the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Excerpts of prepared remarks of Gen. James L. Jones at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Michael Stein Address, Soref Symposium
25th Anniversary Soref Gala

“Since taking office, President Obama has pursued a two-state solution—a secure, Jewish state of Israel living side by side in peace and security with a viable and independent Palestinian state.  This is in the United States’ interest.  It is in Israel’s interest.  It is in the Palestinians’ interest.  It is in the interest of the Arab countries, and, indeed, the world.  Advancing this peace would also help prevent Iran from cynically shifting attention away from its failures to meet its obligations.”

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“As President Obama declared in Cairo, “America's strong bonds with Israel are well known.  This bond is unbreakable.”  They are the bonds of history—two nations that earned our independence through the sacrifice of patriots.  They are the bonds of two people, bound together by shared values of freedom and individual opportunity.  They are the bonds of two democracies, where power resides in the people.  They are the bonds of pioneers in science, technology and so many fields where we cooperate every day.  They are the bonds of friendship, including the ties of so many families and friends.”

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“This week marked the 62nd anniversary of Israeli independence—a nation and a people who have survived in the face of overwhelming odds.  But even now, six decades since its founding, Israel continues to reside in a hostile neighborhood with adversaries who cling to the false hope that denying Israel’s legitimacy will ultimately make it disappear.  But those adversaries are wrong.  As the President said in Cairo, for the entire world to hear, the State of Israel “will not go away.” 

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“So America’s commitment to Israel will endure.  And everyone must know that there is no space—no space—between the United States and Israel when it comes to Israel’s security.  Our commitment to Israel’s security is unshakable.  It is as strong as ever.  This President and this Administration understands very well the environment—regionally and internationally—in which Israel and the United States must operate.  We understand very well that for peace and stability in the Middle East, Israel must be secure.  The United States will never waiver in defense of Israeli’s security.”

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“It is time for all leaders in the region—Israeli, Palestinian, and Arab—to support efforts for peace.  It is time for today’s leader to demonstrate the courage and leadership of Anwar Sadat, King Hussein, and Yitzhak Rabin.”