No, he never drove an 18-wheeler. Nor was he at the center of the civil rights movement in Selma and Birmingham, and he certainly was never arrested in Soweto on his way to see Nelson Mandela in prison.
These are just a few of the grandiose “misstatements” made over the years by President Joe Biden, and now he has made another impossible claim about his involvement with Israel during the Six-Day War.
The gaffe-prone president said he met with former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and served as a liaison between Israel and Egypt during the Six-Day War despite still being in law school at the time.
The president, who spoke during a menorah lighting in celebration of Hanukkah at the White House, appeared to be referring to a meeting he had with her just prior to the October 1973 Yom Kippur War. It’s not clear what he meant by his role as a “liaison.”
“I have known every — every prime minister well since Golda Meir, including Golda Meir,” Biden said. “And during the Six-Day War, I had an opportunity to — she invited me to come over because I was going to be the liaison between she and the Egyptians about the Suez.
“And I sat in front of her desk,” he continued. “And she had a guy — her staff member — to my right. His name was Rabin. And she kept flipping those maps up and down. She had that bevy of maps — sort of kept it — and it was — it was so depressing what she was — about what happened. She gave me every detail.”
The Six-Day War, a short conflict pitting Israel against a coalition of Jordan, Syria, and Egypt that completely reshaped the region. It broke out in June 1967, one year before Biden graduated from Syracuse University College of Law. Meir was not elected to serve as prime minister until almost two years after the war, serving in the role from 1969-1974.
Though Biden appeared to be touting his relationship with Meir and support for Israel, a classified Israeli memo unearthed last year summarizing the meeting offered details Biden left out.
The memo claims that Biden told Meir that the territories Israel had captured during the Six-Day War, which included West Bank and the Gaza Strip, amounted to “creeping annexation.”
Notes taken by an unnamed Israeli official in the meeting say that Biden told Meir that during talks in Cairo before he arrived in Israel, Egyptian officials had assured him that they accepted “Israel’s military superiority,” according to a Times of Israel report last year.
Biden used this contention to suggest that Israel was in a position to offer the Arabs unilateral concessions to promote peace. He tried to convince the prime minister to withdraw from areas of lesser strategic importance, a suggestion Meir rejected before lecturing the young senator about the problems Israel was facing in the region.
Less than six weeks later, Meir’s fears were confirmed when Egypt and Syria attacked Israel.
But this all took place in 1973, just before the Yom Kippur War, and not in ’67 during the Six-Day War, when Biden was not a Senator and still in law school.
Had the aging president conflated the two events? Probably. Or was he purposely lying to paint himself as some kind of super-heroic historical figure?
Either way, this and his many similar “exaggerations” of the truth speak volumes to his fitness to be Commander-in-Chief.