President Obama and Israel - September 2012

Introduction (Download this informative page as a PDF)
President Obama's commitment to Israel is clear and convincing, as you will see and hear for yourself on the following video:

No other President has committed as much American support for Israel’s security and military preparedness  as President Obama.  President Obama has called for the removal of Syrian President Assad, ordered the successful assassination of Osama bin-Laden, done more than any other president to stop Iran's nuclear ambitions, increased security assistance to Israel to record levels, boycotted Durban II and Durban III, taken US-Israel military and intelligence cooperation to unprecedented levels, cast his only veto in the UN against the one-sided anti-Israel Security Council resolution, opposed the Goldstone Report, mounted a concerted opposition to the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state and has personally responded without hesitation to Israel’s emergency needs.
”We stand with Israel as a Jewish democratic state because we know that Israel is born of firmly held values that we, as Americans, share: a culture committed to justice, a land that welcomes the weary, a people devoted to tikkun olam…. So America’s commitment ... and my commitment to Israel and Israel’s security is unshakeable. It is unshakeable…. I am proud to say that no U.S. administration has done more in support of Israel’s security than ours. None. Don’t let anybody else tell you otherwise. It is a fact.”
-— President Barack Obama
December 16,2011
September 17, 2012 -- AIPAC issued a statement shortly before Rosh Hashana thanking US leaders – President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner by name – for the “close and unshakeable partnership” between the United States and Israel. The statement said President Obama and Congress have “deepened America’s support for Israel” and taken US-Israel security cooperation to “unprecedented levels.”
The Record
President Obama Has Taken the Lead in Preventing a Nuclear-Armed Iran
  • Signed off on the most restrictive Iran sanctions yet, targeting Iran’s Central Bank, making it impossible for third parties to deal with the U.S. and Iranian economies simultaneously
  • Lined up substantive international support forparticipation in stepped up sanctions
  • Declared the US will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, saying no options are off the table
  • “We have closer military and intelligence consultation between our two countries than we ever have," Pres. Obama said in a pre-Superbowl interview when Matt Lauer asked him if he expected advance warning from Israel in case of a strike. "And my No. 1 priority continues to be the security of the United States, but also the security of Israel, and we are going to make sure that we work in lockstep as we proceed to try to solve this, hopefully diplomatically."
  • PM Benjamin Netanyahu endorsed President Obama’s strategy on Iran in a speech September 27, 2012 before the U.N. General Assembly. “Two days ago President Obama reiterated that the threat of a nuclear Iran cannot be contained,” Netanyahu said. “We thank and support President Obama for his position. I believe Democrats and Republicans alike share his position, and it is shared by leaders around the world ... Israel is in discussions with the United States on this issue, and I am confident that we can chart a path forward together.”
Provided Israel with the most American military aid in U.S. history:
  • Security assistance to Israel has increased every year since President Obama took office.
  • President Obama has expanded U.S.-Israeli security and military cooperation, sending nearly 200 senior-level Department of Defense personnel to Israel last year.
  • President Obama fought for and obtained an additional $650 million over the last four years to support the Arrow, David’s Sling and Iron Dome defense systems.
  • On February 13, 2012, President Obama released his FY 2013 budget that provides the largest aid package to Israel in U.S. history: $3.1 billion, a $25 million increase from 2012, which fulfills the commitment made in the ten year Memorandum of Understanding.
Restored Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME):
  • Sold Israel bunker busting bombs and F-35 fighter planes;
  • Fast-tracked arms sales;
  • Cooperated on U.S.-Israel joint efforts such as the Arrow and David’s Sling missile systems;
  • Committed American troops to the 2009 Juniper Cobra and 2012 Austere Challenge joint military exercises—the largest and most extensive ever;
  • Authorized Israel to use American weapons stored in Israel during an emergency;
  • Worked with Israel to combat smuggling into Gaza.
Supported Israel diplomatically:
  • 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
  • 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;
  • Consistently affirmed the U.S.-Israel bond; and
  • Asserted Israel’s right to self-defense repeatedly—including against the Gaza flotilla.
Personally came to Israel’s aid:
  • Immediately intervened to rescue Israel’s diplomats in Cairo;
  • Gave order to give Israel “whatever it needs” to put out the Carmel fire.

Israeli Leaders Praise President Obama
PM Benjamin Netanyahu:
“Two days ago President Obama reiterated that the threat of a nuclear Iran cannot be contained,” PM Netanyahu said. “We thank and support President Obama for his position.” [September 27, 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:
“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]
Defense Minister and former Prime Minister Ehud Barak:
“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 well being.” [August 28, 2011]
Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren:
“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]
President Obama Compared to Other Presidents
President Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger threatened to "reassess" America's relationship with Israel. President Obama has declared that America's bond with Israel is "unbreakable," and Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak credited President Obama for the strongest relationship between the two countries ever.
President Ronald Reagansuspended arms shipments to Israel and supported a UN resolution criticizing Israel for bombing Iraq's nuclear reactor. President Obama secretly sold Israel the bunker busting bombs it requested during the Bush administration and cast the only UN veto of his administration against the one-sided anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution on settlements.
President George W. Bushpressured Israel to allow Hamas to participate in Gaza elections and made little progress in stopping Iran's march toward nuclear weapons. Obama has not negotiated with Hamas..
Visiting Israel:  Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton are the only two presidents who visited Israel during their first terms in office. George W. Bush did not visit Israel until his seventh year as president. Ronald  Reagan never visited in his entire life. Barack Obama went to Israel as recently as 2006 and 2008.
Settlement Policy: Every administration since 1967 has criticized Israel's settlement policy. But unlike George H.W. Bush, Obama never threatened to withhold U.S. aid to Israel because of settlement activity; instead, Obama has taken U.S. financial assistance to Israel to record levels.
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Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC) is a bipartisan political action committee (PAC) committed to the special relationship between the US and Israel and a social agenda that includes reproductive rights and separation of religion and state. JACPAC supports the election campaigns of US Senate and House candidates who uphold that agenda and maintains an ongoing dialogue with those the organization helps elect. In addition, JACPAC serves as a political resource for the Jewish community, furnishing information about candidates, elections and issues.
Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs
September 2012