Obama: Israel shouldn't be afraid of changes in Mideast

Speaking to Jewish donors in Miami, US president says forces emerging in Egypt should be naturally aligned with Israel.

Obama 311 reuters (photo credit: Reuters)
Obama 311 reuters
(photo credit: Reuters)
WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama told Jewish donors in Miami on Friday that Israel and the United States should not be afraid of changes taking place in the Middle East.
Obama said that the world needs to be “sober” about the current transformation in the region but stressed that the West shouldn’t fear the future.
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Speaking at a fund-raising dinner in Miami on Friday night, Obama said he told a group of Jewish leaders at the White House Tuesday: “We can’t be naïve about the changes that are taking place in the Middle East,” but “we should not be afraid of the possibilities of the future.”
He also said that he had stressed that “our commitment to Israel security is inviolable, is sacrosanct.”
Obama acknowledged Friday that when it comes to changes in the region, “there are going to be some bumps along the road,” and charting a path forward will mean US participation and a will “to seize that moment.”

“We’re going to have to be engaged and we’re going to have to be involved and we’re going to have to reach out,” he said. “But I’m actually confident that 10 years from now we’re going to be able to look back potentially and say this was the dawning of an entirely new and better era.”
On Tuesday, Obama had met for over an hour with some 50 members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
Addressing the contours of a future peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians, the US president assured these leaders that Jewish areas would stay in Israel’s hands, according to many participants.
Following reports that Obama had expressed hostility against Israel in the meeting, the leaders of the conference issued a statement denying he had exhibited such an attitude.