biden_footWe all knew that Biden had a serious life-long case of foot-mouth disease. The man cannot help but make guffaws. But this trip to Israel was to be a make nice party, a chance for the US and Israel to rekindle their strong friendship and worry about BIG PROBLEMS like Iran.

Israel announced on the eve of his visit that it was halting the project that was causing so much fuss in East Jerusalem – Sheik Jarrah hood. (Remember that fake Purim video purporting to be Jews celebrating with songs in praise of Baruch Goldstein?)

UPDATE – Apparently the remarks were in response to 1600 homes in Ramat Shlomo, Wiki writes :Ramat Shlomo was founded in 1995. As of 2000, it had a population of 18,000, mostly Haredi Jews. Ramat Shlomo borders Ramot to the west, Har Hotzvim to the south, and Shuafat to the east.

Apparently, that is the “provocation” that was needed for Biden to dump a ton of rotten shwarma on Israel.

Leave it to Joe. This from the JTA:

Biden says Israeli housing starts ‘undermining’ trust

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Vice President Joe Biden denounced a decision to authorize new Jerusalem housing starts as “undermining the trust” that he needs to advance peace while in Israel.

“I condemn the decision by the government of Israel to advance planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem,” Biden said in a statement issued Tuesday, the second day of a visit that had been aimed at underscoring the closeness of the U.S.-Israel relationship. “The substance and timing of the announcement, particularly with the launching of proximity talks, is precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now and runs counter to the constructive discussions that I’ve had here in Israel.”

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Rabbi Yonah


  • Sorry, we disagree on this one, Rabbi. This was an offensive move by Israel. They could have waited a few weeks after the visit to do this. This was a poke in the eye.

  • Let me expand – Israel rules Jerusalem, and should be able to decide when and where it builds. The left wing in Israel fights these moves vehemently, thinking that these are “provocations.” We don’t need JOE coming to Israel and inserting himself into a debate among Israelis and btw Israel and it’s neighbors. If it’s wrong then let Israel make that choice. Who is Joe Biden to take some mythical moral high ground?

    Last I checked, the USA was occupying BY FORCE two sovereign countries that do not border America, did not ask for American intervention, and would like America to leave – yet there we are enmeshed in a everlasting occupation of foreign land. Even after Biden and Obama promised to stop the wars — there we are as occupiers as ever.

    Now, that is assuming that this is a moral issue, although I am not convinced that it is. This is an issue of a sovereign nation making internal decisions. The enemies of Israel don’t want Israel to build anything anywhere because that shows that Israel owns that land.

    The lands that Israel is building on in Jerusalem belonged to no sovereign nation. They were not annexed as part of Jordan. Israel conquered the territory in 1967 and made that part of the city of Jerusalem.

  • There really is no satisfactory explanation for this. These are sensitive days that follow months of careful diplomacy by the US. Finally, the administration got the Palestinians to get down from the tree, to at least talk. To show the importance of the talks, they send the VP of the United States to shake everybody’s hands, and in the middle of a handshake they announce a clearly incendiary move that humiliates the PA leadership, the leadership of the Arab world that pushed the PA to the table and the US leadership which is trying, for better of for worse, to restart peace talks.

    They could have and should have waited some weeks after Biden had gone to announce this type of thing.

  • Yonah it doesn’t matter if you think Israel owns East Jerusalem or not, because the rest of the world doesn’t. The rest of the world also don’t recognize your mythical religious connection to it either.

    If Israel keeps this up it will end up like North Korea, except instead of bordering only one enemy, it is surrounded by them, and instead of having a giant ally right next to it, it has none.

  • Oh boy, looks like we got CTC back again. Go back to the hole from which you crawled.

    Oh, and right now, the UN is looking more and more like the ill-fated League of Nations, so I’m sorry if I don’t have the energy to give a damn about what the UN says.

  • “The rest of the world also don’t recognize your mythical religious connection to it either.”


  • As for Biden, if he really believes in his heart that Jerusalem should be divided, he should just say it and not pussy-foot around it, like he just did. Sure, he’ll have to deal with the fallout, with Jewish Dems fleeing for Republicans and third-party options in November, but at least it’ll be out in the open.

  • Regardless of the timing of the announcement, Ramat Shlomo is as Arab as the Mount of Olives or the Jewish Quarter. I mean we’re catching shit for building homes on land that is not even displacing Palestinians?? That’s just ridiculous. Why should we act as if the division of Jerusalem is a fait accompli? A done deal? So that the lame duck Palestinian leadership will deign to get off their divan at Darna and come to the negotiating table? And negotiate what exactly? What’s to negotiate when a precondition for negotiating is the preliminary acceptance of their most contentious demands? Are we seriously expected to be that retarded?

