ISRAEL’S SECURITY NOT IN QUESTION

In his address to the Rabbinical Assembly Convention at Atlanta’s Westin Perimeter Hotel on May 8, Vice President of the United States Joe Biden made perfectly clear his stance on Iran and its threat to Israel and the rest of the world’s nations.

“President Obama has said that no option is off the table,” he said emphatically before concluding.
After being introduced by RA President Rabbi Gerald Skolnik, Vice President Biden first called for moment of silence for the passing of Benzion Netanyahu, father of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He then began to recall his earliest years in the U.S. Senate, during which he made a trip with older peers to a young Jewish State.

“I believed from the outset of my tenure as a United States senator…that American support for Israel’s security is not just an act of moral obligation,” Biden said. “It’s in the fundamental national interest of the United States of America.”

The Vice President several times had the room chuckling – his joking use of the Sign of the Cross and recollections of meeting with former Israeli PM Golda Meir elicited laughs from all – but spent more time speaking of the serious matter of Israeli security in a hostile area.

He stressed that the nation should never “contract out” its security, that the Jewish State had every right to take “whatever steps necessary” to defend itself. He pointed out that the U.S. is not alone in its opinion that Iran must be prevented from obtaining nuclear weapons – not simply contained – as powers around the globe joined in on the recent sanctions.

He then expressed his feeling that Iran’s leadership may soon split – that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei would prevail over President Mahmoud Ahmadeinejad – before thanking the crowd and the Jewish people as a whole.
“Let me end where I began, by thanking you for your friendship and your steadfast support of Israel,” he said. “You and I know this is always going to be a battle.

“You know that it requires people speaking up loudly in every single generation, as long as we are a country and as long as the State of Israel exists. Your certain knowledge that the preservation of Israel as an independent Jewish state is in the best interest of every Jew in the world is something you must continue to remember to your children, to your grandchildren, to all who you touch.”

Afterwards, Rabbi Skolnick presented Vice President Biden with an elegant tzedakah box marking the occasion.

By John McCurdy
Managing Editor
jmccurdy@atljewishtimes.com