Biden warns of “concentrated effort” to delegitimize Israel

Vice President Joe Biden addresses the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Centennial Celebration luncheon in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013.  AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday reaffirmed the United States' commitment to push back against what he called "the most concentrated effort, in the 40 years I have served, to delegitimize Israel."

"The preservation of an independent Jewish state is the only certain guarantor of freedom and security for the Jewish people," Biden said told the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) at a Washington event to celebrate the group's 100th anniversary.

The "wholesale effort in other parts of the world" to delegitimize the Jewish state, he said, is "the most serious threat in my view to Israel's long-term security and viability."

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The United States, is the only nation in the world that has fought "unequivocally, consistently" fought against that, he added, citing the United States' vetoes against United Nations resolutions that he suggested would have undercut the Jewish state. No other president, Biden said, "has done more to secure the state of Israel and its physical needs than President Barack Obama."

The remarks come amid the Obama administration's efforts to broker a deal to roll back Iran's nuclear program, of which Israel has been critical.

Biden also announced that the administration is appointing a "special envoy" within the Health and Human Services Department charged with reaching out across agencies to determine what resources nonprofits like the JDC need to effectively deliver services to people living in poverty. The administration, he said, is also partnering with groups like Americorps to increase resources for these services.

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