According to the statement of President Biden, he met with the then-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 during that time.
On Wednesday, during a menorah lighting in celebration of Hanukkah at the White House, the president while speaking seemed to be citing an interaction he had with her right ahead of the October 1973 Yom Kippur War.
However, it’s not precisely what he tried to explain by his role as a “liaison.”
President Biden said “I have known every — every prime minister well since Golda Meir, including Golda Meir,” adding further “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.”
While continuing, he said “And I sat in front of her desk,” adding “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.”
Six-day War Completely Changed the Region
The Six-Day War, a brief conflict depressing Israel in contrast to an alliance of Jordan, Syria, and Egypt that entirely transformed the region, stemmed out in June 1967, one year prior when Biden graduated from Syracuse University College of Law.
Meir was not appointed to serve as prime minister till around two years after the war broke out, serving in the role from 1969-1974.
On Wednesday, though the president seemed to be talking about his relationship with Meir and backing for Israel, a confidential Israeli memo discovered earlier this year outlining the details about the meeting Biden left out.
The memo states that the president told Meir that the territories Israel had caught during the Six-Day War, which engaged the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, turned into “creeping annexation.”
Biden Told Meir That Egyptian Authorities Assured Him of Accepting “Israel’s Military Superiority”
As per the notes taken by an anonymous Israeli authority in the meeting claim that Meir was told by Biden that during conversations in Cairo before he arrived in Israel, Egyptian authorities had assured him that they acknowledged “Israel’s military superiority,” as per the last year report by Times of Israel.
This claim was used by Biden to state that Israel was in a situation to provide the Arabs unilateral concessions so that it can bring peace.
He attempted to prompt the prime minister to extract from regions of low strategic significance, an advice that was rejected by Meir before lecturing the young senator about the issues that Israel was going through in the area.
After less than six weeks, the fears that Meir had were confirmed when Israel was attacked by Egypt and Syria.
Further, the memo also states that Biden was immensely critical about the Nixon administration at the meeting, blaming it for being “dragged by Israel” whilst discussions regarding the Middle East were slowed down in the Senate as lawmakers were scared of making Jewish voters feel offended.
The authority added his notes documenting his impressions of Biden at the bottom of the document, claiming he was full of respect toward Meir and gave assurance to the prime minister that he was there to be skilled, “and yet while speaking displayed a fervor and made comments that signaled his lack of diplomatic experience.”
Jessa Martin is the author of Nogmagazine, A professional in writing by day, and novelist by night, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking.