Obama in Israel: “Our alliance is eternal”

posted at 9:01 pm on March 20, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

None of that “frosty relationship” stuff for these guys this afternoon, at least not to the public eye; at their joint press conference kicking off President Obama’s three-day visit, he and Prime Minister Netanyahu were all kinds of friendly while Obama sought to reaffirm the United States’ unwavering support. Via NRO:

On a more serious note, the president offered a firm guarantee that the “security of Israel is non-negotiable.” Obama also promised another $200 million in support for Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system, and announced the extension of the U.S.-Israeli military alliance beyond its current expiration date in 2017. He reaffirmed that America does not have a “policy of containment on Iran” and will work to prevent the country’s nuclearization. Netanyahu expressed faith on that point, saying “I’m absolutely convinced that the president is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.”

BuzzFeed and Politico wrote yesterday that President Obama has abandoned the notion that he can achieve anything concrete with a visit to Israel, at least in terms of moving-and-shaking the peace process in the Middle East, and that this trip is more about optics than anything else — and as Krauthammer put it on Fox this evening, “I think one of the reasons that there is new warmth or an effort to project warmth, is because Obama has abandoned the naive view he had when he came to office that he could remake the Middle East and restart negotiations, and that there was a realistic chance of actually having an agreement. .. And even though there remains a difference over what is the red line with Iran, the fact that Obama seems to have recognized Israel might have to strike earlier.”


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