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Biden and the History of Zionism in the United States

July 18, 2022

“I did say and I say again, you need not be a Jew to be a Zionist.” Those were the words of US President Joe Biden, a devout Catholic, to a group of Israeli officials upon arriving in Tel Aviv on 13 July 2022. This statement, made proudly in reference to himself, is not one Biden was making for the first time. In fact, he made it twice before: At the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly in 2014, and even earlier in 2007 in an interview on American-Jewish cable network Shalom TV. Biden is no stranger to repeating striking statements in support of Israel. As early as 1986, he stood on the Senate floor representing the state of Delaware and declared that “were there not an Israel, the United States of America would have to invent an Israel to protect her interests in the region” – a statement he repeated nearly verbatim in 2014 as Vice President. Among the members of the United States’ political establishment, particularly those less connected to the gradually changing international rhetoric around Israel, vocal and unconditional support for the state of Israel is…

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