UPDATED: President Obama just completed a major address in the Israeli capital of Jerusalem. It was a strategic piece of a major three-day charm offensive the President is engaged in to try to build support among the Israeli people after four years that have been rocky at best, and antagonistic, even contentious, at worst.
Will it work?
I’ve been live-Tweeting throughout the speech, noting key lines from the address as well as the very warm reaction the college students who were invited to attend.
Here is the full text of the President’s address.
Here are the Tweets I sent out as the President delivered his remarks:
- I’m watching President Obama’s speech, now happening at the Jerusalem Convention Ctr (where we held our 1st Epicenter Conf in 2008)
- “There remains time” to try diplomacy with Iran. “But Iran must understand this time is not unlimited…all options are on the table.”
- “Israel is not going anywhere.” President rejects those who reject Israel’s right to exist.
- President says in Hebrew, “So long as there is a United States, you are not alone.” Strong response from students in the hall.
- President asks about Israel, “What does the future hold?” Important question.
- “Today, Israel is at a crossroads.”
- President: Peace is necessary. “No wall is high enough. No Iron Dome is perfect enough” to provide Israel full protection.
- Survival of a Jewish, democratic Israel requires a Palestinian state.
- “Peace is justice.” Justice is needed for the Palestinians, as well as for Israelis.
- President: “I’m going off script here for a moment.” Discusses meeting Palestinian young people. “I want these kids to succeed.”
- This is why the President is speaking to young people, rather than the Knesset. He’s getting a powerfully strong postive reaction.
- President makes three points: 1) Peace is necessary; 2) Peace is just; 3) Peace is possible.
- President: Arab states need to take steps to normalize relations with Israel. Palestinians must realize Israel will be a Jewish state.
- President urges Israel not to keep building settlements and says Palestinian state must be “viable” with “borders that must be drawn.”
- President Obama delivers major speech in Jerusalem as part of charm offensive with the Israeli people. Will it work?
Here are links to Israeli coverage:
- Haaretz live blogging on the speech
- Times of Israel live blogging on the speech
- Ynet News coverage of the speech