GREGORY ASKS: OBAMA DISTANCING HIMSELF FROM ISRAEL?
Yesterday's interview with Joe Biden has led me to believe that David Gregory may just emerge as a worthy successor to Tim Russert. Here is his exchange on Israel. Do remember Joe Biden went to Israel and personally vouched for Barack Obama's commitment to the Jewish state. Obama personally followed him and 72% of the Jews believed them and voted for Obama. Since then Obama visited the Middle East twice carefully avoiding Israel. Gregory's questions also explains the reasons Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations,admits that Jews are concened:
MR. GREGORY: ...in our remaining moments. Israel. Is the president trying to distance himself from Israel in order to assuage the Arabs?
VICE PRES. BIDEN: Absolutely not. Look, here...
MR. GREGORY: If that's the case, then, why is this administration only making unconditional demands over settlements on Israel and on no other parties?
VICE PRES. BIDEN: Well, they are make--we are making demands. We're making demands both today...
MR. GREGORY: Unconditional demands.
VICE PRES. BIDEN: Look, look. The president of the United States, in his speech to the Islamic world and the Islamic communities, stood there and said--and it's a paraphrase, I don't know the exact quote--we are unconditionally tied to Israel. Israel's security is our security was in essence of what he said. So he made it clear we're not distancing ourself from Israel. What we say is that, look, what happened was all the parties signed onto a thing called the road map. It was the thing that everybody said that would bring, result in a two-state solution. The Israeli government signed onto that, the Palestinian Authority signed onto that, the Arab states blessed that. That's what we want to see happen. So we are moving all the parties as best we can toward keeping their part of the bargain.
MR. GREGORY: Yeah. But wait a minute, you were making an unconditional demand only on Israel and no other parties...
VICE PRES. BIDEN: No. No, we're not.
MR. GREGORY: ...over settlements. That's not the case?
VICE PRES. BIDEN: No, we're not. No, that's not the case. We are making...
MR. GREGORY: What unconditional demand has this president made on the Arabs?
VICE PRES. BIDEN: The unconditional demands we're making on the Palestinians that they have to provide security for Israel. They have to stop this, this, this, this baiting of their populations. They have to stop incitement. We've made it clear to the, to the Arab states, they have to do something more than just talk about normalizing relation with Israel.
MR. GREGORY: Is there moral equivalency in the fight between Israelis and Palestinians, in your view?
VICE PRES. BIDEN: No. No, there's not moral equivalency in...
MR. GREGORY: Did the president suggest there was in his speech?
VICE PRES. BIDEN: I don't believe the president did suggest that. What the, the president suggested is for the well-being of innocent Palestinians and Israelis, that what you need to do is you need a two-state solution along the lines that all the parties had heretofore agreed to, and we're going to use all of our diplomatic capability to move the parties toward actually implementing what they committed to.
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