Obama: I understand why Israel considers Iran an existential threat

Updated: May 22, 2009

Propaganda Alert

compiled by Cem Ertür
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
18 May, 2009

1) President Obama’s Newsweek interview: “A Highly Logical Approach” (17 May 2009)
2) Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel in press availability (18 May 2009)
3) Hearing of the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee
[witness: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton] (20 May 2009)



excerpts from Obama’s Newsweek interview: “A Highly Logical Approach”

by Jon Meacham, Newsweek, 17 May 2009 (from the magazine issue dated May 25, 2009)

NEWSWEEK: Prime Minister Netanyahu is coming [to Washington this week]. How do you expect to talk to him about the possibility of Israeli military action against Iran? And some people have argued that we should not take [American military action] off the table.OBAMA: I’ve been very clear that I don’t take any options off the table with respect to Iran. I don’t take options off the table when it comes to U.S. security, period.

What I have said is that we want to offer Iran an opportunity to align itself with international norms […] [and stop posing] a threat to its neighbors. […]

If it doesn’t work, the fact that we have tried will strengthen our position in mobilizing the international community, and Iran will have isolated itself, as opposed to a perception that it seeks to advance that somehow it’s being victimized by a U.S. government that doesn’t respect Iran’s sovereignty.

NEWSWEEK: And you would expect the Israelis, as an ally, to follow along with that and not take unilateral [military] action?

OBAMA: No, look, I understand very clearly that Israel considers Iran an existential threat, and given some of the statements that have been made by President Ahmadinejad, you can understand why. […] They’re right there in range and I don’t think it’s my place to determine for the Israelis what their security needs are. […]


[emphasis added]

“ […] Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon would not only be a threat to Israel and a threat to the United States, but would be profoundly destabilizing in the international community as a whole and could set off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East that would be extraordinarily dangerous for all concerned, […]The important thing is to make sure that there is a clear timetable of at which point we say these talks don’t seem to be making any serious progress. ”

[US President Barack Obama, joint press conference with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 18 May 2009]


“A nuclear-armed Iran with a deliverable weapons system is going to spark an arms race in the Middle East and the greater region. […] [W]e see a growing recognition among a number of countries that they do not want this eventuality to take place. So we’re having serious conversations with many beyond the immediate region.I don’t want to go into details, because […] we don’t want to be telegraphing everything we’re doing. But the strategy which we are laying out does have a time frame, as the president [Obama] said during his meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu.

[US Foreign Minister Hillary Clinton, Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, 20 May 2009]



[1] Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel in press availability

The White House website, 18 May 2009

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-President-Obama- and-Israeli-Prime-Minister-Netanyahu-in-press-availability/

[2] Hearing of the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee

Federal News Service, 20 May 2009


related quotes:

“When you see the gas chambers, the concentration camps, […] [t]hese memories can never leave you, but it makes you absolutely determined that we should not ever allow this to happen again.”

[UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, interview at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, 28 April 2009] [1]


“How do we ensure that “never again” isn’t an empty slogan, or merely an aspiration, but also a call to action?”

[US President Barack Obama, Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at the United States Capitol, Washington D.C. , 23 April 2009] [2]


“We will not allow Holocaust deniers to carry out another Jewish Holocaust. This is the supreme commitment of the State of Israel, and it is my supreme commitment as Prime Minister of Israel.”

[Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Holocaust Remembrance Day speech in Jerusalem, 20 April 2009] [3]


“So let me be clear: Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile activity poses a real threat, not just to the United States, but to Iran’s neighbors and our allies.”

[US President Barack Obama’s speech in Prague, 5 April 2009] [4]


“The threats to Israel’s security… [include] an Iranian regime that sponsors terrorism, pursues nuclear weapons and threatens Israel’s existence”

[US presidential candidate Barack Obama, speech in Sderot, Israel, 23 July 2008] [5]


“I think that we Americans joining with our European allies can impose significant and very impactful sanctions on Iran which I think could modify their behaviour. I would hope that we could succeed in that direction and I have some optimism we can, but I have to look you in the eye and tell you that the United States of America can never allow a second Holocaust.”

[US presidential candidate John McCain, interview with Israel’s Channel 2, 21 July 2008] [6]



[1] PM’s words at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp(29 April 2009)

https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2009/04/21/israeli-prime-minister- we-will-not-allow-holocaust-deniers-to-carry-out-another-jewish-holoca ust/

[2] Remarks by the President at the Holocaust Days of Remembrance Ceremony (23 April 2009)

https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2009/04/21/israeli-prime-minister- we-will-not-allow-holocaust-deniers-to-carry-out-another-jewish-holoca ust/

[3] Address by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day (20 April 2009)

https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2009/04/21/israeli-prime-minister- we-will-not-allow-holocaust-deniers-to-carry-out-another-jewish-holoca ust/

[4] Remarks by President Barack Obama in Prague as Delivered (5 April 2009)

https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2009/04/07/obama-irans-nuclear-and -ballistic-missile-activity-poses-a-real-threat-to-its-neighbors/

[5] Obama’s Speech in Sderot, Israel (28 July 2008)

https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/quotes-on-iran-by-obama -brown-sarkozy-and-merkel/

