Obama Tells Aipac He'll Do ‘Everything It Takes’ To Stop Iran From Getting Nukes

Clinton: ‘Obama Will Be a Good Friend of Israel’

By Nathan Guttman

Published June 04, 2008.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Washington — Making their first appearances after the conclusion of the Democratic primary race, Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton showed up Wednesday at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s policy conference, both stressing their strong commitments to Israel.

For Clinton, the speech at Aipac’s conference was a step toward recognizing Obama’s victory and his nomination as the party’s candidate for president. Clinton, who has been known for her critical rhetoric toward Obama, changed course Wednesday and promised the Aipac crowd that the Illinois senator is a staunch supporter of Israel. “Let me be very clear,” Clinton told the delegates, “Barack Obama will be a good friend of Israel.”

Both Clinton and Obama were greeted warmly by the audience, assuaging organizers’ fears that political divisions might become apparent during the conference.

In his speech to 7,000 Aipac members hours before they all left for lobbying missions on Capitol Hill, Obama listed his views on a range of issues relating to Israel, stressing his support for the Jewish state’s qualitative military edge and his pledge to do “everything it takes” to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Obama also responded to Senator John McCain’s attacks over his willingness to talk with Iranian leaders. He stressed that there will need to be preparation for these talks and coordination with America’s allies, including Israel, and that such talks would not only be for the sake of talking. “As president of the United States, I would be willing to lead tough and principled diplomacy with the appropriate Iranian leader at a time and place of my choosing — if, and only if — it can advance the interests of the United States,” Obama said.

The presumptive Democratic nominee won standing ovations from the audience for pledging his support for the existence of Israel as a Jewish state and for Jerusalem as its undivided capital. But when Obama spoke of the need for Israel to freeze all settlement activity based on its road map commitment, the crowd remained silent.

Both Obama and Clinton were on the same page in criticizing the Bush administration’s foreign policy. The two Democrats argued that Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq and his Middle East policy have made Israel less safe and complicated the situation in the region.






Find us on Facebook!
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • Pierre Dulaine wants to do in his hometown of Jaffa what he did for kids in Manhattan: teach them to dance.
  • "The first time I met Mick Jagger, I said, 'Those are the tackiest shoes I’ve ever seen.'” Jewish music journalist Lisa Robinson remembers the glory days of rock in her new book, "There Goes Gravity."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.