From March 4-6, 2012, President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres came together surrounding the annual AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC, and affirmed the tremendously close security relationship between the United States and Israel as we confront a multitude of common challenges.
Videos from the conference and other concurrent events appear below.
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All of these leaders made clear that the Obama Administration and Israel are united shoulder-to-shoulder in preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
“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. And so I understand the profound historical obligation that weighs on the shoulders of Bibi Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, and all of Israel’s leaders. A nuclear-armed Iran is completely counter to Israel’s security interests. But it is also counter to the national security interests of the United States.” - President Obama, Speech to AIPAC, March 4, 2012
“Americans know that Israel and the United States share common values, that we defend common interests, that we face common enemies. ... We are you, and you are us. We’re together.” - Prime Minister Netanyahu, Media Availability with President Obama, March 5, 2012
“President Obama has reiterated his commitment to prevent that from happening. He stated clearly that all options are on the table, and that American policy is not containment. Well, Israel has exactly the same policy—we are determined to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons; we leave all options on the table; and containment is definitely not an option.” - Prime Minister Netanyahu, Speech to AIPAC, March 5, 2012
“The United States and Israel share the same goal—to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. There is no space between us.” - President Peres, Speech to AIPAC, March 4, 2012
President Obama emphasized that military force is just one of the many tools he will employ to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program:
“I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say. That includes all elements of American power: A political effort aimed at isolating Iran; a diplomatic effort to sustain our coalition and ensure that the Iranian program is monitored; an economic effort that imposes crippling sanctions; and, yes, a military effort to be prepared for any contingency. Iran’s leaders should understand that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And as I have made clear time and again during the course of my presidency, I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests.”
President Obama also said regarding his support for Israel:
“The fact is, my administration’s commitment to Israel’s security has been unprecedented. Our military and intelligence cooperation has never been closer. Our joint exercises and training have never been more robust. Despite a tough budget environment, our security assistance has increased every single year…. And just as we’ve been there with our security assistance, we’ve been there through our diplomacy…. So there should not be a shred of doubt by now—when the chips are down, I have Israel’s back.”
President Peres—Israel’s senior statesman for more than fifty years—said of President Obama:
“Mr. President, I know your commitment to Israel is deep and profound. Under your leadership, security cooperation between the US and Israel has reached its highest level. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a friend in the White House.”
Click here to learn more about President Obama’s actions to secure Israel, along with what Israel’s leaders are saying.
Click here to learn more about President Obama’s work to stop Iran.
President Obama’s speech to AIPAC is available here or below:
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s response to President Obama’s speech is available here or below:
The White House media availability with President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu is available here or below:
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to AIPAC is available here or below:
President Peres’ speech to AIPAC is available here or below: