Biden Camp Calls Israeli Army Radio Report a ‘Lie’

By Natalie Gewargis

Sep 1, 2008 2:59pm

The respected Israeli newspaper Ha’artez today repeated an Israeli Army Radio report that Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, told "senior Israeli officials behind closed doors that the Jewish state will have to reconcile itself to a nuclear Iran."

"Israel will have to reconcile itself with the nuclearization of Iran," Army Radio said that Biden told the unnamed officials. "It’s doubtful if the economic sanctions will be effective, and I am against opening an additional military and diplomatic front."

Biden spox David Wade said the unsourced report is simply false.

"This is a lie peddled by  partisan opponents of Senators Obama and Biden," said Wade, "and we will not tolerate anyone questioning Senator Biden’s 35-year record of standing up for the security of Israel.  Joe Biden’s first trip as a Senator was to Israel, he has worked with every Israeli leader from Golda Meir to Prime Minister Olmert, and he takes a back seat to no one when it comes to protecting the relationship between Israel and the US."

Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is a long-standing supporter of Israel and considered a key pro-Israel voice in the Senate by pro-Israel organizations.

"Senator Biden has consistently stated – publicly and privately –  that a nuclear Iran would pose a grave threat to Israel and the United States and that we must prevent a nuclear Iran," Wade said.

Israeli Army Radio also said that Biden told Israeli officials that he opposed "opening a additional military and diplomatic front." Army Radio said Israeli officials expressed "amazement" over the remarks.

The Obama-Biden campaign pointed out that just a few weeks ago, at a July 9 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Biden said that "Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapon would dramatically destabilize an already unstable region and probably fuel a nuclear arms race in the region. It is profoundly in our interest to prevent that from happening.”

On the American cable TV channel Shalom TV last year, Biden said, "I am a Zionist. You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist." He addded that "Israel is the single greatest strength that America has in the Middle East."

- jpt

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