Sunday, March 10, 2024

Begin and Biden - Round Two

The Begin-Biden conversation has been covered here and here.

This now has appeared in The Guardian, composed by non-sympathetic-to-Israel correspondent Chris McGreal:

"Anyone attempting to understand why Joe Biden is so unswerving in support of Israel’s right to attack Gaza might look back four decades to a meeting between the then US senator and the Jewish state’s rightwing prime minister at the time, Menachem Begin.

It was 1982, and Begin began an official visit to Washington days after Israel invaded Lebanon after cross-border attacks by the Palestine Liberation Organisation. The Tel Aviv newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported that when Begin addressed the Senate foreign relations committee no one was more enthusiastic than Biden in support of the Israeli attack.

“If attacks were launched from Canada into the US everyone here would have said, ‘Attack all the cities of Canada, and we don’t care if all the civilians get killed,’” Biden told the meeting, according to a quote uncovered by Jacobin magazine.

Begin later expressed surprise at the vehemence of Biden’s support, particularly the senator’s attempts to justify the killing of women and children.

“I disassociated myself from these remarks,” Begin told Israeli reporters. “I said to him: ‘No, sir, attention must be paid. According to our values, it is forbidden to hurt women and children, even in war’.”"

What is left out of that version is that Biden expressed firm opposition to Israel's resettlement activities in Judea and Samaria.

Here is part of the Hebrew section from the Yedioth article: