Biden Defends Israel, Thrilling Conservatives

The right rallies behind the vice president

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Vice President Joe Biden, appearing on Charlie Rose Wednesday night, made what some are calling "the strongest U.S. defense yet of Israel's raid on the aid flotilla." He emphasized Israel's security interests and its struggle with Hamas. "You can argue whether Israel should have dropped people onto that ship or not," Biden said. "But the truth of the matter is, Israel has a right to know — they're at war with Hamas — has a right to know whether or not arms are being smuggled in." A full transcript of the exchange is here. As a result, conservatives are rallying behind Biden, throwing their support to the 37-year Democrat. Here's what they're saying.

  • Biden 'The Sane One' in White House  Commentary's Jennifer Rubin writes, "It has come to this: Joe Biden is one of the few administration figures making sense on Israel. ... It’s hard to know if he is again off the reservation or if he is previewing an administration walk-back on the hang-Israel-out-to-dry approach to this incident. Some perceived in the Jerusalem-housing flap that Biden tried to turn the heat down before the White House’s political flacks turned it back up. That maybe speaks well of Biden’s instincts but poorly of his influence."
  • 'Bravo for Biden'  Powerline's John Hinderaker writes, "It's doubtful whether Joe Biden carries much weight within the Obama administration, but his instincts are in the right place when it comes to Hamas, and he was relatively coherent when defending Israel's blockade."
  • 'Robust Defense'  Even if they couldn't muster much in the way of praise many conservatives were careful to point out that Biden is sharing their position on Israel. National Review's Daniel Foster notes the "robust defense of Israel's actions" from Biden. Foster jokes, "Biden: What's the Big &$#%ing Deal With Flotilla Raid?" The Weekly Standard's John McCormack also notes Biden's "comments defending Israel."
  • AIPAC Praises Biden  The pro-Israel lobby announced, "We appreciate the many strong statements of support for Israel from members of Congress and the Vice President today. ... Vice President Joe Biden, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and GOP Whip Eric Cantor have it right. The United States stands shoulder to shoulder with Israel and simply will not allow Israel to be isolated and falsely accused."
  • Dem Leaders Good on Israel Policy  Hot Air's Allahpundit muses, "Consider this a reminder that, for all the heat we give national Democrats on terrorism, the party’s leadership is vastly better on Israel than the lefty base is. Steny Hoyer reportedly said earlier today that the Israelis had 'rightfully' defended themselves and Anthony Weiner came out swinging yesterday on the IDF’s behalf."
  • Dissent: Biden Still Not Sympathetic Enough to Israel  The Weekly Standard's Jamie Fly cites Biden's statement--"You can argue whether Israel should have dropped people onto that ship or not"--as proof that Biden is an enemy of Israel. "It’s no wonder that ally after ally feels slighted by the Obama administration, because even when this White House says they are standing with you, they are simultaneously undermining you."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.