Biden Wraps Up Visit in Israel


bidenVice President Biden on Thursday ended a visit to Israel that is likely to be remembered more for his dust-up with Israeli leaders over construction in East Jerusalem than for the admiration for the country┬áthat he voiced repeatedly throughout his four-day goodwill tour.Biden, in a speech at Tel Aviv University before leaving for Amman, Jordan, said he had no choice but to strongly condemn Israel’s approval of 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem because it “undermined the trust required for productive negotiations” — and because President Obama told him to do so.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement about an hour earlier in which he again apologized for the announcement’s “unfortunate timing,” though not for the construction, which will go ahead as planned.

Biden said he appreciated Netanyahu’s statement and emphasized his comment that construction would probably take several years.

“It gives negotiations the time to resolve this,” Biden said.

Or it would — if talks ever get started. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told Biden by telephone that the United States needs to help persuade Israel to cancel the building plan, saying “it will be very difficult to engage in any negotiations if you don’t revoke this order,” Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said.

{Wash Post/Noam Newscenter}


  1. Tell Biden and Erekat and Obama and Tony Blair and Banki Moon and Uncle Tom Cobley that Jerusalem belongs To Israel and East Jerusalem belongs to Israel and Israel wil build in Jerusalem for ever and ever omaine.