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Biden Compares Israel-Palestine Conflict To British Attitude Toward Irish

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Joe Biden

During a speech at the Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem on Friday, President Biden surprised many when he compared the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians to the conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland — a comment that was viewed as an insult to Israel and the United Kingdom.

“My background — the background of my family is Irish American,” Biden said.

“And we have a long history not fundamentally unlike the Palestinian people, with Great Britain and their attitude toward Irish Catholics over the years, for 400 years,” the president continued.

Biden went on to read a poem called “The Cure at Troy” that he said was “classically Irish, but it also could fit Palestinians.”

“History teaches us not to hope/On this side of the grave./But then, once in a lifetime/That longed-for tidal wave/Of justice rises up,/And hope and history rhyme,” Biden read.

The comments drew backlash on social media from users who viewed it as insulting to Israel and the United Kingdom – two U.S. allies.

“This analogy is absurd and pathetic,” tweeted Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

“Biden is saying the ‘Palestinian people’ are indigenous and the Jews, with ties to the land of Israel going back three thousand years across multiple sovereign kingdoms, are foreign colonists,” wrote former Capitol Hill staffer Boris Ryvkin. “Stuff you’d hear from the PLO or US English professors rather than the POTUS.”

Biden’s comments come a few days after he arrived in Israel and gave a speech in which he made one of his trademark gaffes by accidentally saying we must “keep alive the truth and honor of the Holocaust” rather than the “horror of the Holocaust.”

“Later today, I will once more return to the hallowed ground of Yad Sh- — Vashem to honor the 6 million Jewish lives that were stolen in a genocide and continue — which we must do every, every day — continue to bear witness, to keep alive the truth and honor of the Holocaust — horror of the Holocaust, honor those we lost so that we never, ever forget that lesson, you know, and to continue our shared, unending work to fight the poison of anti-Semitism wherever it raises its ugly head.  Wherever we find it in the world, we make real on the promise of ‘never again’ by taking it on,” Biden said.

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