Friday, March 22, 2013
President Obama Receives Highest Civilian Honor from Israel
Obama first sitting president to receive Medal of Distinction in Israel
"President Obama received Israel’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Distinction presented by President Shimon Peres at a state dinner."
Barack Obama visited Israel in the third month of his second term in office.
George W. Bush went during the last year of his presidency and his father, George H. W. Bush never went.
You know who else never went to Israel during his 8 years in office?
If you said Ronald Reagan, you'd be correct.
So, to review, Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, all went to Israel during their presidencies, while Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush never went, and George W. Bush went in the LAST year of his presidency.
And how many times have I read on rightwing blogs that President Obama disrespects Israel? Is no friend of Israel?
And those bloggers obviously don't know what they're talking about.
By MARY BRUCE (@marykbruce) and JONATHAN KARL (@jonkarl)
JERUSALEM, March 20, 2013
"Seeking to reassure the United States's primary ally in the Middle East, President Obama today told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that his administration remains committed to doing "what is necessary" to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. "We do not have a policy of containment when it comes to a nuclear Iran. Our policy is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon,"
Obama told reporters at a joint press conference after a series of closed-door meetings with Israeli leaders. "The United States will continue to consult closely with Israel on next steps. And I will repeat, all options are on the table," he said. It's no secret that Obama and Netanyahu have had a rocky relationship, although it was hard to tell by the way the two leaders publicly lauded each other and joked around.
During the American presidential campaign, Republicans alleged that President Obama was not committed to protecting Israel, but today Obama and "Bibi," as he called him, appeared at ease in front of the press.
Netanyahu even placed Obama's commitment to Israel's right of self-defense above that of any other U.S. president."
To the misinformed wingers who disparage this president and his relations with Israel?
Do your homework.
When love was here for a royal visit
The whole point of Obama's trip to Israel is the pep talk for peace that he delivered in Jerusalem. Peace, the president said, is necessary, just and possible.
David Horovitz in the Times of Israel
"It was a deft, brilliantly conceived speech. He told Israelis how moral they are, how admirably creative they are, how smart with those 10 Nobel prizes, how democratic, how prosperous, and how mighty — the most powerful country in the region. He told them that the world’s strongest nation stood unshakably with them. “So long as there is a United States of America, Atem Lo Levad” — you are not alone.
And having built them up, convinced them of their near-invincibility, he showed them a theoretical future that he insisted could be realized if they would only trust in their strength sufficiently to take risks for peace. A future in which the security threats will recede. The prosperity will increase. The moral stain of occupation will disappear. All it takes is that determined, constant push for peace. How could they refuse him?"
Yossi Klein Halevi calls it perhaps ” the most passionate Zionist speech ever given by an American president”:
"Of course, his embrace had an explicit message for Israelis: Don’t give up on the dream of peace and don’t forget that the Palestinians deserve a state just as you do. But as the repeated ovations from the politically and culturally diverse audience revealed, these are messages that Israelis can hear when couched in affection and solidarity. After four years of missed signals, Obama finally realized that Israelis respond far more to love than to pressure."