Israel Kills Peace with Palestine as VP Joe Visits "Homeland"
On March 9 Joe Biden visited with Israeli President Peres and Prime Minister Netanyahu to reiterate the Obama Administration’s stance on Middle East foreign policy, specifically with regard to Iran’s nuclear ambitions and Palestinian peace talks. Shortly after Biden’s public comments regarding the progress of peace in the region, Israeli officials announced their plans to build 1600 homes in East Jerusalem, the disputed land at the heart of Middle East controversy, causing a stir amongst international leaders.
Biden began by assuring Netanyahu that the United States is “determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons… and we’re working with many countries around the world to convince Tehran to meet its international obligations and cease and desist. Iran must also curb its other destabilizing actions in the region well beyond their desire to acquire nuclear weapons… that is, their continued support for terrorist groups that threaten Israel and, I might add, our interests as well.”
Biden solidified that “The relationship between Israel and the United States has been, and will continue to be, a centerpiece of American policy [no mention of foreign policy?]… it’s been that way since Israel’s founding… and was a major focus of my work for all those years as [sic] chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.” He goes on to state that the “two countries are bound by… so many shared interests, that it would take too long to enumerate…” and that the “cornerstone of the relationship is our absolute, total, unvarnished commitment to Israel’s security… there is no space between the United States and Israel… and for that reason… addressing Iran’s nuclear program has been one of our administration’s priorities.”
During conversation with President Peres, the two lambasted Iran’s President Ahmadinejad labeling him a “Military Dictator” who “calls openly to destroy the state of Israel... and for acts of terror” and added that the “Persians are ashamed of him.” Before leaving for a private meeting with Peres, Biden’s last public comment was “it’s good to be home” leaving one to wonder when the United States packed up and moved to the Middle East.
Hours later Israel’s Interior Ministry announced that they are moving forward with plans to construct 1600 homes in East Jerusalem; disputed land. When Biden heard the news he condemned the move as “precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now.” Was Israel using the Biden visit as a soapbox for this announcement, and is the Israel-U.S. bond so strong that our policy will back anything Israel does?