Barak, FM say Obama speech that of an ally to Israel

Livni says US president correct in assertion that only talks can bring peace; Hasson claims renewed peace talks would isolate Hamas.

September 21, 2011 20:34
2 minute read.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak

Ehud Barak 311 (R). (photo credit: Reuters)


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Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Wednesday responded to US President Barck Obama's speech at the UN General assembly, saying the address was proof of the strong relationship between the American leader and Israel.

Obama, speaking during the opening day of the UN General assembly in New York, stated that he supports the creation of a Palestinian state that takes into account Israel's security needs, which can only be worked out through the agreement of the two sides involved.

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"Once again it's been proven to all the doubters, President Obama is an ally and friend of Israel. The Obama administration gives backing to Israel's security in a wide, all-encompassing and unprecedented manner," Barak said in a statement.

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Barak expressed hope that Obama's speech and developments at the UN would lead to to the resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians.

The defense minister's sentiment was echoed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman who also called Obama's address "the speech of an ally."

Lieberman told Israeli reporters in New York that the "path to peace is long and complicated" and not something that can be solved in the UN General Assembly or Security Council.

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni also responded to the speech, saying Obama "displayed the main points of the conflict in a balanced manner."

Livni said in a statement released shortly after the speech, "He was correct in his statement that peace can be achieved only through direct negotiations and not through UN decisions."


The Kadima leader called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to work to break the impasse in the peace process with the Palestinians.

"The responsibility for a peaceful future with security for Israel's children lies on the shoulders of the Israeli leadership and therefore Netanyahu must immediately initiate a resumption of the diplomatic process, not as a favor to the Palestinians but as a favor to us," she said.

"The speeches at the UN will not change a thing on the ground and renewing diplomatic negotiations will prevent decisions at the UN and will prevent the isolation of Israel," Livni added.

Fellow Kadima MK Yisrael Hasson also called on Netanyahu to resume peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, and said that doing so would isolate Hamas, which - according to Hasson - is waiting for the failure of Abbas's UN process in order to prove that violent resistance is the only way to achieve Palestinian independence.

The Kadima MK said that Abbas went to the UN in hopes that the move would break the deadlock in negotiations, and said he hoped that Netanyahu had gotten that message.

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