"I have known every prime minister since Golda Meir, including Golda Meir," Biden told East Room guests this week. "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 her and the Egyptians about the Suez, and so on and so forth."
Political writers and commentators quickly picked up on the impairment in Biden's career timeline.
The President this week reminisced about his 1973 meeting with then-Israeli Prime Minister Meir during his first trip to Israel as a 30-year-old Senator from Delaware. It is an encounter he has shared before which broke out 40 days after his visit..
"She was taking pictures and the press," Biden told the crowd. "She looked straight ahead, but, talking to me, she said, 'Why,' she said, 'Why do you look so sad?' And I said, and I almost turned, and I said, 'Well, Madam Prime Minister,' I said, 'You’ve painted such a dismal picture.'"
"She said, 'Oh, no, no, no.' She said, 'Don’t worry. We have a secret weapon in our battle in this area.' And I almost turned again. I said, 'What's that?' She said, 'We have no place else to go,'" Biden added.
Israel's Channel 13 reported last year on the presence of a leaked classified senior Israeli official memo regarding the meeting, describing how Biden told Meir that Israel's Six-Day War capture of the West Bank and Gaza Strip was akin to “creeping annexation.” The official also said Biden had suggested that Israel, as the dominant military force, initiate peace by withdrawing from areas without strategic importance. The source, too, wrote down his observations of Biden.
Biden repeated that he had met with Meir to learn, “and yet, while speaking, displayed a fervor and made comments that signaled his lack of diplomatic experience," the official said.
Biden also addressed the new Israeli Ambassador to the U.S, saying: "And I want to welcome Israel’s newest Ambassador to the United States, Michael Herzog. Michael. (Applause.) Just please stand up. Come on, stand up. Ambassador, I look forward to working with you to reaffirm the longstanding ties between the United States and the State of Israel."