As the American Israel Public Affairs Committee continued its meetings today, the media in Israel reacted positively to President Barack Obama’s firm speech given on Sunday to the pro-Israel lobbying group.
Obama stood firm in stating that “A nuclear-armed Iran is completely counter to Israel’s security interests. But it is also counter to the national security interests of the United States,” as quoted in the full transcript from Politico.
While reiterating his preference for a peaceful solution, Obama said, “I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say. That includes all elements of American power: a political effort aimed at isolating Iran, a diplomatic effort to sustain our coalition and ensure that the Iranian program is monitored, an economic effort that imposes crippling sanctions and, yes, a military effort to be prepared for any contingency.”
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The reactions to Obama’s speech from both Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and most of Israel were overwhelmingly positive.
Ben-Dror Yemini, a conservative Israeli, wrote in the Israeli daily newspaper Ma’ariv, saying, “Those disappointed by Obama’s speech yesterday, and it turns out there are such people, claim that he didn’t make a clear commitment to a military strike. Come on, really. He couldn’t be clearer,” according to TIME.
Nadav Eyal, also writing in Ma’ariv, called the speech a “masterpiece of political work.”
TIME noted that analysts at the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth were also enthusiastic in their support of Obama’s speech. “His speech was aimed directly at our nerve center, at our strongest existential fears. Obama promised us that the United States would not accept nuclear weapons; it simply would not permit their existence….It was a good speech for us, even an excellent one. We heard in it everything we wanted to hear—and heard that we have someone to rely upon,” wrote Sima Kadmon.
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The more left-leaning Israeli newspaper Haaretz, had an opinion editorial that stated: “Obama sent a complex, multifaceted message. He is a loyal friend of Israel, as evidenced by both the record of his actions over the last three years and the testimony of an eminent witness, President Shimon Peres. He is absolutely and unequivocally opposed to Iran having nuclear weapons. But he is first and foremost the U.S. president, whose commitment to do everything possible to thwart Iran's nuclear program has properly been given to the citizens of his own country.”
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Here is a clip from Obama’s speech to AIPAC on Sunday, courtesy of the Guardian: