ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF
ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS
US President Barack Obama is interviewed on Channel 2 News, Thursday, March 14 (photo credit: image capture Channel 2)
Ahead of his first visit to Israel as president next Wednesday, Barack Obama was interviewed Wednesday by Israel’s Channel 2. The interview at the White House, with news anchor Yonit Levy, was screened on Thursday.
As president, you can’t just interact with people informally
“You can’t just slip out and interact with people without having a bunch of guys with machine-guns” hanging out with you….
Ventures Levy: There must be some compensations?
Obama: Well, there’s “a nice plane.”
Jonathan Pollard committed a very serious crime
“I recognize the emotions involved in this… My first obligation is to observe the law.”…
Coming to ‘listen’ on the Palestinian issue…
‘Terrific, businesslike’ relationship with ‘Bibi’
Levy pushes on the Obama-Netanyahu relationship.
“The bottom line is that Israel’s security is going to be at the forefront.” It’s not a factor of who’s president or prime minister.
“Any time you read something where the president allegedly said something in as private meting, I think you should … take that with a pinch of salt.”…
Israel has right ‘to be secure as a homeland of the Jewish people’
Levy asks about some Israelis’ negative perceptions of him.
“Some of this is politics… There are conservative views both here in the United States and Israel that may not jive with mine.”… “I’ve run my last election…”
“The fundamental right of Israel to be secure as a homeland of the Jewish people, and its connection to the land.”
“Resolving the Palestinian issue is good” for Israel’s security. If it can be resolved, he stresses….
On Iran, my cabinet is prepared for a whole range of contingencies
“My cabinet is prepared for a whole range of contingencies.” Kerry and Hagel “share my fundamental view” on a nuclear Iran as a threat to US interest….
I’ve been crystal clear on Iran
“We think it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon but obviously we don’t want to cut it too close.”…
It’s a chance to connect with the Israeli people
What took you so long to come?
Well, we’ve had some crises in the United States…. It’s a chance to connect with the Israeli people. The bonds.. are so strong. Shared values. Shared families… Unshakeable commitment… and a shared vision… I’m really looking forward to it.
The Obama interview in full
‘I’d love to sit at a cafe and just hang out’
“I’d love to sit at a cafe and just hang out. Sometimes I have this fantasy that I can put on a disguise and wear a fake mustache” and wander into Tel Aviv, go to a university and speak to some students, “in a setting that wasn’t so formal.”…
Obama: It would take Iran over a year to build the bomb
We think that it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon but obviously we don’t want to cut it too close. So when I am consulting with Bibi… my message to him will be the same as before: If we can resolve it diplomatically, that’s a more lasting solution.
When I say that all options are on the table, all options are on the table….
Obama: No plan to release Pollard
Obama: We think that it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon.
And: I have no plans for releasing Jonathan Pollard immediately….