Biden: U.S. Will Never Abandon Israel - Out of Our Own Self-interest

During address at the Jewish Federations' General Assembly, the U.S. vice president attempted to ease fears regarding the U.S.-Israeli relationship, as well as ongoing nuclear talks with Iran.

Biden at JFNAGA
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the Jewish Federations of North America's 2014 General Assembly, November 10, 2014. AFP

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden attempted to ease fears concerning the U.S.-Israel relationship during his address at the annual Jewish Federations' General Assembly in Maryland on Monday, saying "we love one another but we drive one another crazy."

Directly addressing Israel's Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, Biden said "you better damn well tell Bibi (Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) that we're still buddies."

"Were there not an Israel, the U.S. would have to invent one," Biden said, and affirming U.S. commitment to Israel: "We will never abandon Israel - out of our own self-interest."

"With all the chitter-chatter out there, the U.S.' commitment to Israel's security remains iron-clad," Biden added, citing Israel's highest-ever foreign aid to Israel, currently totaling $8.5 million per day.

The vice president also recalled in his address once telling Netanyahu that while he did not agree with a word he says, he still loves him.

Remarking on the Iran nuclear talks, now in summit in Oman, Biden said: "I've heard so much malarkey, so let me make it clear: We will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. Period."

A good deal with Iran would beneficial all around, Biden said, and promised that the U.S. would not sign a bad deal.

The vice president added that while such a deal was important, he cautioned that Israel's future as a Jewish and democratic state "demands more than an agreement with Iran; it demands a two-state solution."

Biden called on both sides to stop incitement and take steps preventing conflagration in Jerusalem, saying "what worries me most are efforts to delegitimize, demonize and defame the Jewish state," calling these efforts "a threat to democracy everywhere."