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President Obama Speaks at AIPAC

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Published on Mar 4, 2012

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President Obama spoke at the AIPAC Conference on March 4, 2012.

"President Truman put it well, describing his decision to formally recognize Israel only minutes after it declared independence: "I had faith in Israel before it was established," he said. "I believe it has a glorious future before it - as not just another sovereign nation, but as an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization."

For over six decades, the American people have kept that faith. Yes, we are bound to Israel because of the interests that we share -- in security for our communities; prosperity for our people; and new frontiers of science that can light the world. But it is our common ideals that provide the true foundation for our relationship. That is why America's commitment to Israel has endured under Democratic and Republican Presidents, and congressional leaders of both parties. In the United States, our support for Israel is bipartisan, and that is how it should stay.

But as you examine my commitment, you don't just have to count on my words. You can look at my deeds. Because over the last three years, as President of the United States I have kept my commitments to the state of Israel. At every crucial juncture -- at every fork in the road -- we have been there for Israel. Every single time.

Which is why, if, during this political season, you hear some questions, remember that it's not backed up by the facts. And remember that the U.S.-Israel relationship is simply too important to be distorted by partisan politics. America's national security is too important. Israel's security is too important.

Today there is no doubt -- anywhere in the world -- that the United States will insist upon Israel's security and legitimacy.

Iran's leaders should have no doubt about the resolve of the United States, just as they should not doubt Israel's sovereign right to make its own decisions about what is required to meet its security needs. 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 to impose crippling sanctions; and, yes, a military effort to be prepared for any contingency.

Israel's story is one of hope. We may not agree on every single issue -- no two nations do, and our vibrant democracies contain a vibrant diversity of views. But we agree on the big things -- the things that matter. And together, we are working to build a better world -- one where our people can live free from fear; one where peace is founded upon justice; one where our children can know a future that is more hopeful than the present.

There is no shortage of speeches on the friendship between the United States and Israel. But I am also mindful of the proverb, "A man is judged by his deeds, not by his words." So if you want to know where my heart lies, look no further than what I have done -- to stand up for Israel; to secure both of our countries; and to see that the rough waters of our time lead to a peaceful and prosperous shore.

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