Obama Talks Tough at U.N.

Vows To Do 'What We Must' To Block Iran Bomb

Tough Talk: President Barack Obama stepped up pressure on Iran in his speech at the United Nations.
getty images
Tough Talk: President Barack Obama stepped up pressure on Iran in his speech at the United Nations.

By Reuters

Published September 25, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 3)

On Monday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Israel has no roots in the Middle East and would be “eliminated.” The White House dismissed his comments as “disgusting.”

Without naming Ahmadinejad, Obama took a veiled swipe at him on Tuesday, saying the world must “leave behind” those who deny the Holocaust or reject Israel’s right to exist.

MUSLIM ANGER

Obama also sought to reassure U.S. voters that he is doing everything he can to head off any more violence like the Sept. 11 attack in Libya that killed the U.S. ambassador and three of his colleagues.

A wave of Muslim rage over an anti-Islam video made in California has swept the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. Americans were stunned by images of U.S. flags again burning in the Muslim world, the focus of intense personal diplomacy by the president at the start of his term.

“The attacks of the last two weeks are not simply an assault on America. They are also an assault on the very ideals upon which the United Nations was founded,” Obama told the assembled world leaders.

This eruption of violence has confronted Obama with the worst setback yet in his efforts to keep the Arab Spring revolutions from turning against the United States - and has demonstrated that he has few easy options.

In his speech, he faced the delicate task of articulating U.S. distaste for insults to any religion while at the same time insisting there is no excuse for a violent reaction - a distinction rejected by many Muslims.

The crisis has exposed a deep divide over the issues of free speech and blasphemy at a time when Islamist forces are in the political ascendant in the Middle East after several veteran dictators were ousted.

“There is no speech that justifies mindless violence,” Obama said. His audience listened mostly in polite silence, offering only a smattering of applause, but he drew laughter when he said that people say “awful things” about him every day and he accepts it.

Obama defended his approach to the Arab Spring but offered no detailed solutions to an array of crises that threaten to chip away at a foreign policy record that his aides hoped would be immune from Republican attack.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • 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.