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May 22, 2011 4:21 pm

At AIPAC, Obama Seeks To Clarify Statements

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President Obama addressing the opening session of the AIPAC policy conference. Photo: Ruvi Leider.

Following widespread critique of President Obama’s reference to the 1967 lines as a framework for Israeli-Palestinian talks on Thursday, the President addressed the opening plenary of the America Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference this morning.

Seeking to clarify his statements, and to reassure doubters of his firm commitment to Israel’s security, the President outlined his record on support for aid and military benefits for Israel. He also stressed his commitment to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and demanded that Hamas abide by the Quartet conditions, that include recognition of Israel, before they can be engaged.

Mr. Obama came close to feigning ignorance over the sensitive nature of his comments on Thursday saying, “If there’s a controversy, then, it’s not based in substance.” He continued, “What I did on Thursday was to say publicly what has long been acknowledged privately.”

Whilst leaders including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the clarifications, many delegates at the convention were unimpressed. “Nothing changed,” a prominent Jewish leader told the Algemeiner on condition of anonymity.

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