President Joe Biden tried to illustrate his support for Israel by touting an alleged wartime meeting with former Israeli PM Golda Meir at a time when he was studying law and the former PM was not still been elected.
Biden said he met Meir during the Six Day War of 1967, during which he claimed to have served as a “liaison” between Israel and Egypt. He made the remarks during a menorah lighting at the White House on Wednesday, apparently referring to a meeting he had with Meir just before a 1973 conflict, Fox News reported.
The Six Day War, in which Israel annihilated a surprise Arab coalition attack on Jordan, Syria and Egypt and reshaped the Middle East, erupted a year before the future president won the graduated from Syracuse University College of Law, according to the report. Meir was elected prime minister two years later.
“I’ve known every – every prime minister since Golda Meir, including Golda Meir,” the Democrat said. “And during the Six Day War I had the opportunity to – she invited me over because I was going to be the liaison between her and the Egyptians on the Suez.
“And I sat down in front of his desk,” he continued. “And she had a guy – her staff member – to my right. His name was Rabin. And she kept flipping these cards up and down. She had this multitude of cards – sort of kept them – and it was – it was so depressing what she was – about what had happened. She gave me all the details.
A small announcement israeli memo who was reportedly unearthed last year summed up the 1973 reunion between Meir and Biden, then 30, a newly elected US senator.
Biden then told Meir that the capture of the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the 1967 war amounted to a “creeping annexation,” The Times of Israel reported last year.
He suggested that Israel was in a unique position to promote peace, as Egyptian officials assured him that they accepted “Israel’s military superiority,” according to meeting notes reported by the newspaper.
Biden then reportedly told Meir that the Nixon administration was “dragged down by Israel,” and the Israeli leader subsequently rejected his call for unilateral withdrawals.
Less than six weeks later, Egypt and Syria attacked Israel, triggering the Yom Kippur War, which confirmed Meir’s fears of vulnerability in the region.
Biden went on to call the experience “one of the most important meetings I have ever had in my life.” A note taker wrote that the young senator was full of respect, but also “displayed fervor and made comments that signaled his lack of diplomatic experience,” according to the Israeli publication.