For President Barack Obama’s first trip as president to Israel, he played nice and focused on unity and friendship.
Calling the U.S. Israel’s “greatest friend,” Obama assured our Middle East ally that the administration’s commitment to Israel’s security is solid, but also cautioned that change across the region was sure to bring “promise and peril.”
Obama, who began his speech with “shalom,” said he was “confident in declaring that our alliance is eternal.”
“The United States is proud to stand with you as your strongest ally and your greatest friend,” he said.
He said it was not an accident that he had made the first overseas trip of his second term in office to Israel.
“Across this region, the winds of change bring both promise and peril,” Obama said, likely a reference to the Arab Spring uprisings that saw an Islamist president voted into power in Egypt and a civil war erupt in Syria.
Obama’s first stop Wednesday was a visit to an Iron Dome missile defense launcher in Tel Aviv. Afterwards, the president went to Jerusalem to meet Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, where Iran is expected to be a hot topic.
Israeli President Shimon Peres welcomed Obama, asserting that “A world without America’s leadership, without her moral voice, would be a darker world. A world without your friendship, would invite aggression against Israel.”
But the trip, which is still underway, isn’t all serious talk and business.
As he arrived, Obama joked to Netanyahu that he was “getting away from Congress.”
Always count on our president to make a joke!