Bookmark and Share
Printer Friendly
February 28, 2013

President Obama and Israel: The Facts

Listed in: Israel, Fact Sheets, NJDC News

Throughout his presidency, President Barack Obama has made strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship a top foreign policy priority. His work to strengthen that relationship places him among Israel’s strongest supporters ever; the facts, with citations, follow below and can be downloaded here as a pdf.

The United States of America stands with the State of Israel because it is in our fundamental national security interest to stand with Israel. It makes us both stronger. It makes us both more prosperous. And it makes the world a better place. That’s why the United States was the very first nation to recognize the State of Israel 65 years ago. That’s why the Star of David and the Stars and Stripes fly together today. And that is why I’m confident in declaring that our alliance is eternal, it is forever— lanetzach” [Obama, March, 20, 2013]

Obama provided Israel with the largest amount of American military aid in U.S. history, including:

* Over $3 billion per year to assist Israel’s military to ensure it has the latest and most efficient technologies and weapons available; and

* $275 million in supplemental funding to develop the Iron Dome missile system, praised by Israel’s defense leaders for its “exceptional” and revolutionary success at saving the lives of Israelis who live under threat from Hamas’ rockets.

* Additional funding for the Arrow and David’s Sling missile systems, bringing the total funding for missile defense to $650 milliondouble the amount spent by the Bush Administration. 

Obama restored Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME) with advanced weaponry by:

* Signing the U.S.-Israel Enhanced Security Act

* Selling Israel bunker busting bombs and F-35 fighter planes while fast-tracking arms sales;

* Committing American troops to the 2009 Juniper Cobra and 2012 Austere Challenge joint military exercises—the largest and most extensive exercises ever with Israel;

Authorizing Israel to use American weapons stored in Israel during an emergency; and

* Working with Israel to combat smuggling into Gaza.

Obama’s diplomatic support for Israel is unparalleled. Obama:

* Defended Israel’s right to self-defense—including during Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012;

Forcefully opposed the Palestinians’ attempt to unilaterally declare a state;

* Rallied the world against a nuclear-armed Iran and continues to lead the sanctions effort by example;

* Voted with Israel 100% of the time at the United Nations, a first in modern history;

Defended Israel’s legitimacy on the world stage, and vocally protested efforts to isolate Israel at the United Nations and in UN bodies; and

* Consistently affirmed the U.S.-Israel bond.

Obama personally came to Israel’s aid immediately when it needed it most. Obama:

* Answered Israel’s “3am phone call” and personally intervened to rescue Israel’s diplomats in Cairo; and

Personally ordered that Israel receive “whatever it need[ed]” to put out the Carmel fire.


Israeli Leaders on President Obama

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

“Thank you for unequivocally affirming Israel’s sovereign right to defend itself by itself against any threat. Thank you for enhancing Israel’s ability to exercise that right through generous military assistance, revolutionary missile defense programs, and unprecedented security and intelligence cooperation.

Thank you, Mr. President, for upholding the Jewish people’s right to a Jewish state in our historic homeland, and for boldly defending that right at the United Nations. And thank you for strengthening the unbreakable alliance between our two nations during your Presidency.” [March 20, 2013]

“Americans know that Israel and the United States share common values, that we defend common interests, that we face common enemies. ... We are you, and you are us. We’re together.” [March 5, 2012]

“I think that standing your ground, taking this position of principle… I think this is a badge of honor and I want to thank you for wearing that badge of honor.” [September 22, 2011]

“I would like to express my gratitude to the President of the United States, Barack Obama. I asked for his help. ... He said, ‘I will do everything I can.’ And so he did. ... We owe him a special measure of gratitude.” [September 10, 2011]

“I trust Barack Obama, President of the United States to carry out with me the policies that have joined Israel and the United States.” [July 7, 2010]

President Shimon Peres:

“This [Presidential Medal of Distinction] speaks to your tireless work to make Israel strong. And peace possible. Your presidency has given the close ties between Israel and the United States a new height. A sense of intimacy. A vision for the future. The people of Israel are particularly moved by your unforgettable contribution to their security. To defending our skies. To the collaboration in the domain of intelligence, which is the right way to preempt bloodshed. The diplomatic and military bonds between us have reached an unprecedented level.” [March, 21, 2013]

“We welcome you as a great President of the United States of America. As a remarkable world leader. As a historic friend of Israel. Of the Jewish people. Your visit here is a crown demonstration of the profound relationship  between our two nations. The people of Israel welcome you with open hearts. From the depth of our hearts, From the depths of our history, ‘Toda Raba.’” [March 20, 2013]

“Mr. President, I know your commitment to Israel is deep and profound. Under your leadership, security cooperation between the US and Israel has reached its highest level. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a friend in the White House.” [March 4, 2012]

“Thank you America for being our friend and our ally. And thank you President Barack Obama, for your leadership, for your deep and moving ongoing and unwavering commitment to the peace and security of our land.” [June 30, 2011]

Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren:

“When I came to this job four years ago, I knew the alliance was strong, but I had no idea just how vast and dynamic it is. Our ties are not restricted to the political and military, but rather they extend to broad commercial and agricultural ventures, unbelievable humanitarian projects, intelligence sharing, and security coordination. I would say in the past five years, these bonds have only become stronger and grown wider. We will work closely with President Obama to further strengthen this unshakable alliance, and his visit to Israel in the spring will be a great start.” [February, 21, 2013]

“We see things very much eye-to-eye on how to move forward. ... The President’s speech here at the General Assembly was quite strong in his support for Israel in its security needs, in its sympathy for the Israeli people and the situation they find themselves in the Middle East and I think the most important thing was the strong emphasis placed on the connection between the Jewish people of Israel and the Land of Israel.” [September 26, 2011]

Defense Minister and former Prime Minister Ehud Barak:

“I should tell you honestly that this Administration under President Obama is doing in regard to our security more than anything that I can remember in the past.” [July 30, 2012]

“The unshakable bonds between Israel and America and their respective defense establishments under the guiding hand of President Barack Obama are stronger and deeper than ever and we are very thankful and appreciative of that.” [December 16, 2011]

“Our countries are good friends. And I’m the minister of defense, I can tell you… I can hardly remember a better period of support, American support and backing and cooperation and similar strategic understanding of events around us than what we have right now.” [August 3, 2011]

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon:

“I can tell you in a very categoric way I believe also in an authoritative way that we have not had a better friend than President Obama and we will continue to work together because not only it’s our ideal it’s also our interests ... cooperation has never been better while issues which are of the most sensitive and of most importance to our collective security and wellbeing.” [August 28, 2011]