[6] US will never allow second Holocaust: McCain (22 July 2008)

http://www.theage.com.au/world/us-election-2008/us-will-never-allow-se cond-holocaust-mccain-20080722-3iy0.html


[DS added the video]

President Obama & Prime Minister Netanyahu: “The Common Goal is Peace”


13 thoughts on “Obama: I understand why Israel considers Iran an existential threat

  1. Pingback: UK: New sanctions on Iran is a priority – Israel: Time is running out « Dandelion Salad

  2. Pingback: Biden: US won’t stop Israel attack on Iran + transcript « Dandelion Salad

  3. Pingback: Israeli ambassador to US: Iranian nuke could wipe off Israel in seconds « Dandelion Salad

  4. Pingback: Turning Point? By Noam Chomsky « Dandelion Salad

  5. Pingback: Obama & Merkel visit Buchenwald concentration camp + Elie Wiesel After Touring Concentration Camp « Dandelion Salad

  6. Pingback: The great, international, demonic, truly frightening Iranian threat by William Blum « Dandelion Salad

  7. Pingback: Who will Stand Up To America and Israel? by Paul Craig Roberts « Dandelion Salad

  8. Pingback: President Obama Meets with President Abbas of Palestinian Authority + Hamas’s exclusion from Middle East peace talks « Dandelion Salad

  9. Pingback: Israel holds drill simulating all-out war « Dandelion Salad

  10. Pingback: Pepe Escobar: Bibi plays Barack « Dandelion Salad

  11. Pingback: For Cripes’ Sake, Make Him Already! by Cindy Sheehan « Dandelion Salad

  12. Pingback: Buyer’s Remorse: Is it too late to swap Obama for McCain? by Mike Whitney « Dandelion Salad

  13. Here we go again with unwise, off the wall comments that send the wrong signal, at the wrong time, to the extremists in Israel, and alarm the Muslim world that Obama may be weakening, like all those who came before him and willing to soften his resolve on making serious effort to make real peace in the Middle East. I hope Obama doesn’t waver on this issue too, and continues to be the Obama we had hoped he’s be, and maintains his resolve that peace must be reached in the Middle East, whether the warring parties like it or not. Not many would disagree that the whole world has already paid dearly for the sake of the US policy of coddling Israel for all these years, and letting it get away with so much with impunity, which in and by itself is baffling beyond belief – the extent of it that is. If viable peace that is fair and acceptable by Arabs and Muslims isn’t reached, which will be due, as usual, to Israel’s intransigence and stalling tactics, ramifications, not can, but will be, unprecedentedly dire for all, including the US and the world at large. Can the US and the world continue to afford the costly and ugly game Israel has been playing, and what it’s doing to the state of world security?

    The world’s number one problem is terrorism and the main cause behind most of the world’s terrorism is related to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, and its unwillingness to compromise and solve this thorny issue that keeps the world on its toes with regard to terrorism. What has the world, especially the US and Europe, done for Israel, over six decades, has never been done for any other ethnic or religious group in history. The world has bent over backwards for Israel, allowed it to break international laws, commit war crimes and genocide with unprecedented impunity and with total US political cover at UN and Security Council, regardless of what heinous crimes it had committed that time. Israel and only Israel was allowed, all the time, and for the last 60 years, to get away with not implementing any UN resolutions that were ratified by practically the whole world, except for the US and some Polynesian banana islands. Everyone knows, or rather always knew, that America would go even against its own interests for the sake of Israel, which was too adsurd, too creepy and was just not right no matter how they tried to justify it. The reason behind the US’s unconditional support for Israel is not a secret and is as clear as the blue skies; and that was and is utterly shameful and disgraceful. Will someone tell me who’s the Superpower here, and who gets from whom a ton of military and economic aid every year? You’d think from the logical looks of things that it’s the other way around or maybe that the US owes so much to Israel that we stand in the presence of Israeli wishes and just bow, in obedience, and rubberstamp all they want. Yes we all know, by now, the phenomenal and inexplicable hold and strength of the Israeli lobby in Washington and the biblical-like support they get from the extremist religious right in America, but it’s getting to a point where it looks really weird and ridiculous, more than ever before. I heard it said by many that the US cares about Israel more than it would about California, if it came down to that, and that Israel would still get the US’s blind support even if it dropped a nuclear bomb on an Arabic capital, or something to that effect. That is no exaggeration, albeit nonsensical and insane. Now Obama came and the world is breathing a sigh of relief and sees in the White House a president that may be the first ever to have political balls to say to Israel enough and enough, and that America’s interests will have to be considered and maybe even come first, for a change. But will he do it, and how far will he be willing to go to pressure Israel to take matters seriously and realize that time has come for it to grow up, put the US and the world’s interests ahead of its fanatics’, and allow the creation of a viable, real Palestinian state on Palestinian land, next door to it, and make peace with its neighbors, and mean it this time, for a change. Obama – if he’s as big and historical a president as his words led us to believe, he must let Netanyahu and the other extremist Israelis that change has come to the whole world and Israel will not be exempted this time around, and that the US and the world will no longer be able to afford the heavy costs of Israel’s policies and decisions.

Comments are closed.