  • For Israel to build homes in Jerusalem is no different than if they were to build homes in Netanya, Arad, Beer Sheeba, or Eilat. If they start building homes in Austin, Atlanta or Hartford then Mr. Biden should certainly speak his peace. Until then please return to ribbon cutting ceremonies at veterans hospitals, shaking babies and kissing hands on the campaign trail.

  • Israel was going to get condemned whether it was today or six weeks from now. What’s wrong with putting Biden on the spot to finally state what his position on a united Jerusalem is?

    • Because that’s not how one treats a guest and a friend.

      The US isn’t functioning in a vacuum and its relationship with Israel is one relationship among dozens of important ones, not its only one with another country. Considering the energy, effort and money the US puts into its FRIENDSHIP and strategic relationship with Israel, embarrassing the VP seems wrong-headed, not to mention foolish.


        “The district committees approve plans weekly without informing me,” Yishai told Israel Radio. He further said that the committee could not have predicted that the approval would spur such a political storm.

        “A few days ago, hundreds of new housing units were approved in Beitar Illit, which is much more problematic,” said Yishai. “So if the committee members saw that those houses were approved without a problem, they didn’t think a technical authorization in Jerusalem, which isn’t part of the settlement freeze, would require the minister’s knowledge.”

        Yishai emphasized that even though he doesn’t see a problem with the actual authorization of the East Jerusalem homes, if he knew about it, he would have delayed the move by a few weeks.

        “If I’d have known, I would have postponed the authorization by a week or two since we had no intention of provoking anyone,” Yishai said. “It is definitely unpleasant that this happened during Biden’s visit. If the committee members would have known that the approval would have escalated to such a situation, they would have informed me,” Yishai emphasized.

        “I apologize for the distress this matter caused,” he added.

  • Honestly, I’ve stopped paying attention to what US leaders say to or about Israel. As long as the US keeps increasing military aid to Israel ($3 billion as of the latest 2010 budget approved by Obama, a record-breaking amount,) why does it matter what Biden’s stance on the issue is? When America talks about stopping sending money, then I’ll sit up and take note.

  • Biden should be more responsible…. the world is having a field day and Jews round the world will suffer the backlash of his harsh words.

    Its time to reevaluate the relationship with the US

  • Did I just hear an equivalence asserted between Israel’s occupation of the West Bank (which includes East Jerusalem) and America’s occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan?

    Remind me of how many permanent housing settlements the U.S. has constructed for Americans to live in so that they can colonize Iraq and Afghanistan…

  • Well, to be fair, there are all sorts of “experts” declaring that “occupation” leads to suicide bombings and they use the parallel between Iraq, Afghanistan and Judea and Samaria…

  • I don’t think east Jerusalem is in the “West Bank.” I’ve always thought it was considered a separate entity because 181 left it as an international city. Do you have evidence that it’s part of the “West Bank?”

  • Oh, that’s right. The West Bank of Jordan did not include the parts of Jerusalem that Israel didn’t hold from 1948 until 1967. Thanks for reminding me.

    The legal distinction is a distinction without a difference. Would you favor extending 181 to all of Israel as a separate, “international” entity? Well, I can guess you wouldn’t. And for that reason, you have to accept that east Jerusalem’s status is contested – or at least more contested than that of Israel itself, and that Israel’s claim to it is less legitimate.

    There is never an issue that so many lay Jews feel so compelled to legally parse every single, insignificant detail as the status of lands just outside of Israel.

  • That’s right MUL, because it’s ONLY JERUSALEM, the heart of our faith. You’re right that we should stop parsing “insignificant details,” because, after all, they’re “insignificant.” I mean, so what if the international community’s reasoning that Israel shouldn’t control east Jerusalem has nothing to do with the Palestinians, Jordanians or Israelis, but rather with the fact that in 1948 it was understood to be a city that belonged to all three Abrahamic faiths. Who cares? That’s just parsing of insignificant details. And for that matter, so is any discussion of what happened in 1948 when every last Jew was evicted from that part of Jerusalem. Who the hell cares about that insignificant detail. If the Palestinians and the media want to call it “Arab East Jerusalem,” well that’s not parsing insignificant details because we know, thanks to your divine wisdom, that only Jews parse things this way.

    The fact that you would prefer not to address is that Israel annexed this part of Jerusalem. It took it over officially. You can disagree or say the annexation is invalid, but to me that sounds like you incorrectly parsing significant details.

  • Hey, you guys voted for these fools. But I agree with Rabbi Yonah. Only Americans get to decide where to build in Sante Fe. Not mexicans nor all the people MUL jocks.

  • So, essentially you want to take an issue of religious and historical significance and conflate it with a legal and political analysis.