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Cross Posted at The Progressive Zionist

Speaking at the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) annual conference speakers U.S. President Barak Obama and Israeli President Shimon Peres reiterated their message that the U.S. and Israel share views and goals not only on Iran but on peace in the Middle-East between Israelis and Palestinians.

Speaking on the U.S. and Iran, President Peres, who received a lifetime achievement award from AIPAC, had this to say:

"President Obama made it clear that the U.S. will not permit Iran to become nuclear," Peres said, adding that Obama has also made it clear that "all options are on the table".
Then going on to talk about the relationship between the U.S. and Israel Peres had this comment:
"Mr. President, I know your commitment to Israel is deep and profound," Peres said. "Under your leadership, security cooperation between the U.S. and Israel has reached its highest level (vb1 emphasis).. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a friend in the White House. He reflects the values that make American great and make Israel secure. Thank you President Obama on behalf of my people."
According to a recent Jerusalem Post poll, the Israeli people seem to agree with him as they (like their diaspora Jewish brothers and sisters here in the U.S.) favor President Obama over ALL of his Republican challengers.

President Obama speaking right after President Peres added the following:

"We all prefer to resolve this issue diplomatically," Obama said in an address at the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC's policy conference in Washington. "Having said that, Iran’s leaders should have no doubt about the resolve of the United States, just as they should not doubt Israel’s sovereign right to make its own decisions about what is required to meet its security needs. 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 to impose crippling sanctions; and, yes, a military effort to be prepared for any contingency."

Unlike his Rightwing opponents though both here in the U.S.and in Israel the President urged caution and responsible action:
"Already, there is too much loose talk of war," Obama said. "Over the last few weeks, such talk has only benefited the Iranian government, by driving up the price of oil, which they depend upon to fund their nuclear program. For the sake of Israel’s security, America’s security, and the peace and security of the world, now is not the time for bluster; now is the time to let our increased pressure sink in, and to sustain the broad international coalition that we have built. Now is the time to heed that timeless advice from Teddy Roosevelt: speak softly, but carry a big stick."
Again, even the Israeli public agrees with President Obama as ONLY 19% of them favor a strike on the Iran happening without U.S. backing.      

As for the Presidents messages of Peace and the Two State Solution, President Peres had this to say:

"The Palestinians are our neighbors for life," Peres said. "Peace can and must be achieved. A peace based on a two-state solution, a Jewish state - Israel, and an Arab state - Palestine."

"We want to preserve an Israel that is Jewish, democratic and attractive. I meet from time to time with President Abbas and PM [Salam] Fayyad. They need and want peace. I believe that peace is possible. They are our partners for peace. Not Hamas."  

Apparently President Peres did not get the memo from Republicans, ODS'ers. Israeli Rightists and U.S. ChickenHawk bloggers that the P.A. will not make Peace with Israel. Now, in fairness to that group (although g-d knows, they don't deserve it) the Palestinian Authority IS making peace negotiations difficult with their insistence on the full return of East Jerusalem and their refusal to curb the rampant anti-Semitism in their ranks, NOT to mention their continued efforts to bring Hamas into their government. Yet, so far the attempts to bring in Hamas have resulted in failure and the P.A. has still admitted it's willingness to go to the table and hammer out a Peace deal.

In this passage though I think President Obama "nails it" (so to speak):

"I make no apologies for pursuing peace. Israel’s own leaders understand the necessity of peace," Obama said. "Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu, Defense Minister [Ehud] Barak, and President Peres – each of them have called for two states, a secure Israel that lives side by side with an independent Palestinian state."

"I believe that peace is profoundly in Israel’s security interest. The reality that Israel faces - from shifting demographics, to emerging technologies, to an extremely difficult international environment - demands a resolution of this issue. And I believe that peace with the Palestinians is consistent with Israel’s founding values - because of our shared belief in self-determination; and because Israel’s place as a Jewish and democratic state must be protected."

YES! Exactly,  because it vital to protect Israel as a Jewish, and Democratic State. And as the great statesman Abba Eban and others have stated that Israel can only be Two of the Three following things:

1. Israel can be a Jewish State
2. Israel can be a Democratic State
3. Israel can be a State from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea

The President gets that in the long term interests of Israel - it must maintain it's Jewish character while recognizing that it's Palestinian neighbors also have the legitimate right to self determination.

Meanwhile, back in Israel, never one to be left out of the spotlight, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman had told reporters that "Israel will decide independently whether to strike Iran". If that is the case (and it certainly is Israel's right to do that), then I guess that they will also decide if they want U.S. aid in that strike as well. Perhaps the Foreign Minister should listen to 81% of his people when they tell him... DON'T STRIKE W/OUT THE U.S.

Now the question hinges on what will PM Benyamin Netanyahu say. Further what will the meeting on March 5th (tomorrow) bring? We are in for a few very interesting days as the AIPAC conference continues along and Israeli and U.S. leaders meet.

