Biden, who is of Irish Catholic descent, has used similar words in the past to profess his affinity for Israel. U.S. and regional sources have expressed doubt that Israel, which vows to destroy Hamas, has yet crafted an endgame. As vice president, Biden often mediated the testy relationship between Obama and Netanyahu. "Whenever things were getting out of hand with Israel, Biden was the bridge," said Ross, now at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday showed stronger U.S. public sympathy for Israel than in the past, with support for Israel highest among Republicans at 54%, compared to 37% of Democrats.