Quotes About Jewish Homeland & Israel
John Adams (1797-1801)
"I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to
civilize man than any other nation."
(Letter from John Adams to Thomas
"Farther I could find
it in my heart to wish that you had been
at the head of a hundred thousand Israelites ... and marching with them into Judea and making
a conquest of that country andrestoring
your nation to the dominion of it. For
I really wish the Jews again in Judea an
independent nation. [I believe ... once restored to an independent government & no
longer persecuted they [the Jews] would soon
wear away some of the asperities and peculiarities
of their character & possibly in time become
liberal Unitarian christians for your Jehovah
is our Jehovah & your God of Abraham Isaac
and Jacob is our God.]"
(Letter to Mordecai
Manuel Noah, 1819)
John Quincy Adams (1825-1829)
[I believe in the] rebuilding of Judea as an independent
(Letter to Major
Mordecai Manuel Noah)
Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)
Not long after the Emancipation Proclamation, President
Abraham Lincoln met a Canadian Christian Zionist, Henry Wentworth Monk,
who expressed hope that Jews who were suffering oppression in Russia
and Turkey be emancipated by restoring them to their national
home in Palestine. Lincoln said this was a noble dream and
one shared by many Americans. The President said his chiropodist
was a Jew who has so many times ‘put me upon my feet that
I would have no objection to giving his countrymen ‘a leg up.
Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)
The allied nations with the fullest concurrence of
our government and people are agreed that in Palestine shall be laid
the foundations of a Jewish Commonwealth.
(Reaction to the Balfour Declaration)
Recalling the previous experiences of the colonists
in applying the Mosaic Code to the order of their internal life, it
is not to be wondered at that the various passages in the Bible that
serve to undermine royal authority, stripping the Crown of its cloak
of divinity, held up before the pioneer Americans the Hebrew Commonwealth
as a model government. In the spirit and essence of our Constitution,
the influence of the Hebrew Commonwealth was paramount in that it
was not only the highest authority for the principle, that rebellion
to tyrants is obedience to God, but also because it was in itself
a divine precedent for a pure democracy, as distinguished from monarchy,
aristocracy or any other form of government.
To think that I, the son
ofthe manse, should be able to help restore
the Holy Land to its people.
Warren Harding (1921-1923)
It is impossible for one who has studied at all the
services of the Hebrew people to avoid the faith that they will one
day be restored to their historic national home and there enter on
a new and yet greater phase of their contribution to the advance of
Calvin Coolidge (1923-1928)
Coolidge expressed his sympathy with the deep
and intense longing which finds such fine expression in the Jewish National
Homeland in Palestine.
The Jews themselves, of whom a considerable number
were already scattered throughout the colonies, were true to the teachings
of their prophets. The Jewish faith is predominantly the faith of
Herbert Hoover (1928-1932)
I know the whole world acknowledges the fine spirit
shown by the British Government in accepting the mandate of the Palestine
in order that there might under this protection be established a homeland
so long desired by the Jews. Great progress has been made in this
inspiring enterprise over these last ten years, and to this progress
the American Jews have made enormous contribution. They have demonstrated
not only the fine sentiment and ideals which inspire their activities
but its political possibilities. I am confident out of these tragic
events will come greater security and greater safeguards for the future,
under which the steady rehabilitation of the Palestine as a true homeland
will be even more assured.
(Message for Jewish Organizations Meeting in Madison Square Garden to Protest
the Events in Palestine, August 29, 1929)
I am interested to learn that a group of distinguished
men and women is to be formed to spread knowledge and appreciation
of the rehabilitation which is going forward in Palestine under Jewish
auspices, and to add my expression to the sentiment among our people
in favor of the realization of the age-old aspirations of the Jewish
people for the restoration of their national homeland.
(Message to the American Palestine Committee, January 11, 1932)
I wish to express the hope that the ideal of the
establishment of the National Jewish Home in Palestine, as embodied
in that Declaration, will continue to prosper for the good of all
the people inhabiting the Holy Land....I have watched with genuine
admiration the steady and unmistakable Progress made in the rehabilitation
of Palestine which, desolate for centuries, is now renewing its youth
and vitality through the enthusiasm, hard work and self-sacrifice
of the Jewish pioneers who toil there in a spirit of peace and social
justice. It is very gratifying to note that many American Jews, Zionists
as well as non-Zionists, have rendered such splendid service to this
cause which merits the sympathy and moral encouragement of everyone.
