President Joe Biden, visiting Israel on Wednesday, added yet another entry to his long list of gaffes, mistakenly saying we must keep alive the “honor of the Holocaust.”
The president made the flub shortly after touching down in Israel, kicking off a two-day visit with the Middle Eastern country’s leaders.
“Later today, I will once more return to the hallowed ground of … Yad Vashem to honor the 6 million Jewish lives that were stolen in a genocide and continue — which we must do every, every day — continue to bear witness, to keep alive the truth and honor of the Holocaust — horror of the Holocaust — honor those we lost, so that we never, ever forget that lesson, you know, and to continue our shared, unending work to fight the poison of anti-Semitism wherever it raises its ugly head,” Biden said.
Later on Wednesday, the president visited the Yad Vashem memorial to honor Holocaust victims in Jerusalem. Wearing a skullcap, Biden was invited to rekindle the eternal flame in the memorial’s Hall of Remembrance. Two Marines placed a wreath on the stone crypt containing the ashes of Holocaust victims and Biden listened as a cantor recited the remembrance prayer.
The visit marked Biden’s first visit to the Mideast since taking office. The president is expected to offer anxious Israeli leaders strong reassurances of his determination to stop Iran’s growing nuclear program, saying he’d be willing to use force “as a last resort.”
U.S. ally Israel considers Iran to be its greatest enemy, citing its nuclear program, its calls for Israel’s destruction and its support for hostile militant groups across the region.
The U.S. and Israel are expected Thursday to unveil a joint declaration cementing their close military ties and strengthening past calls to take military action to halt Iran’s nuclear program. A senior Israeli official said before Biden arrived that both countries would commit to “using all elements of their national power against the Iranian nuclear threat.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.