While Vice President Joe Biden has never made any secret about the fact he is Jewish, April’s issue of The Atlantic reveals a lot about his relationship with Israel, as well as the Jews of America.
In his piece, Jeffrey Goldberg talks about an incident which happened last year, when Biden met with Jewish leaders as well as Jewish officials in the Obama administration, around Rosh Hashana time, the Jewish New Year, where he spoke about meeting Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.
Goldberg reported that Joe Biden said, “I’ll never forget talking to her in her office with her assistant—a guy named Rabin—about the Six-Day War. The end of the meeting, we get up and walk out, the doors are open, and … the press is taking photos … She looked straight ahead and said, ‘Senator, don’t look so sad … Don’t worry. We Jews have a secret weapon.’”
Obviously Biden couldn’t be left hanging like that so he asked Meir what that secret weapon was,” “I thought she was going to tell me something about a nuclear program. She looked straight ahead and she said, ‘We have no place else to go.’” He paused, and repeated: “‘We have no place else to go.’”
As Biden continued, talking about the present day situation for Jews around the world,
“There is no place else to go, and you understand that in your bones. You understand in your bones that no matter how hospitable, no matter how consequential, no matter how engaged, no matter how deeply involved you are in the United States … there’s only one guarantee. There is really only one absolute guarantee, and that’s the state of Israel.”
Goldberg pointed out that Biden’s comments that night have caused a lot of controversy, not least because they raise questions about dual loyalties, but also as they seem alarmist to some. As Goldberg wrote, “The vice president, it seemed to me, was trafficking in antiquated notions about Jewish anxiety.”
So why has Joe Biden’s speech last Rosh Hashana gone widely unnoticed and undiscussed? Could it be because there are many other Jews in America who agree with his sentiments that only ultimate haven for Jewish people is Israel?
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