(Message to the Zionist Organization of America on the Anniversary
of the Balfour Declaration, October 29, 1932)
Franklin Roosevelt (1932-1944)
The American people, ever zealous in the cause of
human freedom, have watched with sympathetic interest the effort of
the Jews to renew in Palestine the ties of their ancient homeland
and to reestablish Jewish culture in the place where for centuries
it flourished and whence it was carried to the far corners of the
world. This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration,
the keystone of contemporary reconstruction activities in the Jewish
homeland. Those two decades have witnessed a remarkable exemplification
of the vitality and vision of the Jewish pioneers in Palestine. It
should be a source of pride to Jewish citizens of the United States
that they, too, have had a share in this great work of revival and
(Greeting to the United Palestine Appeal, February 6,
I have on numerous occasions, as you know, expressed
my sympathy in the establishment of a National Home for the Jews in
Palestine and, despite the set-backs caused by the disorders there
during the last few years, I have been heartened by the progress which
has been made and by the remarkable accomplishments of the Jewish
settlers in that country.
(Letter to Senator Tydings, October 19,
Harry Truman (1944-1952)
Truman with Chaim
had faith in Israel before it was established,
I have faith in it now."
(May 14, 1948)
"This government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested by the provisional government thereof. The United States recognizes the provisional government as the de facto authority of the new State of Israel."
(Granting de-facto recognition to Israel, May 14, 1948)
"I believe it has a glorious future before it - not
just another sovereign nation, but as an embodiment of the great ideals
of our civilization."
(May 26, 1952)
"I had carefully read the Balfour Declaration. I had
familiarized myself with the history of the question of a Jewish homeland
and the position of the British and the Arabs. I was skeptical, as
I read over the whole record up to date, about some of the views and
attitudes assumed by the 'striped-pants boys' in the State Department."
"I am proud of my part in the creation of this new state. Our Government was the first to recognize the State of Israel."
(Speech for Conference of the National Jewish Welfare Board, October 17, 1952)
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1952-1960)
Eisenhower with David Ben-Gurion
Despite the present, temporary interests that Israel has in common with France and Britain, you ought not to forget that the strength of Israel and her future are bound up with the United States.
(Message to Israeli PM David Ben-Gurion, October 31, 1956)
"Our forces saved the remnant of the Jewish people
of Europe for a new life and a new hope in the reborn land of Israel.
Along with all men of good will, I salute the young state and wish
"The people of Israel, like those of the United States, are imbued with a religious faith and a sense of moral values"
(Radio Address on Situation in the Middle East, February 20, 1957)
"The teaching of their ancient belief is filled with truth for the present day. Its profound sense of justice, nation to nation, man to man, is an essential part of every religious and social order. The health of our society depends upon a deep and abiding respect for the basic commandments of the God of Israel."
(Statement on Jewish High Holy Days, September 14, 1958)
John Kennedy (1960-1963)
Kennedy with Golda Meir, 1962 (Photo Ron Sachs)
Quite apart from the values and hopes which the State of Israel enshrines and the past injuries which it redeems it twists reality to suggest that it is the democratic tendency of Israel which has interjected discord and dissension into the Near East. Even by the coldest calculations, the removal of Israel would not alter the basic crisis in the area. For, if there is any lesson which the melancholy events of the last two years and more taught us, it is that, though Arab states are generally united in opposition to Israel, their political unities do not rise above this negative position. The basic rivalries within the Arab world, the quarrels over boundaries, the tensions involved in lifting their economies from stagnation, the cross pressures of nationalism all of these factors would still be there, even if there were no Israel.
(Near East Report, 1958)
Let us make it clear that we will never turn our backs on our steadfast friends in Israel, whose adherence to the democratic way must be admired by all friends of freedom.
(Speech at Eastern Oregon College of Education, November 9, 1959)
We must formulate, with both imagination and restraint, a new approach to the Middle East not pressing our case so hard that the Arabs feel their neutrality and nationalism are threatened ... while at the same time trying to hasten the inevitable Arab acceptance of the permanence of Israel ... We must ... seek a permanent settlement among Arabs and Israelis based not on an armed truce but on mutual self-interest.
(Near East Report, July 1, 1960)
"Israel was not created in order to disappearIsrael
will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and home of the
brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success.
It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom."