One other important thing of note: In Iran today, President Ahmadinejhad has met with defeat at the polls. While the choice was between hard line candidates Ahmadinejhad's candidates were soundly defeated by those supporting the Grand Ayatollah Khameni. What does this mean for everyone else? Not a lot in the sense that the new group coming in are just as dedicated to Iranian Nuclear Power and regional hegemony as Ahmadinejhad HOWEVER, they are far more rational than the President who many in Iran consider a "loose cannon" (my words).

Also with relation to Iran - not only do their proxies in Hizbollah control the Lebanese/Israel Border but according to the Washington Post (as reported in Haaretz) there are Iranian advisors on the ground in Syria aiding in the slaughter of it's own citizens by Dictator Bashar Assad.

UPDATE TO PROGRESSIVE ZIONIST DIARY: According to Haaretz, PM Netanyahu has said the following regarding the Presidents speech:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday welcomed U.S. President Barack Obama's earlier speech at the AIPAC conference in Washington, saying that he appreciated more than anyone Obama's statement on Israel's right to defend itself by itself against any threat.

Originally posted to Jews For President Obama on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 11:52 AM PST.

Also republished by Team Shalom and HaYishuv.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Remarks by the PBO at AIPAC Policy Conference (6+ / 0-)

    Remarks by the President at AIPAC Policy Conference

    Rosy, thank you for your kind words.  I have never seen Rosy on the basketball court.  I'll bet it would be a treat.  (Laughter.)  Rosy, you've been a dear friend of mine for a long time and a tireless advocate for the unbreakable bonds between Israel and the United States.  And as you complete your term as President, I salute your leadership and your commitment.  (Applause.)

    I want to thank the board of directors.  As always, I’m glad to see my long-time friends in the Chicago delegation.  (Applause.)  I also want to thank the members of Congress who are with us here today, and who will be speaking to you over the next few days.  You've worked hard to maintain the partnership between the United States and Israel.  And I especially want to thank my close friend, and leader of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  (Applause.)

    I’m glad that my outstanding young Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, is in the house.  (Applause.)  I understand that Dan is perfecting his Hebrew on his new assignment, and I appreciate his constant outreach to the Israeli people.  And I’m also pleased that we’re joined by so many Israeli officials, including Ambassador Michael Oren.  (Applause.)  And tomorrow, I’m very much looking forward to welcoming Prime Minister Netanyahu and his delegation back to the White House...

    It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision. ~ Helen Keller

    by Pam from Calif on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 12:05:16 PM PST

  •  Netanyahu Won't Attack Iran (Probably.) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, Yastreblyansky
    Various U.S. officials, current and former, named and anonymous, have shared their skepticism regarding Israel's ability to inflict decisive damage on Iran's nuclear-enrichment program, as well as their trepidation at the costs, consequences, and retaliatory attacks that might follow from an Israeli strike. These same officials have intelligence-driven doubts as to whether Iran even has any intention of crossing a nuclear threshold to weaponization. Their Israeli counterparts, meanwhile, push home the need for the United States to draw red lines beyond which there will be an American commitment to military action (with former Israeli intel chief Amos Yadlin taking the case to the New York Times' op-ed pages) and suggest that Obama would be to blame in the event of an Israeli strike. Subtle it isn't.

    Meanwhile, most of the rest of the world is holding its breath, convinced that yet another military confrontation in the Middle East will have disastrous consequences, especially during such a tumultuous period in the region, including for the global economy, with energy prices already hitting new and unexpected highs. Even those regional leaders who might privately welcome a military poke in the eye for Tehran do so against the wishes of their own publics and with uncertainty as to what else might unravel in the wake of a strike.


    Pentagon Papers Daniel Ellsberg, “It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam.”

    by allenjo on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 12:17:45 PM PST

  •  Never before has a small country dictated to a (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, Paleo, poco
    The Israeli columnist Gideon Levy wrote in Haaretz on Sunday that Israel was dictating policy to the White House:

    A new chapter is being written in the history of nations. Never before has a small country dictated to a superpower; never before has the chirp of a cricket sounded like a roar; never has the elephant resembled an ant - and vice versa … When [Netanyahu] goes to the White House tomorrow he will make a new demand: Either you or we [attack Iran], putting the leader of the free world in a tight spot. Obama does not want to ensnare his country in another war or in an energy crisis, but when Netanyahu hath demanded, who will not fear?

    Meanwhile, in a long article for Foreign Policy, the US-based Israeli analyst Daniel Levy explores the domestic dynamics in Netanyahu's considerations on whether or not to launch military action. The prime minister, he says, has no domestic political need to go to war, and would face a barrage of criticism within Israel if he did:

    Pentagon Papers Daniel Ellsberg, “It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam.”

    by allenjo on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 12:29:11 PM PST

  •  Israel on Iran: So wrong for so long (8+ / 0-)

    I followed a link, I think it was from truong son, to this article, which is quite interesting......

