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Did Biden Call for a Cut-Off in Aid to Israel?

A friend in Washington e-mails a quote about a confrontation between then-Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Joseph Biden, that would have occurred in the summer of 1982. The quote comes from a piece by Moshe Zak, one-time editor of the Hebrew paper Ma’ariv, that appeared in the Jerusalem Post on March 13, 1992 (sorry, no link):

 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.

Interesting.


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