President Biden was mocked online over clips showing him mumbling incoherently in a meeting with Israeli President Isaac Herzog in the White House. Commentators described Biden’s murmuring as “scary,” while others pointed to his lack of energy and enthusiasm. Republican Congressman Byron Donalds tweeted, “Joe Biden is not fit to be commander-in-chief.”
Mr. Herzog visited the US at a time of tension between the two nations. President Biden criticized plans for judicial reform and called the current Israeli cabinet the most “extreme” he has known. However, in an address to Congress, the President of Israel said that while he is not oblivious to criticisms, and sometimes there are challenges, the relationship between his country and the United States is unique, and the bond between the nations cannot be broken.
“Today, at this moment in my people’s history, gathering on Capitol Hill to celebrate 75 years of Israeli independence with our greatest partner and friend, the United States of America, my soul is overflowing with pride and joy,” he said.
The visit was preceded by a resolution in Congress aimed at explicitly rejecting the notion, suggested by Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal, that Israel is a “racist” state. Jayapal made the remarks days before Mr. Herzog’s visit and was cautioned by her own party, many of whom openly rejected her comments. Senior Democrats, including House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, issued a statement saying, “We will never allow anti-Zionist voices that embolden antisemitism to hijack the Democratic Party and country.”
The resolution declaring that Israel is not a racist state was passed by the vast majority in the House but with dissent from nine Democrats, some of whom stayed away from the President’s address to Congress. These included New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri, and Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. Omar, in particular, has a history of criticisms of Israel and has faced accusations of antisemitism from members of her own party.