In 1973, 30-year-old freshman senator Joe Biden made his first overseas trip to Egypt and Israel. This week, an Israeli historian revealed Biden had passed on disinformation to then-Israeli prime minister Golda Meir, telling her Egypt believed it would be impossible to go to war with Israel — contributing to an Israeli consensus that would end up costing the Jewish state dearly when its neighboring foe caught it unawares a little more than a month later and attacked.
Despite Israel’s victory in the Yom Kippur War, the fact that Egypt caught it by surprise is still an open wound for the country.
Biden met with mid-tier Egyptian officials in Cairo, the highest ranking of whom was the Minister of Propaganda. Hassanein Heikel, then-editor of the semi-official Al-Ahram daily and former minister of information, was also at the meeting, Yigal Kipnis told Israel’s Channel 12 news this week.
Later, the junior senator from Delaware would sit with Israel’s premier, a meeting he often recounts when speaking at Jewish or pro-Israel events, and tell her that the general consensus among the Egyptian officials he met with was that Israel’s military superiority made it all but impossible to consider the option of entering a conflict with it.