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Obama in Jerusalem

Author: Elliott Abrams, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies
March 21, 2013
Weekly Standard

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President Obama spoke to the Israeli people today, at the Jerusalem Convention Center. His remarks moved his administration toward the pre-Obama consensus views of the Clinton and Bush administrations, indeed at several points echoing Bush's 2008 speech to the Knesset. But he presented a view of the chances for peace with the Palestinians that was far rosier than reality permits—or than he may really believe.

Obama began by correcting, as he had upon landing in Israel, his 2009 error in Cairo—where he linked Israel only to the Holocaust, and never to Biblical history. He rightly described the goal of Zionism as the wish "to be a free people in your homeland."

When he discussed Iran, he stated that "time is not unlimited" for negotiations and flatly said, "Iran must not get a nuclear weapon." "This is not a danger that can be contained," he added. "American will do what we must" to stop Iran.


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