The Passionate Attachment

America's entanglement with Israel

Obama’s speech at AIPAC will aim to reassure Israel on Iran

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US to bring out big guns at lobby’s largest ever meet in bid to show Israel it is not alone

By Raphael Ahren
Times of Israel
February 29, 2012

President Barack Obama is expected to use his upcoming speech at the largest-ever gathering of America’s most influential pro-Israel lobby to reassure the Jewish state of his administration’s commitment to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Recent news reports and statements by US officials suggest that the White House is in discord with Jerusalem over the right course of action regarding the Iranian threat. But Obama is widely expected to try to calm fears that Israel is alone in its quest to stop the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions. According to well-informed sources, Obama intends to reiterate that his administration is considering all possible options – including a military strike – to stop Tehran’s race to a nuclear weapons capability.

Obama will address the annual policy conference of the Washington-based American Israeli Public Affairs Committee at its opening session on Sunday. Some 13,000 participants are expected, making it the largest conference in the organization’s nearly 50-year-old history.

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will also address the delegates, marking the first time that both a sitting US president and defense minister will appear at an AIPAC conference, which further underlines the administration’s determination to demonstrate goodwill to the Israeli leadership and its supporters.

According to sources familiar with the issue, Obama’s address will adopt a tone similar to the one of a speech he gave at the United Nations’ General Assembly, considered one of his most pro-Israel speeches.

“Let us be honest with ourselves: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it,” Obama said last September. “Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, look[s] out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map.”

During that speech, Obama did not say what he intends to do if sanctions fail to convince the Iranian regime to abandon its nuclear aspirations. While it is unlikely that he will announce any concrete plans for the scenario of an Iran unwilling to drop its bid for nuclear weapons, it is expected that he will assure the delegates that “all options remain on the table.”

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

March 2, 2012 at 6:09 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. What power does Obama has as the President to rule over whatever AIPAC demands? Is he just a ceremonial figure when it comes to Israel? Or can he really make a concrete difference?

    Shubhda Chaudhary

    March 2, 2012 at 11:14 am

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