President Barack Obama addressed AIPAC 2012, the largest gathering of pro-Israel activists in the world on Sunday. He had tough words for Iran and looked to defend his approach and government’s policies towards Israel.
Obama said in his speech,
“If during this political season you hear some question of my administration’s support for Israel, remember that it’s not backed up by the facts. There should not be a shred of doubt right now: When the chips are down, I have Israel’s back.”
Obama told the gathering that he would leave no option off the table, including military force to stop Iran’s march towards a nuclear weapon. Monday Obama is meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to argue over Israel’s concerns that the American Administration hasn’t done enough to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
But in his speech, Obama also defended his administration’s approach of sanctions and diplomacy, saying that he would rather see diplomatic solutions prevail than military ones, and that he has “a deeply-held preference for peace over war.”
“Already there is too much loose talk of war. 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.”
Obama talked about his administrations staunch support of Israel since he came into office — from the highest level of security aid ever to his staunch objections to Palestinian attempts to seek statehood at the United Nations last year —
He said to the conference,
“As you examine my commitment, you don’t just have to count on my words, you can look at my deeds. In the end support for Israel is bipartisan and that is how it should stay,”
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Watch as Top Israeli officials slam Obama’s Iran policy.