Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he trusts President Barack Obama’s dedication to the security of the Jewish state and although the two leaders might disagree on specifics, he believes the president’s commitment to peace is genuine.
“Well, let me tell you something: I think we can have some disagreements, but we have an agreement about the basic alliance between Israel and the United States; the quest for peace; the need for defensible borders; the inadmissibility of Hamas; the need for the Palestinians to recognize a Jewish state,” Netanyahu said in an interview broadcast Wednesday on CNN. “These are pretty mighty agreements.
“I heard from the president a reiteration of his ironclad commitment to Israel’s security. What people don’t focus on — because the press blows up every disagreement beyond proportions — people don’t know that our security cooperation now is at the highest it’s ever been,” he said. “The answer is, I trust President Obama’s . . . commitment to Israel’s security is something that I believe is genuine, and it’s backed not only by word [but] by deed.”
Netanyahu told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer the president wants peace, “although we have different ideas on how to pursue it, but we agree on the goal. And in many ways we also agree on the path to achieve that goal.”
Blitzer noted that some observers said Netanyahu was lecturing Obama in a Friday meeting in the Oval office on how to achieve Middle East peace.
“Well, if that’s what they thought, that’s a misimpression,” Netanyahu said. “And there was no intention to do that. I have the highest respect for America. I spent my high school years here. I value the America, I value the presidency, I value the American president. I mean, that’s just wrong.
“I was there articulating what I, as the leader of Israel, the leader of the Jewish people, what I believe are the important principles to safeguard Israel’s future and to achieve our quest for a secure peace,” he said.
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