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4/19/16

Israel: US VP Biden blasts Israeli government at J Street gala - by Edward-Isaac Dover

Vice President Joe Biden several times criticized what he called an Israeli government that causes “overwhelming frustration” in a speech that seemed to rule out the chances of a final year peace push from the Obama administration.

“The present course Israel’s on is not one that’s likely to secure its existence as a Jewish, democratic state— and we have to make sure that happens,” Biden said, in a speech to the annual gala dinner of the left-leaning J Street held in Washington.

Despite the Obama administration’s frequent clashes with the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House carefully avoided weighing in ahead of last year’s Israeli elections. But Monday, Biden went harder at Netanyahu as he sketched out a reality he said that’s left him feeling that “the path for peace is shrouded.”

“There is, at the moment, no political will among Israelis and Palestinians to move forward with serious negotiations,” Biden said.

Biden kicked off his remarks by praising Stav Shaffir, a 30-year-old member of the Israeli Knesset from the left whom he said was a “flashback” to his own election to the Senate at the age of 29.

“May your views once again begin to have a majority opinion in the Knesset,” Biden said.

Read more: Biden blasts Israeli government at J Street gala - POLITICO

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