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Update – 5 March 2012

Posted by Emily Gian on 5 March 2012 at 2:05pm:

Yesterday morning, American President Barack Obama addressed the AIPAC conference. You might recall that President Obama’s address on the Middle East and North Africa, which came just days before the AIPAC conference last year stirred up some controversy when he made reference to 1967 lines in relation to future borders between a Palestinian and an Israeli state. What was controversial about that reference was that Obama set these conditions as a start point rather than an end point (see more). When he addressed AIPAC he reiterated that “real friends talk openly and honestly with one another”.

This year, which is also an election year in the United States, Obama focused on his committed to Israel. He declared, “as you examine my commitment, you don’t just have to count on my words. You can look at my deeds, Because over the last three years, as president of the United States, I have kept my commitments to the state of Israel. At every crucial juncture at every fork in the road we have been there for Israel”. Obama also backed this up by citing examples including his challenge to the Goldstone report, his support to Israel while Israel was isolated following the flotilla incident, and its opposition to the BDS campaign against Israel.

Obama then turned most of his attention to the issue of Iran declaring “no Israeli government can tolerate a nuclear weapon in the hands of a regime that denies the Holocaust, threatens to wipe Israel off the map and sponsors terrorist groups committed to Israel’s destruction”. He stressed that the US needed to make sure they had exhausted all diplomatic options before escalating the issue militarily. He said, “given their history, there are, of course, no guarantees that the Iranian regime will make the right choice. But both Israel and the United States have an interest in seeing this challenge resolved diplomatically.

President Obama mentioned that “there is too much loose talk of war… Over the last few weeks, such talk has only benefited the Iranian government, by driving up the price of oil, which they depend up to fund their nuclear program”. An article that appears in today’s Australian entitled ‘Obama urges Israel to hold its fire on Iran until after November poll’ emphasises this point more explicitly, saying that Obama is concerned this hike in oil prices could have an effect on his re-election campaign. To read reports on Obama’s speech from the Israeli press, please click here and here.

Following President Obama’s speech, Prime Minister Netanyahu, who is due to speak at the AIPAC conference today and who will shortly meet with President Obama said, “Perhaps more than anything I appreciate his statement that Israel must be able to defend itself against any threat”. Israel’s President Shimon Peres, who spoke earlier and then met with Obama said, “a president cannot be expected to mention dates, but he was very clear with regards to the steps. I was impressed by his seriousness, knowledge and honesty. He went as far as an American president could go (see more).

While in the United States, President Peres also took the time to stop into television show “The View” and chat with Barbara Walters. He spoke about future options for Iran, but also added some light humour, such as the fact that the difference between his role and Netanyahu’s is that Netanyahu rules, Peres charms the people (see more)!

For some more interesting articles on the issue of Israel, the US and Iran please read ‘Would a military strike against Israel be legal?’ and ‘Decoding Obama’s message on Iran’.

Watch out for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech at AIPAC and his meeting with President Obama.

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01. Gabby

I’ll get a better idea of Obama’s true intentions when I learn what he says to Arab/ Muslim /Turkish audiences and I’ll feel much more confidence in the President of the USA as a friend of Israel when I hear that the embassy of the USA is in the capital city of Israel.

In the meantime, I suggest we all listen to the video about Obama on Caroline Glick’s website…… ‘  

O (what a) Bummer!