M.J. Rosenberg has the full text of Barack Obama’s AIPAC speech. On Iran, I think this is somewhat better than what John Edwards and Hillary Clinton have said to similar audiences in terms of tone, though some of Edwards’ (and, for that matter, Bill Richardson’s) remarks in the post-Herziliya backlash have been better than this. The best part was this:
But we owe it to our sons and daughters, our mothers and fathers, and to all those who have fallen, to keep searching for peace and security — even though it can seem distant. This search is in the best interests of Israel. It is in the best interests of the United States. It is in the best interests of all of us.
The worst part was this:
But in the end, we also know that we should never seek to dictate what is best for the Israelis and their security interests. No Israeli Prime Minister should ever feel dragged to or blocked from the negotiating table by the United States.
That’s silly. We should give Israel billions of dollars a year but should never make an Israeli Prime Minister “feel dragged to . . . the negotiating table” even though going there “is in the best interests of Israel. It is in the best interests of the United States” — that doesn’t make sense. I did, however, like the inclusion of the “or blocked from the negotiating table” proviso, a subtle dig at the Bush administration’s bizarre pressuring of Israel to avoid making peace with Syria.