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Obama To Netanyahu: 'The United States Will Always Have Israel's Back'

Braden Holly |
March 5, 2012 | 10:05 a.m. PST

Executive Producer

Israeli Flag. Courtesy of Creative Commons. Photograph by Zeevveez.
Israeli Flag. Courtesy of Creative Commons. Photograph by Zeevveez.
“The United States will always have Isreal’s back,” said President Barack Obama to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at meeting at the White House Monday.

Netanyahu affirmed American and Israeli ties by saying that “Israel and America stand together,” something that has become increasingly crucial of late as the debate over how to approach Iran’s continued development of nuclear capability.

The Washington Post reported:

“Both the prime minister and I prefer to solve this diplomatically,” Obama said as he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began several hours of White House consultations. The U.S. will consider all options in confronting what it sees as the unacceptable outcome of an Iranian bomb, Obama said.

While Obama would prefer to wait and see how sanctions and economic pressures placed on Iran play out, he has not ruled out the possibility that the U.S. could become involved in a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

According to Reuters:

At the White House meeting, Obama told Netanyahu the United States reserved "all options" in dealing with Iran. The president has made clear that would include a possible military component.

"We do not want to see a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region in the world," Obama said.

While the meeting highlighted the close relationship between Israel and the U.S., there was a nod to Israeli autonomy.

While the U.S. would prefer to wait on sanctions to put pressure on Iran, some officials in Israel would rather strike Iran sooner.

The Washington Post reported:

Obama did not directly call on Israel to stand down, and made a point of saying Israel should always have the right to defend itself as it sees fit.

That was the part of Obama’s speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that Netanyahu said he liked best. Speaking to reporters in Canada ahead of his arrival in the U.S., Netanyahu made no reference to the sanctions and diplomacy Obama emphasized.

Appearing strong on Iran and supporting Israel could become crucial subjects of debate in the upcoming presidential election.

The Jerusalem Post reported:

Obama also strongly defended his record on Israel and sought to stave off Republican attacks during the presidential campaign. Three leading candidates for the Republican nomination will be addressing the AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] Policy Conference on Tuesday, which is the largest annual American pro-Israel gathering.



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