In a turbulent Middle East, President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel aimed to show support for the country as it grappled with the ongoing conflict with Hamas. The situation in the region was marked by chaos, with protests erupting near U.S. and Israeli embassies. The unrest escalated as demonstrators set a guard tower ablaze at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, adding to the tension that characterized this challenging trip.
The trip also saw President Biden confronted with questions regarding the Gaza hospital explosion. Initial reports had pointed fingers at Israel, but new evidence emerged in the light of day, casting doubts on the accuracy of these claims. What was more concerning, though, was the media’s hasty dissemination of misinformation based solely on Hamas’ assertions, without due fact-checking.
When President Biden attempted to address this issue, he encountered a momentary lapse in memory. Struggling to recall the content of a story Secretary of State Antony Blinken had written for him, Biden’s attempt to clarify the situation was marred by an awkward pause. Even with notes in hand, he faltered in delivering his message, leaving observers puzzled and concerned.
BIDEN: "I was deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion at the hospital in Gaza yesterday and based on what I've seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you, but there's a lot of people out there not sure, so we gotta overcome a lot of things" pic.twitter.com/rmSgPcCdAd— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 18, 2023
President Biden’s day in Israel also included a photo opportunity with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and interactions with victims of the attack on Israel, as well as first responders. During these meetings, he highlighted evidence from the Defense Department that seemed to absolve Israel of responsibility for the hospital explosion.
Biden says his comment that yesterday's Gaza hospital blast was done by "the other team" — NOT the Israel, as many reported using Hamas propaganda — was based on "the data I was shown by my defense department" pic.twitter.com/1NBKNlkg4V— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 18, 2023
However, what caught the attention of many was a statement made by Biden that wasn’t entirely accurate. He claimed to have met with Golda Meir just before the Six-Day War, recounting a story about her concerns during that period. The problem with this statement was that the Six-Day War took place in 1967, a time when Biden was still in school and years before he became a Senator in 1973. He actually met Golda Meir five weeks before the Yom Kippur War in 1973, getting his facts about the wars mixed up, which raised questions about his historical accuracy and understanding.
BIDEN: "I was sitting across from Golda Meir at her desk in her office and she had a guy named— a guy who later became prime minister sitting next to me…" pic.twitter.com/Nrzj3mZVui— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 18, 2023
Biden ignores questions and slowly shuffles away after delivering remarks in Israel pic.twitter.com/T9UG5iKO17— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 18, 2023
Surprisingly, the pool report failed to note this discrepancy in Biden’s comments. They omitted any reference to the Six-Day War, leaving room for speculation about whether they were providing cover for the President or simply misunderstood his statement.
As the day continued, President Biden made more formal remarks, indicating that the United States would be providing an additional $100 million in funding to Israel. He expressed concerns about the “enormous loss of life” at the Gaza hospital, though he appeared not to have fully addressed questions about the actual number of casualties. In another awkward moment, he experienced a lapse in memory, forgetting the name of the individual he claimed had been present during his meeting with Golda Meir.
Throughout his visit, observers couldn’t help but notice that President Biden appeared physically frail, walking off the stage with visible signs of aging. This observation underscored concerns about his ability to handle the complex geopolitical challenges in the Middle East and his fitness to lead the United States on the global stage.
In summary, President Biden’s visit to Israel during a period of intense regional conflict was marked by moments of uncertainty and awkwardness. His attempts to clarify the situation surrounding the Gaza hospital explosion and his inaccurate statement about historical events raised questions about his competence and understanding of complex issues. Meanwhile, his physical demeanor left some observers questioning his ability to navigate the challenging diplomatic terrain in the Middle East. This visit underscored the ongoing challenges and uncertainties facing the Biden administration’s foreign policy in a rapidly changing world.
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