'The commitment of the United States to the security of Israel is ironclad'

Following his speech on Thursday, Obama clarifies his policy on the 1967 border, says U.S. demands Hamas recognize Israel.

Published: May 22nd 2011
in News » World

U.S. President Barack Obama at the AIPAC conference in 2008

On Sunday U.S. President Barack Obama spoke at the AIPAC conference, a pro-Israel lobby, to calm tensions following his speech last week which many considered unacceptable for Israel security concerns.


In his speech given Thursday, Obama endorsed the 1967 borders as a starting point in the peace process negotiations. On Sunday he further clarified this statement by stating that “There was nothing particularly original in my proposal; this basic framework for negotiations has long been the basis for discussions among the parties, including previous US Administrations."


The U.S. "believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine.


"The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states... As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself – by itself – against any threat," he continued.


"Let me reaffirm what '1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps' means: By definition, it means that the parties themselves – Israelis and Palestinians – will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967.


"It is a well known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation. It allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the last 44 years, including the new demographic realities on the ground and the needs of both sides.


"The ultimate goal is two states for two peoples. Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people; each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace," he concluded.


Obama began his speech by reassuring the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) that the U.S. commitment to the security of Israel is ‘ironclad’ and that the U.S. is committed to keeping Israel the secure home of the Jewish people.


"A strong and secure Israel is in the national security interest of United States not simply because we share strategic interests… (it is) simply because we face common dangers."


America has "a profound commitment to Israel's survival as a strong, secure homeland of the Jewish people. We also know how difficult that search for security can be, especially for a small nation like Israel in a tough neighborhood.


Obama continued to stress the importance of the relationship between the U.S. military and the IDF, for both partners, and said that their cooperation was at “an unprecedented levels”. He went on to state that their most advanced military technologies are made available to Israel and that that “qualitative military edge’ will continue to be made available to Israel.


"You also see our commitment to Israel’s security in our steadfast opposition to any attempt to de-legitimize the State of Israel. As I said at the United Nation’s last year, 'Israel’s existence must not be a subject for debate,' and 'efforts to chip away at Israel’s legitimacy will only be met by the unshakeable opposition of the United States,'" he assured his audience.


Obama’s speech to the AIPAC, which was attended by over 10,000 people from all over the U.S., was met with roaring applause and will likely help mend his relationship with the Jewish American community and regain their support for the upcoming 2012 reelection campaign.

Related articles: (Obama, AIPAC, Borders, Palestinian, )

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