First, he headed to Yad Vashem memorial, where he put on a yarmulke and declared Israel "a central bolt in our existence."
Meeting Shimon Peres the next day, Joe confessed that when he first visited at age 29, "Israel captured my heart."
As Peres spoke, Biden took notes. When Peres called him "a friend," Joe gushed, "It’s good to be home."
Walking around the corner to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office, Joe called him by his nickname, "Bibi," declared him a "real" friend and said the U.S. relationship with Israel "has been and will continue to be the centerpiece of our policy."
Interior Minister Eli Yishai announced construction of 1,600 new apartment units in Arab East Jerusalem. Stunned and humiliated, Biden issued a statement saying he "condemned" the decision.
Netanyahu has apologized for the timing, but they are going ahead with the apartments. What are the Americans going to do about it? At this point, nothing but bluster.
On his departure for Jordan, Ha’aretz reported that Israel plans to build 50,000 new homes in East Jerusalem over the next few years.
Consider also the most remarkable statement of Biden’s first 24 hours.
Biden is saying we are a more effective force for Mideast peace in a region where Arabs outnumber Israelis 50 to one if everyone knows we sing from the same song sheet as Israel and have no policy independent of Israel’s.
Ehud Olmert did not consult President-elect Obama on whether to launch a war on Gaza and kill 1,400 Palestinians. Nor did Netanyahu consult us before Mossad took down the Hamas minister in Dubai.
If they are, we will end up with all of Israel’s enemies, who are legion, and only Israel’s friends, who are few.
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