Another tall tale? Biden says he served during Israeli six-day war but there’s a problem

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President Joe Biden has been caught once again appearing to embellish his political life experiences.

On Wednesday, the president claimed that he met with Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and went on to serve as a mediator during Israel’s Six-Day War with Egypt, but in fact, he was still in law school at that time.

Biden told the tall tale at the lighting of a menorah in celebration of Hanukkah at the White House in an apparent reference to a meeting he had with the Israeli leader just before the Yom Kippur War, which broke out in October 1973. Fox News noted that it is not clear what he meant when he claimed to be a “liaison” between the warring nations.

“I have known every — every prime minister, well, since Golda Meir, including Golda Meir,” Biden said. “And during the Six-Day War, I had an opportunity to — she invited me to come over because I was going to be the liaison between she and the Egyptians about the Suez.

“And I sat in front of her desk,” he continued. “And she had a guy — her staff member — to my right. His name was Rabin. And she kept flipping those maps up and down. She had that bevy of maps — sort of kept it — and it was — it was so depressing what she was — about what happened. She gave me every detail.”

The Six-Day War was a short but bloody conflict between Israel and a coalition of countries including Syria, Jordan, and Egypt which reshaped the entire region. But it broke out in 1967 when Biden still had a year left to go at Syracuse University College of Law. Also, Meir did not become Israeli prime minister until two years later, serving from 1969-1974.

While Biden on Wednesday seemed to be bragging about a relationship with Meir as well as his overall support for Israel, Fox News noted that a classified Israeli memo was revealed last year that summarized the meeting as well as details that the president left out during his recalling of the meeting.

According to that memo, Biden told Meier that territories Israel captured during the Six-Day War including the Gaza Strip and the West Bank were akin to “creeping annexation.”

The notes, which were taken by an Israeli official during the meeting who was not identified, say that Biden told the Israeli leader that in talks in Cairo before he met her, Egyptian officials gave him assurances that they accepted “Israel’s military superiority,” a Times of Israel report noted in October 2020.

Biden used the Egyptian admission to say that the Jewish state could then offer the Arab nations unilateral concessions as a way to promote peace in the region. He also pressed Meir to withdraw from regions that were of lesser strategic importance, but she rejected the plea and went on to educate the young Delaware senator about the problems and dangers her country faced.

And her fears were confirmed less than six weeks later when Egypt, Syria, and Jordan launched an attack against Israel.

The memo goes on to claim that Biden, a Democrat, was very critical of Republican President Richard Nixon’s administration during his meeting with Meir, accusing the White House then of being “dragged by Israel” as debate regarding the Middle East was stalled in the Senate at the time because members were afraid of alienating Jewish-American voters.

The Israeli official included his own observations in the memo, noting that while Biden was respectful of Meir and assured her he was there to learn about the region and Israel’s experiences, “yet while speaking displayed a fervor and made comments that signaled his lack of diplomatic experience.”

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Jon Dougherty

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