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 Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid