Obama at UN: ‘Israel is Here to Stay’
U.S. President Barack Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, chastising the international institution for the bias it exhibits towards the Jewish state and telling those in attendance that “the children of Israel have the right to live in a world where the nations assembled in this body fully recognize their country.”
“The state of Israel is here to stay,” Obama told the UN.
Speaking about his visit to Israel in March, Obama said, based on those he met there, that “there is a growing recognition within Israel that the occupation of the West Bank is tearing at the democratic fabric of the Jewish state” and that Palestinians in Ramallah “are understandably cynical that real progress will ever be made” in peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. “But,” he added, “they recognize that two states is the only real path to peace: because just as the Palestinian people must not be displaced, the state of Israel is here to stay.”
Noting the recent resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Obama commended both sides for “a willingness to take significant political risks.”
“President Abbas has put aside efforts to short-cut the pursuit of peace and come to the negotiating table. Prime Minister Netanyahu has released Palestinian prisoners, and reaffirmed his commitment to a Palestinian state,” he said.
“Arab states – and those who have supported the Palestinians – must recognize that stability will only be served through a two-state solution with a secure Israel. All of us must recognize that peace will be a powerful tool to defeat extremists, and embolden those who are prepared to build a better future,” he said.