Biden: Trump administration will honor commitments to Israel
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Biden: Trump administration will honor commitments to Israel

Vice president says ‘there will be no diminution of support’ for Jewish state or its security under next president

Vice President Joe Biden, right, shaking hands with World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder, as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger looks on, at the Pierre Hotel in New York City, November 9, 2016. (Shahar Azran/WireImage/World Jewish Congress via JTA)
Vice President Joe Biden, right, shaking hands with World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder, as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger looks on, at the Pierre Hotel in New York City, November 9, 2016. (Shahar Azran/WireImage/World Jewish Congress via JTA)

Vice President Joe Biden said US commitments to Israel will remain the same under President-elect Donald Trump.

“I stand here to tell you that I have no doubt, none whatsoever, that in the Trump administration there will be no diminution of support as a consequence of this transition,” Biden said Wednesday night in a speech to the World Jewish Congress in New York, where he was honored by the organization. “Even if the new administration were inclined to reduce the commitment, which it is not, Congress would never let it happen, the American people would never let it happen.”

Biden called the run-up to Tuesday’s election “one of the most divisive campaigns in modern American history.”

He praised the Obama administration for looking out for Israel’s interests, including the 10-year, $38 billion dollar security aid deal.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump meeting at Trump Tower in New York, September 25, 2016. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump meeting at Trump Tower in New York, September 25, 2016. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

“No administration in US history has done more to enhance Israel’s security than this administration,” Biden said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a joint press conference with United States Vice President Joe Biden at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, on March 9, 2016, during Biden's official visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. (Amit Shabi/POOL)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a joint press conference with United States Vice President Joe Biden at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, on March 9, 2016, during Biden’s official visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. (Amit Shabi/POOL)

He praised the American Jewish community, as well.

“You measure your influence on how well you influence me, presidents, vice presidents, secretaries, senators, congressmen. But your influence on the American community at large has been profound,” Biden said.

The vice president received the World Jewish Congress’ annual Theodor Herzl Award, “which recognizes outstanding individuals who work to promote Herzl’s ideals for a safer, more tolerant world for the Jewish people,” according to the group.

Also at the event, actor Kirk Douglas was recognized with the inaugural Teddy Kollek Award for the Advancement of Jewish Culture. His son, actor-director Michael Douglas, accepted the award on his behalf.

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