House chief of staff, as well as a number of Jewish lawmakers. 

Obama is scheduled to have a conference call with congregational rabbis on Friday to deliever a Rosh Hashanah message.

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