Israel Political Brief March 4, 2012: Obama to AIPAC: ‘Already there is too much loose talk of war’



Obama to AIPAC: ‘Already there is too much loose talk of war’

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

President Barack Obama.

President Obama told the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC that while containment of a nuclear Iran was not an option, there was “already too much loose talk of war.”

Speaking to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee which began its annual convention Sunday, Obama told the audience to look at the last three years of his tenure as President, and his administration’s support of Israel.

“Our military and intelligence cooperation has never been closer. Our joint exercises and training have never been more robust. Despite a tough budget environment, our security assistance has increased every year,” Obama said. “We are investing in new capabilities. We’re providing Israel with more advanced technology – the type of products and systems that only go to our closest friends and allies. And make no mistake: we will do what it takes to preserve Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge – because Israel must always have the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threat.”

President Obama said he preferred to resolve the nuclear crisis with Iran through diplomatic and economic means. “I would ask that we all remember the weightiness of these issues; the stakes involved for Israel, for America, and for the world. Already there is too much loose talk of war.”…READ MORE


Israel Political Brief March 4, 2012: Liz Cheney & Jane Harman sparring over President Obama at AIPAC



AIPAC confab starts with sparring over Obama

Source: JTA, 3-4-12

Former Republican and Democratic officials sparred at the AIPAC policy conference over President Obama’s commitment to protecting Israel.

Liz Cheney, a deputy assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs in the George W. Bush administration, and Jane Harman, a former congresswoman from California who for years was the top Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, during a panel Sunday on the Middle East that opened the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington kept circling back to the threat of Iran and sparred over whether Obama would stand by Israel as tensions with Iran intensified.

Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said “everyone in the room understands” that Obama has made statements “more focused on containing Israeli actions than they have been on containing Iran.” Harman countered that “this administration has done more than any in history to help Israel protect itself,” citing unprecedented levels of defense assistance and close cooperation on missile defense.

She noted an interview in The Atlantic last week with Obama in which the president said he “had Israel’s back” and emphasized that he was not bluffing about a possible military option with Iran.

Harman also delivered subtle digs at the administration that Cheney served, saying the wars it started in Iraq and Afghanistan left the region “unsettled” and had “cost dearly in treasure and lives.” She noted the pro-Iranian tilt of the current Iraq, calling it “very troubling.”

Cheney concluded her remarks, “There is no president who has done more to delegitimize and destabilize the State of Israel in recent history than President Obama.”

Harman shot back that it was a “grave mistake” to “turn support of Israel into a political football.”…READ MORE

Israel Political Brief March 4-6, 2012: Haaretz’s Live Coverage of the AIPAC Policy Conference 2012



Live on Haaretz: AIPAC Policy Conference 2012

Haaretz’s live streaming, blogging and Tweeting of the largest AIPAC conference of all time, featuring Peres and Obama as opening speakers

Source: Haaretz, 3-4-12

Since early Sunday morning, a long line has curled around the largest convention center in Washington D.C.

This year’s AIPAC (American Israel Political Action Committee) Policy Conference is the biggest of all time.

More than 13,000 people showed up at the opening event of the conference, where Israeli President Shimon Peres and U.S. President Barack Obama are set to deliver speeches.

It is no wonder AIPAC is the third largest lobby in the United States. Thousands of people from all across the U.S. – most, but not all of them Jews – come to take part in the annual conference.

Jews were not the only ones to make it to Washington this year. Among the crowd are Christians, African-Americans and Latinos, as well.

The convention center’s main hall is decorated with the American stars and stripes, alongside the Israeli flag’s blue and white.

Even the pyrotechnics, the lighting and video streaming met the expectations of conference participants.This is the kind of event can only be found in the U.S.

On this page you will find live streaming, blogging and Tweeting of the event….READ MORE

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