The US president is in the Middle East for the first time since taking office in early 2021 and arrived in Israel on Wednesday to hold talks with Israeli leaders. He has also met with Palestinian leaders in the occupied West Bank ahead of talks with Saudi leaders and other Gulf allies in Jeddah on Saturday.
The 46th US President was left red-faced after he compared Israel’s contemporary treatment towards Palestine to that of Britain’s historic attitude towards Catholics in Ireland.
He said: “The background of my family is Irish American. And we have a long history not fundamentally unlike the Palestinian people, with Great Britain and their attitude toward Irish Catholics over the years for 400 years.”
He continued: “But my colleagues, when I was a US senator, used to always joke with me that I was always quoting Irish poets when I was on the floor of the Senate.
“And they thought I did it because I’m Irish. That’s not the reason I did it; I did it because they’re the best poets in the world.”
He then quoted from the Seamus Heaney poem ‘The Cure at Troy’ which he described as “classically Irish, but it also could fit Palestinians” to make the point that hope springs eternal.
Margaret Thatcher’s former aide Nile Gardiner lambasted the US President and said: “Disgraceful anti British comments from Joe Biden.
“A reminder why this clueless US President is no friend of Great Britain.”
His comment did not go down well on social media as well as many Twitter users criticised the President for his statement.