VP Biden & Amb. Dermer celebrate Israel

SCENE LAST NIGHT: Over 500 hundred guests of the Israeli Embassy gathered last night at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in D.C. for an Israel Independence Day celebration. The crowd, which included many Jewish leaders and uniformed military attachés, heard from Vice President Joe Biden and Israeli Amb. Ron Dermer. Dermer’s chief of staff Jordana Cutler served as MC for the evening. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough was spotted coming out from backstage, minutes before Biden’s speech, to grab a few kosher potato puffs off the buffet.

Dermer, addressing Biden, noted “that America and Israel are more than friends and allies – we are family – Mishpacha. Now all families have disagreements. Mr. Vice President, I don’t know how it works in Catholic families, but I can tell you that in Jewish families, disagreements can get pretty heated. But what helps us overcome those disagreements is the understanding that what unites us is far more important than what divides us.” [Transcript]

Biden had a bit of a different recipe to overcoming such disagreements. Biden told the crowd, “the dream of every Irish Catholic father is for his daughter to marry a Jewish surgeon and mine did… So I figured it out, the one way to end arguments is to marry.” Watch the entire speech [CSPAN]

HOW IT PLAYED: “Biden Strikes a Softer Tone at Israel Independence Event” by Julie Hirschfeld Davis [NYTimes] • “Joe Biden shores up U.S.-Israel ties, says Iran deal isn’t a ‘grand bargain'” [CNN] • “Biden, seeking to ease U.S.-Israel strains, pledges delivery of new warplanes” [Reuters] • “Downplaying Rift, Biden Defends Obama’s Support For Israel” [AP]

SPOTTED: Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer, Rep. Ed Royce, Rep. Eliot Engel, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Nathan Diament — also celebrating his birthday, Matt Nosanchuk, William and Heidi Daroff, Jonathan Greenblatt, Tevi Troy, Amb. Norm Eisen, Rabbi Levi and Nechama Shemtov, Howard Kohr, Jeff Mendelsohn, Steve Rabinowitz, Aaron Keyak, Edwin Black, Shai Franklin, Sol and Esther Werdiger, Josh Hantman, David Makovsky, Suzanne Pollak, Steve Rakitt, Lesley Weiss, Noa Meir, Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Daphne Price, Virginia State Rep. Eileen Filler-Corn, Matt Dorf, Dan Mariaschin, Mark Levin, Jacob Baime, Ken Abramowitz, Liran Bainvol, Mira Resnick…








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