A viral tweet accuses President Joe Biden of lying about having served as a liaison between Israel and Egypt during the Six-Day War in June 1967.
Biden’s comment came during a menorah lighting in celebration of Hanukkah last Wednesday, where the president said: “I have known every—every prime minister well since Golda Meir, including Golda Meir. 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 so on and so forth.”
The Six-Day War was fought between Israel and a coalition of Arab states, including Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, and took place from June 5 to June 10, 1967. At that time, Biden was still a student at Syracuse University College of Law, from which he graduated in 1968. While a member of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, during the conflict, Golda Meir would not become prime minister until 1969, serving in that role until 1974.
A White House official told The Dispatch Fact Check that Biden intended to refer to a 1973 meeting the then-freshman Sen. Biden had with Meir 40 days before the start of the Yom Kippur War. According to a memo from the meeting, Biden tried to convince Meir to cede certain strategically unimportant territories as a peace offering to the surrounding countries in which it was in conflict. The memo does not say anything about Biden being invited to serve as a liaison between Israel and Egypt, though it does note that Biden had just come from meeting with Egyptian leaders and told Meir they recognized “Israel’s military superiority” and were unlikely to attack. Historian Dr. Yigal Kipnis wrote a book on the Yom Kippur War, and based on documentation he found on the Biden-Meir meeting, he reported that Biden met with confidant of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, Muhammad Hassanin Heichel.
Biden’s other comments at the menorah lighting suggest he was thinking of this meeting: He recalled the meeting with Meir in very similar language to a description of their meeting he gave in 2010 as well, recalling in both how many maps Meir had, a staffer who worked for her named Rabin, and that Meir told him Israel’s secret weapon in the conflict with neighboring nations was that,“We have no place else to go.” In his 2010 speech, Biden noted that Meir walked him through what had happened during the Six-Day War.
Biden did not serve as a liaison between Israel and Egypt during the Six-Day War, and did not go to those countries in any official capacity until 1973, shortly before the Yom Kippur War.
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