Barak Ravid – Haaretz March 5, 2012
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told U.S. President Obama Barack on Monday that it is his responsibility as Prime Minister to make sure that Israel remains its own master.
Netanyahu met Obama at the White House for a one-on-one talk regarding the differences between Israel and the United States over how to deal with Iran’s nuclear program.
“My responsibility is to make sure Israel will stay the master of it’s own,” Netanyahu told Obama, adding that “the purpose of the Jewish state is to give the Jewish people the ability to determine it’s own destiny.”
Obama assured Netanyahu that “the U.S. will always have Israel’s back,” and that the “bond between Israel and U.S. is unbreakable.”
“My commitment to Israel’s security is rock solid,” the President said, describing Israel as “our ally” and “an island of democracy in the region.”
Regarding the Iranian nuclear threat, Obama said that “it is unacceptable for Iran to have nuclear weapons.”
The U.S. president maintained that “it is in the U.S. best interests to prevent a nuclear Iran,” while Netanyahu stated that the “U.S. and Israel must stand together on Iran issue.”
He also reminded Obama that, according to Iran, the “U.S. is ‘Great Satan,’ and Israel is “Little Satan.’”
Netanyahu ended by saying that Israel must be able to defend itself, “by itself,” against any possible threat.
The meeting between Netanyahu and Obama came in the wake of a media storm over the possibility of a war against Iran. On Monday morning, a full-page ad in the Washington Post featured 10 former U.S. generals, each of whom calls on Obama to avoid a “war of choice with Iran.” The generals called on Obama to act toward stopping Iran’s nuclear plan by use of economic sanctions and political pressure in order to isolate the regime in Tehran.
Netanyahu is also set to speak in front of the AIPAC conference on Monday. The final wording of the speech will be determined only after the meeting with Obama, and will deal primarily with Iran’s nuclear plan.