Joe Biden visits Israel

Biden Calls Ties Between U.S. and Israel UnshakableIf they really are, does the VP need to say so? reality check by Laura Rozen at Politicohttp:// then..."JERUSALEM Hours after Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. vowed unyielding American support for Israels security here on Tuesday, Israels Interior Ministry announced 1,600 new housing units for Jews in East Jerusalem. Mr. Biden condemned the move as precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now."Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was clearly embarrassed at the move by his interior minister, Eli Yishai, leader of the right-wing Shas Party, who has made Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem one of his central causes."Does this mean that first the United States has to bring together the warring factions of the Israeli government?"And then..."The announcement followed a day in which Mr. Biden, who will stay in the region through Friday, had made a concerted and highly public show of American support for Israel.Progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there is simply no space between the United States and Israel, he said, standing next to Mr. Netanyahu at the prime ministers residence. There is no space between the United States and Israel when it comes to Israels security.No space? That can't be right.

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.

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