    Officials at the U.S. Department of State, we learned from the secret cables released by WikiLeaks last week, have serious questions about the accuracy — and sincerity — of Israeli predictions about when Iran will obtain a nuclear weapon. As one State official wrote in response to an Israeli general’s November 2009 claim that Iran would have a bomb in one year: “It is unclear if the Israelis firmly believe this or are using worst-case estimates to raise greater urgency from the United States.”

    So we thought this was as good a time as any to look at the remarkable history of incorrect Israeli predictions about Iran — especially given that the WikiLeaks trove is being used to argue that an attack on Iran is becoming more likely. According to various Israeli government predictions over the years, Iran was going to have a bomb by the mid-90s — or 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, and finally 2010. More recent Israeli predictions have put that date at 2011 or 2014.

    TIMELINE STARTING            October 1992: “Warning the international community that Iran would be armed with a nuclear bomb by 1999, Peres told France 3 television in October 1992 that ‘Iran is the greatest threat [to peace] and greatest problem in the Middle East … because it seeks the nuclear option while holding a highly dangerous stance of extreme religious militantism.’”

    Pentagon Papers Daniel Ellsberg, “It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam.”

    by allenjo on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 12:36:37 PM PST

  •  I hate these effin wars and rumors of war (8+ / 0-)

    I believe ZERO of what neo-cons have to say about Iran and their "weapons capability".

    We all sat through this horrible movie once before, with the yellowcake, mobile weapons laboratory, and other tall tales compiled by Colin Powell.

    •  agree, freshwater (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dirk41, Yastreblyansky
      In the Iraqi case, a preventive strike reinforced Iraq's interest in acquiring a deterrent, and led Iraq to pursue it in ways that were more difficult to detect or prevent. That is what Iran is likely to do as well if Israel or the United States were foolish enough to strike them. U.S. intelligence still believes Iran has not made a final decision to weaponize; ironically, an Israeli or U.S. attack is the step that is most likely to push them over the edge.

      It's hardly surprising that some Israelis would like the United States to shoulder the burden of bombing Iran.

      It's also not surprising that they would make up specious arguments or distort history to do this; the Bush administration got us into the Iraq war in the same way.

      Pentagon Papers Daniel Ellsberg, “It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam.”

      by allenjo on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 01:08:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  precisely, or as Jr. Gong had it: (0+ / 0-)

      "You try to vote or participate in the government/ and the muh'fuckin' Democrats is actin' like Republicans" ~ Kweli -8.00, -6.56

      by joey c on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 02:07:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  They both have good reasons to push for a... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allenjo, joe from Lowell

    ...Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Midde East.

    "If I can't dance, then I don't want to be in your revolution"--Emma Goldman

    by ehrenfeucht games on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 01:04:57 PM PST

    •  A worthy goal, but I'm not sure Israel 'has good (0+ / 0-)

      reasons to push for a Nuclear Free zone in the Middle East'. At present there is one nuclear military force there, and Israel is it. It is certainly in their interest to make sure no second such force appears, because being the only one and a body with a slighly difficult reputation for conduct in wars, and in originating them, gives them at least in their own minds a distinct leverage over all of their neighbors, and a threat available which makes it easier for them to ignore humanitarian and other international issues that such neighbors have with them.

  •  They do not share common visions (5+ / 0-)

    See Fareed Zakaria's take on Bibi's real intentions:

    Fareed's Take: Netanyahu doesn't want a deal


    The newsworthy and real shift in U.S. policy was President Obama publicly condemning the Palestinian strategy to seek recognition as a state from the U.N. General Assembly in September.

    Instead of thanking Obama for this, Prime Minister Netanyahu chose to stage, in the words of the former Israeli diplomat Alon Pinkas, "Nothing less than a bizarre tirade at the White House on Friday, educating the president about the plight and the pogroms of Jews throughout history."


    The real revelation, which has been picked up by many in the Israeli press, is that it shows finally that Netanyahu simply doesn't want a deal. He always has a new objection, a new problem, a new delaying tactic because, at core, he has never believed that the Palestinians should have a state.

    Here is the young Bibi, 33 years ago, at a forum in Cambridge, Massachusetts:


     "I think the United States should oppose the creation of a Palestinian state for several reasons, the first one being that it is unjust to demand the creation of a 22nd Arab state and a second Palestinian state at the expense of the only Jewish state. There is no right to establish the second one on my doorstep, which will threaten my existence. There is no right whatsoever."
    Prime Minister Netanyahu's references to the indefensible borders of 1967 last week also reveal him to be mired in a world that has really gone away. The chief threat to Israel today is not from a Palestinian army. Israel has the region's strongest economy and military by far, complete with an arsenal of nuclear weapons.

