Obama Praises Netanyahu’s Speech

President Obama had a pitch-perfect response today to Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s speech, calling it “positive movement,” and adding: “What we’re seeing is at least the possibility that we can restart serious talks.”

“He acknowledged the need for two states,” Obama said.

The president took time at the end of a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi to praise Netanyahu, and reiterate his support for Israel:

Now, I’ve been very clear that, from the United States’ perspective, Israel’s security is non-negotiable.  We will stand behind their defense.

What struck me about the President’s comments was that he agreed with Netanyahu that the Palestinians will have to recognize Israel’s right to exist, and also put “an end to incitement against Israel and an end to violence against Israel.”

According to the AP: “To the Palestinians, Obama repeated that leaders must end anti-Israeli rhetoric in schools and recognize Israel.”

“Israel’s security concerns extend beyond simply the Palestinian Territories,” Obama said. “They extend to concerns that they have in a whole host of neighbors where there’s perceived and often real hostility towards Israel’s security.  So I’m glad that Prime Minister Netanyahu made the speech.”

My point is that yet again, the president is going out of his way to stress the extent of the U.S. commitment to Israel and Israel’s security.

You can read the full transcript of Obama’s remarks here.

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