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Joe Biden: Wrong on Iran, Inconsistent on Israel

Written by RJC

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biden.jpgA risky choice just got riskier
RJC
Washington, D.C. (August 27, 2008) -- With the selection of Sen. Joe Biden as Sen. Obama's vice president, the Democrat's ticket has now become an even greater gamble for the Jewish community. Throughout his career, Sen. Biden has consistently been wrong on Iran and his voting record on Israel has been inconsistent. Like Obama, Biden fundamentally misunderstands the threat posed by an Iran determined to obtain nuclear weapons.

Biden has continuously demonstrated poor judgment on Iran. He has voted against significant legislation that would pressure Iran to stop pursuing nuclear weapons. Biden has failed to recognize the serious threat that Iran poses to Israel and the U.S. and its allies in the Middle East.

Biden Votes Wrong on Iran:

November 2007, Kyl-Lieberman Resolution, 76-22: Like Obama, Biden was one of the few senators to oppose the bipartisan 2007 Kyl-Lieberman Amendment labeling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization.  Democratic senators supporting the bipartisan resolution: Sen. Clinton (D-NY), Sen. Reid (D-NV), Sen. Durbin (D-IL), and Sen. Levin (D-MI).
June 2004, Letter Urging the President to Highlight Iran's Nuclear Program at the G-8 Summit, 66 Signers:  Biden did not sign this important letter which had 66 co-signers.
May 1998, Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions Act, 90-4: In 1998, Biden was one of only four senators to vote against the Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions Act, a bill that punished foreign companies or other entities that sent Iran sensitive missile technology or expertise. 

Biden's Inconsistent Record on Israel:

June 2008, Landrieu/Collins Letter to President Bush Supporting Israel's Quest for Peace; 77 Signers: Biden did not sign this pro-Israel letter that had 77 signers. 
December 2005, Talent/Nelson Letter Urging President Bush to Press Palestinian Leadership to Bar Terrorist Groups from Participating in Palestinian Legislative Elections; 73 Co-signers: Biden did not sign this letter barring terror groups from participating in Palestinian elections.  The letter had 73 co-signers.
 
March 2004, Schumer-Hatch-Clinton-Smith Letter Urging Kofi Annan to Reverse Support for ICJ Hearings on the Security Fence; 79 Signers: Biden did not sign this letter urging Kofi Annan to reverse support for the International Court of Justice Hearings on the Security Fence.  The letter had 79 signers.
 
November 2001, Bond/Schumer Letter Urging President Not to Meet with Arafat until the Violence Ends, 89 Signers: Biden did not sign this letter urging President Bush not to meet with Arafat until Palestinian violence ceased.  The letter had 89 signers.
 
March 1998, Mack/Lieberman Letter Urging the Clinton Administration Not to Pressure Israel; 82 Signers: Biden did not sign this pro-Israel letter that had 77 signers.
 
May 1993, Kennedy/Grassley Letter Urging President to Press Syria let Syrian Jews Leave; 73 Signers: In 1993, Sen. Biden refused to sign this letter calling on Syria to allow Syrian Jews to leave Syria. Ultimately, 73 signers approved.

Joe Biden Threatens to Cut Off US Aid to Israel in 1982
(Commentary Magazine, Aug. 26, 2008 citing the Jerusalem Post, March 13, 1992)

"In a conversation with Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, after a sharp confrontation in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the subject of the settlements, Begin defined himself as 'a proud Jew who does not tremble with fear' when speaking with foreign statesmen.   During that committee hearing, at the height of the Lebanon War, Sen. John Biden (Delaware) had attacked Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria and threatened that if Israel did not immediately cease this activity, the US would have to cut economic aid to Israel. 

When the senator raised his voice and banged twice on the table with his fist, Begin commented to him: 'This desk is designed for writing, not for fists.  Don't threaten us with slashing aid.  Do you think that because the US lends us money it is entitled to impose on us what we  must do?  We are grateful for the assistance we have received, but we are not to be threatened.  I am a proud Jew.  Three thousand years of culture are behind me, and you will not frighten me with threats. Take note: we do not want a single soldier of yours to die for us.' After the meeting, Sen. Moynihan approached Begin and praised him for his cutting reply.  To which Begin answered with thanks, defining his stand against threats.

Joe Biden on John McCain and Barack Obama
(From National Review Online, Jim Geraghty, August 20, 2008)

Biden, on a post-debate appearance on MSNBC, October 30, 2007: "The only guy on the other side who's qualified is John McCain."

Biden appearing on The Daily Show, August 2, 2005: "John McCain is a personal friend, a great friend, and I would be honored to run with or against John McCain, because I think the country would be better off, be well off no matter who..."

Assessing Obama's Iraq plan on September 13, 2007: "My impression is [Obama] thinks that if we leave, somehow the Iraqis are going to have an epiphany" of peaceful coexistence among warring sects. "I've seen zero evidence of that."

Also from that Observer interview: "But - and the 'but' was clearly inevitable - he doubts whether American voters are going to elect 'a one-term, a guy who has served for four years in the Senate,' and added: 'I don't recall hearing a word from Barack about a plan or a tactic.'"

Around that time, Biden in an interview with the Huffington Post, he assessed Obama and Hillary Clinton: "The more people learn about them (Obama and Hillary) and how they handle the pressure, the more their support will evaporate."
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