  •  Thanks for posting this. Glad it got some attn'. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1, Mets102

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 01:40:59 PM PST

  •  Really? (3+ / 0-)
    "President Obama made it clear that the U.S. will not permit Iran to become nuclear,"
    Somewhat ambiguous phrasing here.  by "going nuclear" do they mean merely weapons, which they don't have and currently have no intention of getting?  Or do they mean it in the broader sense where even the power projects which the Non Proliferation treaty which they signed(as opposed to the other nuclear power in the region) allows them to pursue?

    There is nothing that makes "bomb bomb Iran" a sane or viable option and those proposing it are psychos.

    You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

    by Johnny Q on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 01:44:00 PM PST

  •  an anti-Obama pro-Israel group (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco, BigAlinWashSt

    One day before the AIPAC conference kicks off in Washington, an anti-Obama pro-Israel group is widening its criticism of President Barack Obama's record on Israel --while the White House defends its treatment of the relationship.

    The trailer for a new 30-minute video, entitled "Daylight: The Story of Obama and Israel," cuts together clips of Obama quotes and outside commentary to put forth the narrative that Obama has made statements and taken actions as president that have put him out of step with the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his supporters.

    Pentagon Papers Daniel Ellsberg, “It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam.”

    by allenjo on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 02:02:14 PM PST

    •  Who cares, they are a bunch of a-holes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mets102, zemblan

      Honestly, they represent about 17% of the Jewish electorate. They are on the defensive due to their nominees being so culturally wrong when it comes to Jewish issues.

    •  And what is their stated reason for insisting that (0+ / 0-)

      the US foreign policy and Israel's generally, and Bibi's in particular should be identical and determined by . . .Bibi. One can be allies without agreeing on everything, and there is no reason cited that I can remember reading by which the US should subordinate its own ME goals in all respects to Bibi's wishes, or outsource the making of that policy to him, generally or as to Iran. Or to send to Israel all of their neat military toys that Bibi doesn't have so he can use US leverage and military, with bigger toys, for his own purposes, without taking US policy along with it.

  •  Good diary, volley. Thanks for posting. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1, Mets102
  •  But will they prevent Israel from going nuclear? (4+ / 0-)

    Oh, right.  Too late for that.  Not that they, except for JFK, tried.

    The one thing that's true about all Republicans, whether lads or lasses, is the thing they like best is kissing rich peoples' asses.

    by Paleo on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 02:40:00 PM PST

  •  Are the pro-Israelis naive fools or blind? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Walter White

    who are unable to grasp just how fast public opinion in the USA can change,   and that once the tide then turns,  and it has been turning since 9-11,  it will decimate USA support for Israel.

    The call in show on CSPAN Washington Journal had a 15-30 minute show today regarding Israel and their influence on the Iran issue.   Almost 100% of the callers opposed Israel.

    The tide is changing and all of the Wall St pro Israel billionaires who own politicians and the media are not going to change the direction of public opinion.

    Israel is neither the USA nor are they joined with us at the hip with a united interest.    Yet  we've had a concerted many year effort to make us believe it is so.    That alone has been the basis for public opinion that has led to huge costs to Americans and huge support for Israel but it is changing now.

    All will change the day that Americans come to believe that we've been had,   not for our own benefit,   but for Israel's benefit.   We aren't super smart but we are realistic and believe we are susceptible to being manipulated,   but it will not be without payback.

    The tide is turning and the neocons and Israel will end up paying big time.    Americans need first to have a strong America,   or we will turn on those who have made us weak.

    Victims of bigotry are the poorest, least influential members of society.......never the wealthiest, most educated, most overrepresented in high levels, and most influential. Bigotry hurts the least influential. To claim or say otherwise is absurd.

    by dailykozzer on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 04:46:05 PM PST

  •  The world doesn't revolve around 6 million Israeli (0+ / 0-)

    It revolves around 8 billion people each with their own interests and beliefs.   For a tiny few that might be difficult to understand.    This is a world composed of many different ethnic beliefs all of which are equal in importance.  

    Victims of bigotry are the poorest, least influential members of society.......never the wealthiest, most educated, most overrepresented in high levels, and most influential. Bigotry hurts the least influential. To claim or say otherwise is absurd.

    by dailykozzer on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 05:31:16 PM PST

  •  This is frightening unless it's a bluff (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    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 to impose crippling sanctions; and, yes, a military effort to be prepared for any contingency."

    War with Iran is on the table then. This is deja vu all over again. I wonder if Obama will strike Iran on March 19, 2012 just to commemorate "Shock and Awe."

    ❧To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 10:25:18 PM PST

  •  We need an American Palestinian Public Affairs (0+ / 0-)

    Committee that has just as much money as AIPAC.
    Well, I can dream - at least they haven't destroyed that in me.

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