News / USA

    Obama, Netanyahu: US-Israel Bond 'Unbreakable'

    Multimedia

    Audio
    • Interview with Ben Cohen, the American Jewish Committee

    U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu say their countries' relationship is not strained and that the U.S.-Israel bond is "unbreakable."  The two leaders met at the White House Tuesday.  

    Of the issues discussed between the two leaders, one of the most important was the U.S.-Israeli relationship itself.

    After their meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu told reporters that the two countries' bond remains strong, despite several months of reported tensions between him and President Obama. "Reports about the demise of the special U.S.-Israeli relationship are not just premature, they are just flat wrong," he said.

    Mr. Obama used a phrase echoed by his Israeli counterpart in reaffirming the strength of the relationship. "The bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable," Mr. Obama said.

    Ben Cohen with the American Jewish Committee discusses the call for Israel-Palestinian direct talks:

    This was the first meeting between the two men since March 23, when Mr. Netanyahu was said to have received a chilly reception at the White House.  That meeting took place shortly after Israel announced, while U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was visiting the country, that it planned to build new Jewish settlements in mainly Arab East Jerusalem.

    The prime minister postponed a scheduled June 1 follow-up visit to Washington after Israel's navy raided a Turkish-sponsored aid flotilla trying to break through an Israeli and Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip.

    The blockade has eased in recent weeks to allow some humanitarian aid through.  President Obama on Tuesday praised the move. "I commended Prime Minister Netanyahu on the progress that has been made in allowing more goods into Gaza.  We have seen real progress on the ground.  I think it has been acknowledged that it has moved quickly and more effectively than many people anticipated," Mr. Obama said.

    Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu discussed the need to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts beyond the current "proximity" talks that U.S. envoy George Mitchell is mediating.

    President Obama said he and the Israeli leader agree about reviving direct talks that broke off in late-2008. "I believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu wants peace.  I believe he is willing to take risks for peace.  And during our conversation, he once again reaffirmed his willingness to engage in serious negotiations with the Palestinians," he said.

    Prime Minister Netanyahu said he is committed to face-to-face talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. "I think it is high time to begin direct talks.  I think with the help of President Obama, President Abbas and myself should engage in direct talks to reach a political settlement of peace, coupled with security and prosperity," he said.

    President Obama said he would like to see the direct talks start before the temporary freeze on Israeli settlement-building ends in September.

    Mr. Abbas has refused to negotiate directly with Israel until it stops building settlements on land the Palestinians claim for their own state.

    Mr. Netanyahu praised his host for putting pressure on Iran to stop its nuclear activities.  President Obama called the recent United Nations Security Council resolution against Iran the toughest sanctions ever, and referred to recent sanctions passed by the U.S. Congress as "robust."  

    The president said he will never ask Israel to take any steps that would undermine its security.

    Related video by Robert Raffaele:

    You May Like

    Video Somali, AU Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    Somalia’s Western backers frustrated over country’s slow progress in establishing its armed forces to bring security after 25 years of chaos

    Israel Makes Push for Gaza Strip Recovery

    After years of economic blockade and attempts to disable Hamas, Israeli leaders eventually realized that Hamas’ downfall could lead to chaos or the rise of a more radical Jihadist group

    Slump in Chinese Tourists Hitting Hong Kong Retail

    Mainland Chinese account for up to three-quarters of visitors to Hong Kong, but that number is falling, and shopping centers are struggling to 'shift gears' and maintain sales

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shababi
    X
    Henry Ridgwell
    April 28, 2016 4:20 PM
    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Town Receives Refugees but Lacks Resources

    A wave of refugees is pouring into the Kurdish town of Afrin in northern Syria as a result of fighting between rebel forces and Islamic State militants. VOA’s Amina Misto went to the town and reports local authorities are finding it difficult to cope with this influx of internally displaced people. Bronwyn Benito narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Build Human Tissue on Animal Matrix

    The question has always been, if a gecko can grow back its tail, why can't we regenerate our lost body parts? Well, maybe we can, someday. Scientists are moving towards the ability to rebuild fully functioning organs, and have made significant progress replacing muscles and other tissue.
    Video

    Video Containing Chernobyl Radiation Continues 30 Years After Explosion

    April 26 marks the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Hundreds were killed following the explosion and it's estimated that thousands more have died from cancers caused by the radiation. Henry Ridgwell traveled to Chernobyl and reports for VOA on the continuing efforts to decommission the site -- and on the fledgling plans for a new future in the vast exclusion zone.
    Video

    Video Frustration Builds Among Refugees Trapped at Macedonian Border

    On the Greek border with Macedonia, 12,000 refugees continue to wait. Since the route to the rest of Europe was closed last month, the makeshift camp at Idomeni has seen protests and tear gas. But while those here wait, their frustration grows — as do reports of people attempting to find new ways of continuing their journey. John Owens reports from Idomeni.
    Video

    Video Researchers: Bees Help Kenyan Farmers Fend Off Elephants

    Elephant crop-raiding continues to be a major source of human-wildlife conflict in Kenya, so one elephant researcher is helping to alleviate the problem near Tsavo East National Park with beehive fences, which use elephants’ natural aversion to bees to deter them from farms. VOA’s Jill Craig visited the area ahead of this month's Giants Club Summit, which will bring together dignitaries at Mount Kenya to find solutions to combat poaching, the No. 1 threat to elephants.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora