Biden confuses Israel's Haifa with Gaza's Rafah in embarrassing new blunder

Biden confuses Israel's Haifa with Gaza's Rafah in embarrassing new blunder
US President Biden has made another blunder, this time confusing the Israeli city of Haifa with the southern Gaza city of Rafah..
3 min read
19 April, 2024
US President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at Martin Luther King Recreation Center on April 18, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania [Getty]

US President Joe Biden has blundered once again, this time by mixing up the cities of Haifa and Rafah amid discussions on the Gaza war.

In an interview on the campaign trail in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, Biden was asked whether he had a plan to win back pro-Palestine voters who have criticised the positions of the president and the Democratic Party over their stance on Gaza.

However, during his response, the US president confused the Israeli port city of Haifa with the Gaza border city of Rafah, one of the last refuges for Palestinians in the besieged enclave. 

"I’ve been meeting with them, number one," Biden said. "Number two, I made it clear that we have to vastly increase the amount of food, water, healthcare going into Gaza."

"I made it clear to the Israelis - don't move on Haifa." 

The shocking gaffe was followed by a long pause and mumbling.

"It’s just not, I mean, anyway," he continued.

Biden's series of verbal mishaps have been memorably documented, garnering questions over his age and mental state.

Last month, President Biden also mixed up Gaza with Ukraine in a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

In February, the commander-in-chief's confusion of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi of Egypt with the president of Mexico coincided with his attempts to refute allegations regarding his memory skills.

Biden was also responding to a special counsel's report led by Republican Robert Hur that accused the president of mishandling classified information when he served as vice president to Barack Obama. 

Despite being cleared of any charges of wrongdoing, Biden was attempting to strike back at the report's description of him as an "elderly man with a poor memory".  

The report added that Biden could not recall defining milestones in his own life, such as when he served as vice president or when his son Beau passed away from brain cancer.

"My memory is fine," Biden said in the somewhat chaotic press conference.

"There's even [a] reference that I don't remember when my son died. How in the hell dare he raise that?" the president said, visibly fighting to rein in his emotions. 

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Following his latest slip-up, users took to social media to weigh in on Biden.

"Several members of my family who live in Haifa texted me asking: Does president Biden have intelligence re Netanyahu gov’t imminent attack against Palestinian Israeli citizens in Haifa? Or is Biden confusing #Haifa with the Palestinian city of #Rafah Gaza?" writer and academic Rula Jebreal wrote on X.

"No country with a functioning democracy would watch the video of Biden talking about Haifa/Rafah and still proceed with electing him to the office of leader of the “free” world for another 4 years," entrepreneur Dominic Campbell posted on X.

Former New York state Assemblyman and pro-Israel supporter Dov Hikind also went online to call out Biden- by labelling the error as "seriously embarrassing".

Recently, journalists in Gaza have urged their US-based counterparts to boycott the upcoming White House Correspondents' Association Dinner over Israel's war in Gaza.

Over 100 journalists have been killed by Israeli forces in six months of a deadly war on Gaza.

This brings to Thursday's total of at least 33,970 people who have been killed in the besieged territory since 7 October.