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Biden to Israeli Media: 'You Importune Me Not Infrequently'

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“You importune me not infrequently,” Vice Pres. Joe Biden told media during a speech on U.S.-“Israel relations Sunday at the 2014 Saban Forum in Washington, DC:

“Well, there’s never been any doubt in my mind.  There’s never been any doubt--though I want you to know, because I know some of you importune me not infrequently -- there’s no doubt in President Obama’s mind either, that we have an obligation to match the steel and the spine of the people of Israel with an ironclad, nonnegotiable commitment to Israel’s physical security.”

Later, Biden said, “I’m importuned” by media because “I’m going to say something outrageous” – and complained that he gets asked questions that “perplex” him:

“Again, I’m importuned because I speak all over the country and I’m going to say something outrageous, I have long, long ties with the American Jewish community.  And I get asked questions that perplex me.  About, does the President really mean it?  I get asked questions, do you mean what you say about Iran?  Look, I get asked questions, does Israel know what you're doing?  Ask any of our Israeli friends here.  They have been in every jot and tittle of everything we’ve thought about as it relates to engaging Iran from the very beginning.”

Biden also said that he and the Israeli prime minister “drive each other crazy” – despite their long-time friendship:

“Prime Minister Netanyahu has, as Minister Livni knows, has been my friend for over 30 years.  We drive each other crazyBut he has truly been a personal friend for well over 30 years.  He acknowledged this.  I was with him when he acknowledged it in front of the President, and he said it subsequently that this administration’s support to Israel’s security is ‘unprecedented.’”

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