Former PM, the late Menachem Begin
Former PM, the late Menachem BeginFlash 90

The dispute between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden over Israel's plan to enter and engage in military action in Rafah, as part of the war to eradicate Hamas, rekindles a historic meeting between Biden and a former Israeli prime minister, the late Menachem Begin.

At the time several American newspapers described the meeting between the two on June 22, 1982, when Begin appeared before the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee and was verbally attacked by Senator Biden from Delaware, who threatened him that if he did not accept the US position on the First Lebanon War, the US would stop military aid to Israel.

Begin responded harshly. “Don’t threaten us with cutting off your aid. It will not work. I am not a Jew with trembling knees. I am a proud Jew with 3,700 years of civilized history.”

“Nobody came to our aid when we were dying in the gas chambers and ovens. Nobody came to our aid when we were striving to create our country. We paid for it. We fought for it. We died for it. We will stand by our principles. We will defend them. And, when necessary, we will die for them again, with or without your aid," Begin added, leaving Biden speechless.