As Barack Obama’s number two man, Joe Biden took part in many policies that were damaging to Israel but his duplicity concerning the Jewish state began in his first year in Senate when he visited Israel. Depending on which version of events he tells, Biden takes credit for transmitting disinformation to the Israeli government in an effort to help Egypt kill more Jewish soldiers, or, as he now tells it, Biden withheld vital information that could have helped Israel defend itself.
1973: Biden Visits Israel
In 1973, a freshman senator named Joe Biden was sent on his first overseas trip to visit Israel. At the time, the Israeli leaders were deeply concerned that Egypt was building up for a direct confrontation in retaliation for their devastating defeat 6 years before. Earlier in the year, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat declared that Egypt was prepared to “sacrifice a million Egyptian soldiers” to recover its lost territory and he had been receiving advanced military gear from the Societ Union.
A report by Israeli Channel 13’s Nadav Eyal revealed that at a meeting with then-Prime Minister Golda Meir just 40 days prior to Yom Kippur in 1973, Meir gave a detailed briefing to Biden, explaining that Israel was deeply concerned about the possibility that Egypt was preparing for war. Biden reassured Meir that Egypt had no intention of attacking Israel. He stated that during meetings in Cairo prior to his arrival in Israel, officials there assured him they had no intention of attacking Israel as the accepted “Israel’s military superiority.”
“I’ve published this evening a classified memo documenting the meeting, made by a senior Israeli official present in the room,” Eyal wrote in October. “ A fascinating meeting. Biden comes from Egypt, some 40 days before Saadat ordered a surprise attack which will become the Yom Kippur war. He tells the Israeli PM that all the officials he met in Cairo assured him that they accept “Israel’s military superiority”. Of course, they lied (not his fault, of course. Israel was misled by its own intelligence community).”
“Biden criticizes the Nixon administration for being ‘dragged by Israel’. He says, according to this government memo, that there is no debate in the Senate about the ME because the Senators are “afraid” to say things that Jewish voters will dislike. (He says that to Golda).”
“He criticizes the Israeli labor platform arguing that its leading to a creeping annexation of the occupied territories.
“Considering Israel’s military dominance, Biden suggests it will initiate a first step for peace by unilateral withdrawals. This will be done from areas with no strategic importance- not the Golan.”
“Golda rejects Biden comments on the Labor platform, rejects his offers of unilateral withdrawal and continues to argue that Israel can make no major mistakes considering the situation of the Jewish people after the Holocaust.”
Biden suggested that Israel’s interests would best be served by unilateral withdrawal from areas with “no strategic importance.”
40 Days Later: Egyptian Surprise Attack
Soon after his visit, Egypt and Syria led a combined force of over one million soldiers against Israel in a surprise attack launched on Judaism’s holiest day. The Yom Kippur War was fought for two weeks and five days in 1973 and with over 2,600 killed and over 9,000 wounded, it was Israel’s bloodiest war.
In addition to using his visit to Israel to spread Egyptian military disinformation, Biden also criticized the Israeli government for allowing Jews to settle in the areas conquered in the 1967 defensive Six-Day War, referring to Jewish occupancy as “creeping annexation.”
2015: Biden Tells Different Version
Biden referred to the 1973 meeting in a speech he made in 2015 at an event marking Israel’s Independence Day, but in the 2015 speech, the then-Vice President tells a very different version of the events.
“I was saying to she and Rabin that I thought that they were getting ready to attack again,” Biden said in the speech. “And everyone including my military and Israeli military thought I was crazy.”
In the speech, Biden stated that he had witnessed events that had he told Israel, could have helped them prepare for what was to be its bloodiest war.
“I remember driving from Cairo all the way to out to the Suez,” Biden said. “And you could see these great plumes of dust and sand. But none it seemed isolated. It turns out it was maneuvers taking place in the desert.”