(Speech to Zionists of America Convention,
August 26, 1960)
"This nation, from the time of President Woodrow Wilson,
has established and continued a tradition of friendship with Israel
because we are committed to all free societies that seek a path to
peace and honor individual right. We seek peace and prosperity for
all of the Middle East firm in our belief that a new spirit of comity
in that important part of the world would serve the highest aspirations
and interests of all nations. In the prophetic spirit of Zionism all free men today look to a better world and in the experience of Zionism we know that it takes courage and perseverance
and dedication to achieve it."
(Message to Zionist Organization of America Annual Conference, 1962)
"We support the security
of both Israel and her neighbors."
on May 8, 1963)
Lyndon Johnson (1963-1968)
Johnson with Yitzhak Rabin (Photo Israeli GPO)
"[The United States and Israel] share many common objectives ... chief
of which is the building of a better world in which every nation can
develop its resources and develop them in freedom and peace."
(Remarks Welcoming Prime Minister Levi Eshkol
, June 1, 1964)
"Our society is illuminated by the spiritual insights
of the Hebrew prophets. America
and Israel have a common love of human freedom and they have a common
faith in a democratic way of life ... Most if not all of you have very deep ties with the
land and with the people of Israel, as I do, for my Christian faith
sprang from yours .... the Bible stories are woven into my childhood
memories as the gallant struggle of modern Jews to be free of persecution
is also woven into our souls."
(Speech before B'nai B'rith)
"I may not worry as much as Prime Minister Eshkol does about Israel, but I worry as deeply."
(Conversation with Israeli Ambassador Harman, February 7, 1968)
When Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin asked Johnson why
the United States supports Israel when there are 80 million Arabs and
only three million Israelis, the President replied simply: Because
it is right.
Richard Nixon (1968-1974)
Nixon with PM Golda Meir, 1973 (Photo Israeli GPO)
"The United States stands by its friends. Israel is
one of its friends Peace can be based only on agreement between the
parties and agreement can be achieved only through negotiations between
them. The United States will not impose the terms of peace. The United
States is prepared to supply military equipment necessary to support
the efforts of friendly governments, like Israel's, to defend the safety
of their people."
(Speech to the World Zionist Organization)
"Americans admire a people who can scratch a desert
and produce a garden. The Israelis have shown qualities that Americans
identify with: guts, patriotism, idealism, a passion for freedom.
I have seen it. I know. I believe that."
"We have been through, over these years, some difficult times. During the period that I have served as President of the United States, we have been through some difficult times together, and I can only say that the friendship that we have for this nation, the respect and the admiration we have for the people of this nation, their courage, their tenacity, their firmness in the face of very great odds, is one that makes us proud to stand with Israel, as we have in the past in times of trouble, and now to work with Israel in a better time, a time that we trust will be a time of peace."
(Remarks on Presidential Trip to Israel, June 16, 1974)
Gerald Ford (1974-1976)
Ford with Israeli PM Yitzhak
Rabin, 1975 (Photo Ron Sachs)
"The United States ... has been proud of its association
with the State of Israel. We shall continue to stand with Israel.
We are committed to Israel's survival and security. The United States
for a quarter of a century has had an excellent relationship with
the State of Israel. We have cooperated in many, many fields -- in
your security, in the well-being of the Middle East, and in leading
what we all hope is a lasting peace throughout the world."
(Remarks Welcoming PM Rabin to USA, September 10, 1974).
"America must and will pursue friendship with all
nations. But, this will never be done at the expense of America's
committment to Israel. A strong Israel is essential to a stable peace
in the Middle East. Our committment to Israel will meet the test of
American stead, fairness, and resolve. My administration will not
be found wanting. The United States will continue to help Israel provide
for her security. My dedication to Israel's future goes beyond its
military needs to a far higher priority -- the need for peace. My
commitment to the security and future of Israel is based upon basic
morality as well as enlightened self-interest. Our role in supporting
Israel honors our own heritage."
Jimmy Carter (1976-1980)
Carter with Menachem
Begin, 1979 (Photo Israeli GPO)
"We have a special relationship with Israel. It's
absolutely crucial that no one in our country or around the world
ever doubt that our number one committment in the Middle East is to
protect the right of Israel to exist, to exist permanently, and to
exist in peace. It's a special relationship."
(Presidents News Conference, May 12, 1977)
"A few days ago in a conversation with about 30 members
of the House of Representatives. I said that I would rather commit
suicide than hurt Israel. I think many of them realize the two concepts
are not incompatible. If I should ever hurt Israel, which I won't.
I think political suicide would automatically result because it is
not only our Jewish citizens who have this deep commitment to Israel,
but there is an overwhelming support throughout the nation, because
there is a common bond of commitment to the same principles of openness
and freedom and democracy and strength and courage that ties us together
in an irrevocable way."
(Speech to the Democratic
National Committee, October 22, 1977)
"We have a committment to the preservation of Israel
as a nation, to the security of Israel, the right of the Israeli people,
who have suffered so much, to live in peace that is absolutely permanent
and unshakeable. The ties that bind the people of the United States
and the people of Israel together, the ties of blood, kinship, ties
of history, ties of common religious beliefs, the dream, centuries
old, of the founding of the new nation of Israel have been realized.
But the dream that the new nation of Israel should be guaranteed a
right to live in peace has not yet been realized for its people and
those who love Israel around the world ... Peace can come from a
guarantee of security, and our staunch friendship for Israel will
continue to be a major element in this foundation for progress."
(The White House, March 21, 1978)
"The special relationship between the United States
and Israel still stands. Our total committments to Israel's security
and our hope for peace is still preeminent among all the other considerations
that our Nation has in the Middle East ... But there need be no
concern among the Israeli people nor among Jews in this country that
our Nation has changed or turned away from Israel."
(Press Conference at Illinois State Legislature, May 26, 1978)
"I would like to emphasize, in the strongest possible
terms, that our aid for Israel is not only altruistic; indeed, our
close relationship with Israel is in the moral and the strategic interest
of the United States. There is a mutual relationship and there is
a mutual benefit and there is a mutual committment, which has been
impressed very deeply in my mind and also in the minds of the leaders
of my Government and the Government of Israel. And I will continue
to work with the leaders of Israel to strengthen even further our
common commitments and our common goals. We know that in a time of
crisis, we can count on Israel. And the people of Israel know that
in a time of crisis, they can count on the United States ... Let me assure you that in this negotiation, as we
work for the legitimate rights of the Palestinians, recognized in
the Camp David accords by Prime Minister Begin and President Sadat,
that we will countenance no action whcih could hurt Israel's security.
This is because of our commitment to Israel's security and well-being,
and it's because Israel's security is so closely linked to the security
of the United States of America ... I am opposed to an independent Palestinian state,
because in my own judgement and in the judgement of many leaders in
the Middle East, including Arab leaders, this would be a destabilizing
factor in the Middle East and would certainly not serve the United
(Speech at United Jewish Appeal National
Young Leadership Conference, February 25, 1980)
"That concept offers a first real hope for keeping
our common pledge -- a pledge made by all three of us -- to resolve
the Palestinian problem in all its aspects while fully protecting
the security and the future of Israel ... And we oppose the creation of an independent Palestinian
state. The United States, as all of you know, has a warm and unique
relationship of friendship with Israel that is morally right. It is
compatible with our deepest religious convictions, and it is right
in terms of America's own strategic interests. We are committed to
Israel's security, prosperity, and future as a land that has so much
to offer to the world. A strong Israel and a strong Egypt serve our
own security interests ... We are committed to Israel's right to live in peace
with all its neighbors, within secure and recognized borders, free
from terrorism. We are committed to a Jerusalem that will forever
remain undivided with free access to all faiths to the holy places.
Nothing will deflect us from these fundamental principles and committments."
(First anniversary of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty, March 23, 1980)
The United States...has a warm and a unique relationship
of friendship with Israel that is morally right. It is compatible
with our deepest religious convictions, and it is right in terms of
America's own strategic interests. We are committed to Israel's security,
prosperity, and future as a land that has so much to offer the world.
The survival of Israel is not just a political issue,
it is a moral imperative. That is my deeply held belief and it is
the belief shared by the vast majority of the American people...A
strong secure Israel is not just in Israel's interest. It's in the
interest of the United States and in the interest of the entire free
Ronald Reagan (1980-1988)
Reagan with Israeli PM Menachem Begin, 1982 (Photo Israeli GPO)
"Only by full appreciation of the critical role the
State of Israel plays in our strategic calculus can we build the foundation
for thwarting Moscow's designs on territories and resources vital
to our security and our national well-being ... Since the rebirth of the State of Israel, there has
been an ironclad bond between that democracy and this one ... In Israel, free men and women are every day demonstrating
the power of courage and faith. Back in 1948 when Israel was founded,
pundits claimed the new country could never survive. Today, no one
questions that Israel is a land of stability and democracy in a region
of tyranny and unrest ... America has never flinched from its commitment to
the State of Israel--a commitment which remains unshakable."
(Remarks at National
Conference of Christians and Jews, March
"I welcome this chance to further strengthen the unbreakable ties between the United States and Israel and to assure you of our commitment to Israel's security and well-being. Israel and America may be thousands of miles apart, but we are philosophical neighbors sharing a strong commitment to democracy and the rule of law. What we hold in common are the bonds of trust and friendship, qualities that in our eyes make Israel a great nation. No people have fought longer, struggled harder, or sacrificed more than yours in order to survive, to grow, and to live in freedom"
Welcoming Ceremony for PM Menachem Begin, September 9, 1981)
"Israel exists; it has a right to exist in peace behind
secure and defensible borders; and it has a right to demand of its
neighbors that they recognize those facts. I have personally followed
and supported Israel's heroic struggle for survival, ever since the
founding of the State of Israel 34 years ago. In the pre-1967 borders
Israel was barely 10 miles wide at its narrowest point. The bulk of
Israel's population lived within artillery range of hostile Arab armies.
I am not about to ask Israel to live that way again."
(Speech on United States Policy for Peace
in the Middle East, September 1, 1982)
"Since the foundation of the State of Israel, the
United States has stood by her and helped her to pursue security,
peace, and economic growth. Our friendship is based on historic moral
and strategic ties, as well as our shared dedication to democracy."
(Remarks at White
House Meeting with Jewish Leaders, February
"For the people of Israel and America are historic
partners in the global quest for human dignity and freedom. We will
always remain at each other's side."
Welcoming Ceremony for President Chaim Herzog, November 10, 1987)
George Bush (1988 - 1992)
Bush with PM Yitzhak Rabin, 1992 (Photo Israeli GPO)
"The meetings with the Presidents of Egypt and Israel
and with the King of Jordan form part of a larger effort to bring
peace to the Middle East. And I made clear the continuing readiness
of the United States to facilitate this effort in a manner that's
consistent with the security of Israel and the security of our Arab
friends in the region as well."
(President's News Conference in Japan,
February 25, 1989)
"The friendship, the alliance between the United States and Israel is strong and solid -- built upon a foundation of shared democratic values, of shared history and heritage that sustain the moral life of our two countries. The emotional bond of our peoples goes -- it transcends politics. Our strategic cooperation -- and I renewed today our determination that that go forward -- is a source of mutual security. And the United States' commitment to the security of Israel remains unshakable. We may differ over some policies from time to time, individual policies, but never over this principle."
(Remarks to Dinner Honoring PM Yitzhak Shamir, April 6, 1989)
"We also share a profound desire for a lasting peace
in the Middle East. My Administration is dedicated to achieving this
goal, one which will guarantee Israel security. At the same time,
we will do our utmost to defend and protect Israel, for unless Israel
is strong and secure, then peace will always be beyond our grasp.
We were with Israel at the beginning, 41 years ago. We are with Israel
today. And we will be with Israel in the future. No one should doubt
this basic committment."
House letter to AIPAC Conference attendees, May 17, 1989)
"The friendship, the alliance between the United States
and Israel is strong and solid, built upon a foundation of shared democratic values, of shared
history and heritage, that sustains the life of our two countries.
The emotional bond of our people transcends politics. Our strategic cooperationand I renew today our determination
that that go forwardis a source of mutual security. And the
United States commitment to the security of Israel remains unshakeable.
We may differ over some policies from time to time, individual policies,
but never over the principle ... For more than 40 years, the United States and Israel
have enjoyed a friendship built on mutual respect and commitment to
democratic principles. Our continuing search for peace in the Middle
East begins with a recognition that the ties uniting our two countries
can never be broken ... Zionism is the
idea that led to the creation of a home for the Jewish people....And
to equate Zionism with the intolerable sin of racism is to twist history
and forget the terrible plight of Jews in World War II and indeed
(Address to the United Nations, September 23, 1991)
Bill Clinton (1992 - 2000)
Clinton with PM Yitzhak Rabin (Photo Israel Government Press Office)
"Israel's democracy is the bedrock on which our relationship stands. It's a shining example for people around the world who are on the frontline of the struggle for democracy in their own lands. Our relationship is also based on our common interest in a more stable and peaceful Middle East, a Middle East that will finally accord Israel the recognition and acceptance that its people have yearned for so long and have been too long denied, a Middle East that will know greater democracy for all its peoples ... I believe strongly in the benefit to American interests from strengthened relationships with Israel. Our talks today have been conducted in that context. We have begun a dialog intended to raise our relationship to a new level of strategic partnership, partners in the pursuit of peace, partners in the pursuit of security."
"Our relationship would never vary from its allegiance
to the shared values,
the shared religious heritage, the shared democratic politics which
have made the relationship between the United States and Israel a
specialeven on occasion a wonderfulrelationship ... The United States admires Israel for all that it
has overcome and for all that it has accomplished. We are proud of
the strong bond we have forged with Israel, based on our shared values and ideals. That unique
relationship will endure just as Israel has endured."
(Press Conference with PM Yitzhak Rabin, March 15, 1993)
to PM Netanyahu on occasion of Israel's 50th birthday)
"America and Israel share a special bond. Our relations
are unique among all nations. Like America, Israel is a strong democracy,
as a symbol of freedom, and an oasis of liberty, a home to the oppressed
and persecuted ... The relationship between our two countries is built
on shared understandings and values. Our peoples continue to enjoy
the fruits of our excellent economic and cultural cooperation as we
prepare to enter the twenty-first century."
Israeli Ambassador Shoval, September 10,
George W. Bush (2000 - 2008)
Bush with PM Ariel Sharon (Photo Ron Sachs)
"We will speak up for our principles and we will stand
up for our friends in the world. And one of our most important friends
is the State of Israel ... Israel is a small country that has lived under threat
throughout its existence. At the first meeting of my National Security
Council, I told them a top foreign policy priority is the safety and
security of Israel. My Administration will be steadfast in supporting
Israel against terrorism and violence, and in seeking the peace for
which all Israelis pray."
(Speech to American Jewish Committee, May
"Through centuries of struggle, Jews across the world
have been witnesses not only against the crimes of men, but for faith
in God, and God alone. Theirs is a story of defiance in oppression
and patience in tribulation reaching back to the exodus and
their exile into the diaspora.
That story continued in the founding of the State of Israel. The story
continues in the defense of the State of Israel."
(Address on Observance of the National Days of Remembrance, April 19, 2001)
"For more than a generation, the United States and
Israel have been steadfast allies. Our nations are bound by our shared
values and a strong commitment to freedom. These ties that have made
us natural allies will never be broken. Israel and the United States
share a common history: We are both nations born of struggle and sacrifice.
We are both founded by immigrants escaping religious persecution in
other lands. Through the labors and strides of generations, we have
both built vibrant democracies, founded in the rule of law and market
economies. And we are both countries established with certain basic
beliefs: that God watches over the affairs of men and values every
September 3, 2004)
"[Israel] is our ally and in that we've made a very
strong commitment to support Israel, we will support Israel if her
security is threatened."
(Press Conference, February 17, 2005)
two nations have a lot in common, when
you think about it. We were both founded
by immigrants escaping religious persecution
in other lands. We both have built vibrant
democracies. Both our countries are founded
on certain basic beliefs, that there
is an Almighty God who watches over the
affairs of men and values every life.
These ties have made us natural allies,
and these ties will never be broken."
(Remarks at National Dinner Celebrating
Jewish Life in America, September
“Israel is a solid ally of the United
States. We will rise to Israel’s
defense, if need be. So this kind of menacing
talk [by the President of Iran] is disturbing.
It’s not only disturbing to the United
States, it’s disturbing for other
countries in the world, as well.” Asked
whether he meant the U.S. would rise to
Israel’s defense militarily, Bush
said: “You bet, we’ll defend
(Washington Post, February
threat from Iran is, of course, their
stated objective to destroy our strong
ally Israel. That's a threat, a serious
threat. It's a threat to world peace;
it's a threat, in essence, to a strong
alliance. I made it clear, I'll make
it clear again, that we will use military
might to protect our ally, Israel."
(Speech Regarding War on Terror, March 20, 2006)
“Our two nations
both faced great challenges when they were
founded, and our two nations have both
relied on the same principles to help us
succeed. We’ve built strong
democracies to protect the freedoms given
to us by an Almighty God. We’ve welcomed
immigrants, who have helped us thrive. We’ve
built prosperous economies by rewarding
innovation and risk-taking and trade. And
we’ve built an enduring alliance to confront
terrorists and tyrants.”
Arrival in Israel, May 14, 2008)
“The alliance between
our governments is unbreakable, yet the
source of our friendship runs deeper than
any treaty. It is grounded in the shared
spirit of our people, the bonds of the
Book, the ties of the soul ... My country's admiration for Israel
does not end there. When Americans look
at Israel, we see a pioneer spirit that
worked an agricultural miracle and now
leads a high-tech revolution. We see world-class
universities and a global leader in business
and innovation and the arts. We see a resource
more valuable than oil or gold: the talent
and determination of a free people who
refuse to let any obstacle stand in the
way of their destiny.”
the Knesset, May 15, 2008)
Barack Obama (2008 - Present)
Obama with PM Benjamin Netanyahu (White House Photo)
“The United States was the first country to recognize Israel
in 1948, minutes after its declaration of independence, and the deep
bonds of friendship between the U.S. and Israel remain as strong and
unshakeable as ever.”
(Statement on the 61st Anniversary of
Israel's Independence, April 28, 2009)
“The American people and the Israeli peoples share a faith
in the future and believe that democracies can shape their own destinies
and that opportunities should be available to all. Throughout its
own extraordinary history, Israel has given life to that promise.”
(Televised Statement to the Israeli Public, October 21, 2009)
“A strong and secure Israel is in the national security interest
of the United States not simply because we share strategic interests ... America’s commitment to Israel’s security flows from
a deeper place -- and that’s the values we share. As two people
who struggled to win our freedom against overwhelming odds, we understand
that preserving the security for which our forefathers -- and foremothers
-- fought must be the work of every generation. As two vibrant democracies,
we recognize that the liberties and freedoms we cherish must be constantly
nurtured. And as the nation that recognized the State of Israel moments
after its independence, we have a profound commitment to its survival
as a strong, secure homeland for the Jewish people ...Because we understand the challenges Israel faces, I and my administration
have made the security of Israel a priority. It’s why we’ve
increased cooperation between our militaries to unprecedented levels.
It’s why we’re making our most advanced technologies available
to our Israeli allies. It’s why, despite tough fiscal
times, we’ve increased foreign military financing to record
levels. And that includes additional support –-
beyond regular military aid -– for the Iron Dome anti-rocket
system ... So make no mistake, we will maintain Israel’s qualitative military
(Speech at the 2011 AIPAC Policy Conference, May 22,
"America's commitment to Israel's security is unshakeable, and
our friendship with Israel is deep and enduring. And so we believe
that any lasting peace must acknowledge the very real security concerns
that Israel faces every single day ... The Jewish people have forged
a successful state in their historic homeland. Israel deserves recognition.
It deserves normal relations with its neighbors. And friends of the
Palestinians do them no favors by ignoring this truth, just as friends
of Israel must recognize the need to pursue a two state solution with
a secure Israel next to an independent Palestine."
the United Nations General Assembly, September 21, 2011)
"[America] will stand steadfast with Israel in pursuit of security and a lasting peace."
(State of the Union Address, February 12, 2013)
"I care deeply about preserving that Jewish democracy, because when I think about how I came to know Israel, it was based on images of kibbutzim, and Moshe Dayan, and Golda Meir, and the sense that not only are we creating a safe Jewish homeland, but also we are remaking the world. We’re repairing it. We are going to do it the right way."
"Precisely because I care so deeply about the State of Israel, precisely because I care so much about the Jewish people, I feel obliged to speak honestly and truthfully about what I think will be most likely to lead to long-term security, and will best position us to continue to combat anti-Semitism, and I make no apologies for that precisely because I am secure and confident about how deeply I care about Israel and the Jewish people."
"I think it would be a moral failing for me as president of the United States, and a moral failing for America, and a moral failing for the world, if we did not protect Israel and stand up for its right to exist, because that would negate not just the history of the 20th century, it would negate the history of the past millennium"
"To me, being pro-Israel and pro-Jewish is part and parcel with the values that I've been fighting for since I started getting involved in politics. There’s a direct line between supporting the right of the Jewish people to have a homeland and to feel safe and free of discrimination and persecution, and the right of African Americans to vote and have equal protection under the law. These things are indivisible in my mind."
(Interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic, May 21, 2015)
Sources: Mitchell G. Bard. U.S.-Israel Relations: Looking To The Year 2000. DC: AIPAC, 1991