Speaking at the annual AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC, US Vice President Joe Biden held firmly to the administration’s naive agenda concerning the Middle East and further expressed his displeasure with Jews living in Judea and Samaria.
Vice President Joseph Biden again harshly criticized the Palestinian leadership for their lack of condemnation of Palestinian terrorism at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference on Sunday night, while expressing a bleak assessment of the prospects of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in the near future.
“We’re all united by our unyielding commitment to the survival and success of the Jewish state of Israel,” Biden stated as a he addressed a record crowd of some 19,000 attendants.
“Israel is a nation of uncommon courage – but it shouldn’t have to be this way,” Biden stated, “That’s why while I was there I condemned the attacks. Not just the ones that happened while I was there, but all of them. And I condemned the failure to condemn that atrocious violence. No leader has the right to tolerate terrorism. That’s exactly what I said to [Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud] Abbas when I met him in Ramallah. There is no excuse for killing innocents or remaining silent in the face of terrorism,” he declared, a statement that elicited a standing ovation from the crowd.
“Terror is terror is terror, and it must be condemned as such – plain and simple, until every leader in the world understands that,” stressed Biden. “Until we all understand that we will not succeed.”
Biden had a close encounter with a Palestinian stabbing attack during his visit to Israel earlier this month. US citizen Taylor Force was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist, and several Israelis were wounded in attack which occurred just blocks away from where he and his family were dining with former President Shimon Peres.
“Let me say in no uncertain terms: The United States of America condemns these acts and condemns the failure to condemn these acts. This cannot become an accepted modus operandi,” Biden stated the next day in a joint press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The kind of violence we saw yesterday, the failure to condemn it, the rhetoric that incites that violence, the retribution that it generates, has to stop.”
Speaking to AIPAC, he expressed disappointment with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on what he termed as Israel’s “steady and systematic” building in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, a point of dispute with the Obama administration.
While progress in the Palestinian venue did not seem plausible, Biden did see the developing alignment between Israel and Arab Sunni countries as a source of hope for peace.
There is widespread agreement for the first time in years “that Iran’s destabilizing activities are a concern for the entire region,” he said. That understanding has built trust between Israel and the Arab world, he said, in an extraordinarily short period– of less than five years. However, he also defended the controversial nuclear deal signed with Iran in July. “Iran is much further away from obtaining a nuclear weapon than they were a year ago,” he asserted.
“If Iran violates the deal, the United States will act. Our commitment is unambiguous. It will be impossible for the next president not to honor it,” he stressed.
The rise of Islamic State (ISIS) has also presented Israel and Arab countries with an opportunity to share intelligence against a shared enemy. Biden suggested that cooperation could soon span to other spheres.
“Israel is stronger and more secure today because of the Obama-Biden administration. Period. Not in spite of it, but because of it,” he concluded.