web analytics
September 24, 2014 / 29 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



President Obama to AIPAC: ‘When the Chips are Down, I Have Israel’s Back’

President Barack Obama speaking at the 2012 AIPAC conference, Sunday.

President Barack Obama speaking at the 2012 AIPAC conference, Sunday.
Photo Credit: C-Span

US President Barack Obama struck a defensive tone in his speech on Sunday to the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington DC, citing his administration’s record of support for Israel in the security and diplomatic arena as proof of his “unprecedented” friendship with the Jewish state.

The President focused on two main themes in his speech – his record of support for Israel and the intensifying showdown with Iran over its nuclear program. He appeared to be in full campaign-mode, telling the audience – and the American Jewish demographic in general – to “examine my commitment…look at my words and deeds. 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 every single time…my administration’s support for israel has been unprecedented.”

“When the chips are down, I have Israel’s back,” he said emphatically, to loud applause. And in a nod to election season, he warned his Jewish constituents: “Don’t trust the distortions of partisan politics.”

Shifting to Iran, he started by saying, “lets begin with a basic truth – no Israeli government can tolerate a government that denies the Holocaust, seeks to wipe Israel off the map, and sponsors terror groups committed to Israel’s destruction.” He went on to express his understanding for “the profound historical obligation that rests on Bibi’s shoulders,” using the nickname Israeli Prime Netanyahu is often referred to as in Israel.

In a direct reference to the potential for a military strike, he reiterated what has become a mantra for his administration: “I will take no options off the table. And I mean what I say. A military effort must be prepared for any contingency.” He also said that Iran’s leaders “should not doubt Israel’s sovereign right to make decisions regarding what is required to meet its security needs,” understood by many to mean that Israel will not ask the US government for permission if it chooses to strike Iran.

Perhaps his strongest statement came when he said: “I do not have a policy of containment, I have a policy of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.”

Still, Obama reverted to his internationalist tendencies by expressing his continued faith in the five-year old sanctions regime imposed on Iran, and striking a conciliatory tone: “I have a deeply held preference for peace over war…Iran’s leaders still have the opportunity to make the right decision.” He also lamented that there was “already too much loose talk of war. Now is not the time for bluster.”

President Obama’s speech is likely to be received like many of his previous “historic” speeches: everyone acknowledges his soaring rhetoric, his supporters will find remarks that prove his leadership and resolve, while his detractors will find comments that support their narrative of Obama as an appeaser. But the fact that his remarks can be interpreted so ambiguously is not only a sign of good political speech-making, but also a worrying indication that his Iran strategy is incoherent.

The President ended his speech by invoking ex-President Theodore Roosevelt’s famous diplomatic adage “speak softly, carry a big stick,” as his policy going forward. The question remains whether these are just more sweet-sounding words from the President, designed to postpone a tough decision in a tough election campaign season.

About the Author: Rafi Harkham is an Editor and Senior Analyst at The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “President Obama to AIPAC: ‘When the Chips are Down, I Have Israel’s Back’”

  1. Dan the Man says:

    All talk and bluster.

  2. Daniel A. says:

    “When the chips are down….” Right, sit down in a comfortable chair and wait…wait…wait, but don’t wait too long.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
NY rally against Met Opera's 'Death of Klinghoffer' opera. Sept. 22, 2014.
New York City Site of Huge Rally Against Met’s Klinghoffer Opera
Latest News Stories
soldiers[1]

Here is your chance to show your appreciation to the IDF!

NY rally against Met Opera's 'Death of Klinghoffer' opera. Sept. 22, 2014.

Thousands of people protested outside of the Metropolitan Opera for staging an anti-Semitic opera.

Immigration to Israel this year was up 28% compared to the previous year. An estimated total of 24,800 new immigrants arrived to Israel throughout the course of the year.

Yamam Hebron Shootout

The YAMAM counter terrorist unit killed the 2 terrorists. This is part of that video.

The two were traveling on stolen Israeli passports, and had changed the photos to their own.

The renewed ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas ended peacefully for the day.

“In the Middle East today, there is one country where Christianity is not only not persecuted, but affectionately granted freedom of expression, freedom of worship and security. It is Israel, the Jewish State. “

ISIS has launched a global campaign to encourage Muslims to murder non-Muslims.

A French citizen is abducted and his life is now threatened by an ISIS group in Algeria.

“What we are seeing here in New York today is not an artistic expression that challenges the limits of morality, but a moral deformity that challenges the limits of the art.

Dr. Boaz Ganor, co-founder and executive director of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel, calls Hamas and Hizbullah “hybrid” terrorist organizations.

A travel terror attack was foiled Tuesday on a road near Ashdod thanks to the alert eyes of the Israeli public and police.

Four Arab teens are indicted in connection with Sept. 7 attack on French Hill gas station.

PM Netanyahu has sent out his Rosh HaShana greeting to Jews around the world.

The IDF shot down a Syrian fighter jet that infiltrated Israeli air space, using a Patriot missile.

More Articles from Rafi Harkham
Untitled-1

Danny Goldstein, founder and chairman of ‘Calcala’ (‘Finance’): “We are focused on making Israel a better place to live and a better place to invest by merging the best of Israel and America – representing Israelis, but with an eye on the American perspective.”

Then-Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer submits 2011 report to PM Binyamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “The Israeli economy grew more than most Western economies, almost 2.5 times the OECD average…In contrast to the collapsing economies around us, Israel’s credit rating was upgraded last year.”

Deputy FM Danny Ayalon said Israel would not be cooperating with the Council in the wake of its passage of a resolution ordering a ‘fact-finding mission’ into Israel’s conduct in Judea and Samaria: “We have no reason to continue cooperating with a hypocritical organization which specializes in double-speak and has a mission to smear us.”

Since Kadima’s fracturing is inevitable, the leadership primary becomes significance in that it will determine which leader will secure the votes of those Kadima MKs whose allegiance is to the party, and not its leader.

PM Netanyahu: “Israel will do everything to help” find the killer, who had “strong murderous anti-Semitic motive”; UN Human Rights Council “should be ashamed” to host a Hamas official on the day of a terrorist attack.

Dalia Itzik, Kadima’s Knesset Faction Chairwoman and the last faction member yet to announce who she will support in the upcoming primary between Livni and Shaul Mofaz, has been linked to discussions with Mofaz’s campaign over the weekend.

Noted Israeli author and Israel Prize Laureate A.B. Yehoshua said that living outside Israel “is a very deep failure of the Jewish people,” and lamented that immigration numbers from the United States are “minimal” and “embarrassing.” He was equally acerbic regarding the large Israeli ex-patriot community.

The resolution read, “Egypt after the revolution will never be a friend of the Zionist entity, the number one enemy of Egypt and the Arab nation.” It also supported Palestinian resistance “in all its kinds and forms.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/jewish-news/president-obama-to-aipac-when-the-chips-are-down-i-have-israels-back/2012/03/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: