Biden and the Jewish media


Back when Joe Biden was a struggling presidential candidate, he had plenty of time for the Jewish media (don’t forget about us now!).

Biden does Shalom TV:

Jennifer Siegel, then with the Forward, quizzed the Delaware senator back in March of 2007. A few choice quotes:

On reports that the Bush administration had pressured Israel to avoid talks with Syria:

“It’s ridiculous. … First of all, we shouldn’t be directing Israel’s policy, if that’s true. Second, it is mistake not to let Israel, if it wishes to, if its sees an opportunity, because they know the area better than we do, to go out and explore possibilities with the Syrians.”

Responding to suggestions that the United States needs to serve more as an honest broker in Israeli-Arab talks:

“In my 34-year career, I have never wavered from the notion that the only time progress has ever been made in the Middle East is when the Arab nations have known that there is no daylight between us and Israel. So the idea of being the ‘honest broker’ is not I think, like some of my democratic colleagues call for, is not the answer. It is being the smart broker, it is being the smart partner.”

In what ways does the U.S.-Israel partnership need to change?

“It’s a little bit like my saying to you, as a woman, taking you down in the middle of the night through the Bowery and saying, ‘Look, I’m supporting you completely, and you get out of the car and you walk the next 20 blocks through the Bowery. I’m with you no matter what happens, if you take out a gun and shoot a passerby, I’m with you. If you get attacked, I’ll help you.’ Am I helping you, for God’s sake? I’ve got to get out of the car and walk with you, with you, and not tell you where to walk. Sit with you and say, ‘Now tell me … which way you going to walk here, let’s talk this through.’ And say ‘I agree with you’ or say, ‘If you’re going to walk the other direction, I think it’s a real mistake,’ and have a real argument with you about it, privately…. That’s the relationship.

“I’ve had my shouting matches over 25 years, privately, in my office and in the offices of prime ministers. I’ve had disagreements. Israel’s a democracy and they make mistakes. But the notion that somehow if Israel just did the right thing this would work, I mean that’s the premise, give me a break.”

UPDATE: Also, check out the transcript and video of Biden’s remarks to members of the National Jewish Democratic Council in April 2007.

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