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Biden solidifies defense of Israel: 'What's the big deal here?'

Ben Smith

2headline_1268316376.jpg

June 2, 2010

Vice President Joe Biden offered the White House's strongest defense yet of Israeli's actions off the coast of Gaza this week in an interview with Charlie Rose airing tonight on PBS. 

"I think Israel has an absolute right to deal with its security interest. I put all this back on two things: one, Hamas, and, two, Israel's need to be more generous relative to the Palestinian people who are in trouble in Gaza," Biden said, according to a transcript of the interview, in which he went on to discuss Hamas's control of Gaza:

"[The Israelis have] said, 'Here you go. You're in the Mediterranean. This ship -- if you divert slightly north you can unload it and we'll get the stuff into Gaza.' So what's the big deal here? What's the big deal of insisting it go straight to Gaza? Well, it's legitimate for Israel to say, 'I don't know what's on that ship. These guys are dropping eight -- 3,000 rockets on my people,'" Biden said.

Biden continued:

Now, the one thing we have to do is not forget the plight of these Palestinians there, not Hamas, the -- they're in bad shape. So we have put as much pressure and as much cajoling on Israel as we can to allow them to get building materials in, glass --

ROSE: That's what they're trying to bring in, building materials.

BIDEN: Yes, we know that, but they could have easily brought it in here and we'd get it through. 

Biden concluded by calling for an investigation "run by the Israelis."

Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, have begun to defend Israel more vocally, and the number two Democrat in the House, Steny Hoyer, said today that Israel had "rightfully" defended itself, and offered some details on the White House's posture.

"The Administration and Congress are determined to prevent condemnation of Israel at the UN Security Council. In times of increased tension such as now, it is imperative that we not allow these events to distract from our main goals of achieving peace in the region and preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons," he said today.



:: Article nr. 66583 sent on 02-jun-2010 23:35 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=66583

Link: www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0610/Biden_solidifies_defense_of_Israel_Whats_th
   e_big_deal_here.html?showall




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