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Aipac Policy Conference 2012

March 7, 2012 by staff 

Aipac Policy Conference 2012, We are determined to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons; we leave all options on the table; and containment is definitely not an option.

Thank you very much. Thank you Howard, Rosy, Michael, and thank you all the leadership of AIPAC. Thank you for everything that you do. I know that more than a half of the members of Congress are in attendance here tonight. I deeply appreciate your being here.

Michael, you said that when I spoke last May, in Congress, you – the members of Congress – stood up to applaud the State of Israel. Now I ask for another applause. Now I ask the 13,000 supporters of Israel who are here tonight to stand up and applaud you for standing up for Israel. Democrats and Republicans alike, I salute your unwavering support to the Jewish state.

I want to send a special message to a great friend of Israel who is not here tonight: Senator Mark Kirk, the co-author of the Kirk-Menendez Iran Sanctions Act. Senator Kirk, I know you’re watching this tonight. Please get well soon. America needs you; Israel needs you. I send you wishes for a speedy recovery. So get well and get back to work.

I also want to recognize Yossi Peled, who is here tonight. Yossi was born in Belgium. His parents hid him with a Christian family during the Holocaust, World War II. His father and many other members of his family were murdered at Auschwitz. His mother survived the Holocaust, returned to reclaim Yossi, and brought him to Israel. He became one of Israel’s bravest and greatest generals. And today, he serves as a minister in my cabinet.

Yossi’s life is the story of the Jewish people – the story of a powerless and stateless people who became a strong and proud nation, able to defend itself. And ladies and gentlemen, Israel must always reserve the right to defend itself.

I want to recognize Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren. Michael, you’re doing an outstanding job. Thank you for all you do for our country. And thank you for everything you are doing for the friendship between Israel and the United States.

I also want to recognize Ambassador Dan Shapiro, the United States’ Ambassador to Israel. President Obama is right, your Hebrew is improving, though it is not on par with Michael Oren’s. Dan, we appreciate your efforts to strengthen the alliance between America and Israel.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Tonight, I’d like to talk to you about a subject that no one has been talking about recently: Iran. Every day, I open the newspapers and read about these red lines and these timelines. I read about what Israel has supposedly decided to do, or what Israel might do.

Well, I’m not going to talk to you about what Israel will do or will not do, I never talk about that. But I do want to talk to you about the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran. I want to explain why Iran must never be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.

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