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Israeli President Shimon Peres: ‘Under President Obama We Have The Best Relationship On The Issue Of Security’

By Eli Clifton  

"Israeli President Shimon Peres: ‘Under President Obama We Have The Best Relationship On The Issue Of Security’"

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Israeli President Shimon Peres

The GOP presidential presidential primary candidates and right-wing pressure groups are working hard to cast President Obama as a weak ally to Israel. Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have all challenged Obama’s commitment to Israel’s security. Today, the fringe right-wing Emergency Committee for Israel launched a bus-stop ad campaign asking: “[Obama] says a nuclear Iran is unacceptable. Do you believe him? Do they?” above a picture of Ayatollah Khamanei and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

But while the far-right attacks Obama’s pro-Israel credentials, their sentiments aren’t shared by Israeli President Shimon Peres. Last night, Peres told Charlie Rose that Obama “is a great president and a great friend of Israel,” during an event at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan. Security cooperation between the U.S. and Israel is “the best we’ve ever had,” said Peres.

And in an interview on Wednesday with The View’s Barbara Walters, Peres emphasized that “relations with Obama are in good shape. We have the highest respect for the president.” He went on to emphasize Obama’s security guarantees for the Jewish state:

PERES: The most important issue for Israel is our security. I think under President Obama we have the best relationship on the issue of security. Never were the security [...] needs better met than today under president Obama. This is a fact.

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Indeed, as Peres indicates, Obama has been a firm ally of Israel and upheld security guarantees, but tensions in how to confront Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program is a source of tension. While the Obama administration has committed to pursuing a diplomatic track to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netnanyahu characterized diplomatic outreach to Iran as a “trap,” in comments to the media in Ottawa. In an interview published today, Obama said that “all options are on the table” but emphasized that Iran can be deterred from pursuing nuclear weapons through diplomacy and sanctions.

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