Readout of the President's Call With Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu
The President called Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu today to convey his best wishes before the start of Passover. Noting that he would host a seder at the White House, the President recalled that the story of Passover is one of liberation and freedom, and expressed his hope that the Israeli people would be able to celebrate in peace. The two leaders also discussed U.S.-Israeli cooperation on counter-terrorism, how best to move forward in efforts to advance Middle East peace, and the recent violence near the Gaza strip.
Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed his deep appreciation for U.S. funding for the Iron Dome rocket and mortar defense system, which he noted has successfully intercepted several rockets aimed at Israeli communities. The President congratulated the Prime Minister on this impressive Israeli technological achievement and expressed his pride that Israeli-American cooperation made it possible. With the signing of the fiscal year 2011 budget appropriation, the President approved $205 million in U.S. funding for Iron Dome, which is above the annual package of Foreign Military Financing for Israel.
The President and the Prime Minister agreed to stay in close touch on the range of issues facing the United States and Israel.