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May 25, 2011

Highlights from President Obama’s Speech to the AIPAC Policy Conference, May 22, 2011

Listed in: Israel, Fact Sheets

This past week President Barack Obama restated his unwavering commitment to Israel’s security and lasting peace. In two subsequent speeches, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his deep gratitude for the President’s support. Below is a summary of the main points both leaders made.

Obama’s full remarks can be read here.

This fact sheet can be downloaded as a pdf here.

A more detailed record of the Obama Administration’s pro-Israel accomplishments over the past two years can be found here.


Obama put an end to any misrepresentation of his previous references to using “1967 lines with mutually-agreed swaps” as a basis for future negotiations:

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. That’s what mutually agreed-upon swaps means. [Sunday, May 22, 2011]

Netanyahu used and supported Obama’s own words during his speech to Congress on May 24, 2011:

[A]s President Obama said, the border will be different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967. [Tuesday, May 24, 2011]

Obama reminded that his proposals were not new, citing past Administrations:

And that is why on Thursday I stated publicly the principles that the United States believes can provide a foundation for negotiations toward an agreement to end the conflict and all claims - the broad outlines of which have been known for many years, and have been the template for discussions between the United States, Israel, and the Palestinians since at least the Clinton administration. [Sunday, May 22, 2011]

Obama outlined the strength of the US-Israel partnership in “deed”...

Because we understand the challenges Israel faces…It’s why we’ve increased cooperation between our militaries to unprecedented levels…It’s why, despite tough fiscal times, we’ve increased foreign military financing to record levels. And that includes additional support - beyond regular military aid - for the Iron Dome anti-rocket system… So make no mistake, we will maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge. [Sunday, May 22, 2011] well as through “word[s],” including in the hypercritical United Nations:

[W]hen the Durban Review Conference advanced anti-Israel sentiment, we withdrew. In the wake of the Goldstone Report, we stood up strongly for Israel’s right to defend itself. When an effort was made to insert the United Nations into matters that should be resolved through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, we vetoed it. [Sunday, May 22, 2011]

Netanyahu recognized Obama’s incredible efforts to ensure Israel’s security:

Yesterday President Obama spoke about his ironclad commitment to Israel’s security. He rightly said that our security cooperation is unprecedented. He spoke of that commitment not just in front of AIPAC. He spoke about it in two speeches heard throughout the Arab world. And he has backed those words with deeds. [Monday, May 23, 2011]

Netanyahu did this again before Congress:

You’ve been very generous in giving us tools to do the job of defending Israel on our own. Thank you all, and thank you President Obama, for your steadfast commitment to Israel’s security. I know economic times are tough. I deeply appreciate this. [Tuesday, May 24, 2011]

Obama vowed to reject any attempt by the Palestinians to declare statehood unilaterally through the United Nations:

No vote at the United Nations will ever create an independent Palestinian state. And the United States will stand up against efforts to single Israel out at the United Nations or in any international forum. Israel’s legitimacy is not a matter for debate. That is my commitment; that is my pledge to all of you. [Sunday, May 22, 2011]

Obama insisted that Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with a “terrorist organization” like Hamas:

No country can be expected to negotiate with a terrorist organization sworn to its destruction. And we will continue to demand that Hamas accept the basic responsibilities of peace, including recognizing Israel’s right to exist and rejecting violence and adhering to all existing agreements. [Sunday, May 22, 2011]

As another measure of Obama’s commitment to Israel’s security, he listed the extensive measures taken by the United States against the Iranian regime and its nuclear proliferation program:

Here in the United States, we’ve imposed the toughest sanctions ever on the Iranian regime. At the United Nations, under our leadership, we’ve secured the most comprehensive international sanctions on the regime, which have been joined by allies and partners around the world. [Sunday, May 22, 2011]

Netanyahu applauded these efforts before Congress:

President Obama has said that the United States is determined to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. He successfully led the Security Council to adopt sanctions against Iran. You in Congress passed even tougher sanctions. These words and deeds are vitally important. [Tuesday, May 24, 2011]