Wednesday, May 6, 2009
AIPAC Policy Conference: Excerpts from the Words of John Kerry
You can count on Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama in the days ahead.
THis year's AIPAC Policy Conference arrives at a time of memonetous change. "One thing we know: America's support for Israel's dream and Israel's security: that will never change."
America and Israel will always be partners in a special relationship. We share the belief we are strongest when we stand behind our common values and we stand together.
"Israel is a place that never fails to amaze. We admire Israel."
We admire Israel's closeness where one family's anguish for its missing soldier is shared by the entire nation.
"I am confident the day will come when Gilad is returned to his family and the land he loves."
Today I want to thank AIPAC for helping American with a foreign aid budget that helps us with the value of Tikkun Olam which is also an American value.
Recently a conference against racism in Durban became a stage to project hatred against the Jewish state. To see people listen to Ahmedinejad speak and people applaud was sobering. Too many people do not understand the threat of anti-semitism. Anti-semitism which is not checked is a threat to us all.
From the air, it's unmistakable how small Israel is.
When sirens sound in Sderot, children have just 15 seconds to find safety; no child should have to live that way.
I said in Gaza and I say it now: the rockets have got to stop. That is the raod to peace.
Most troubling of all is the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran. When the leader of Iran speaks of a world without Israel, we must take that seriously.
"When we say that a nuclear armed Iran is unacceptable, we mean it."
The old policy didn't work. Red lines were crossed and nothing was done. We must not accept the unacceptable, but need to make sure Iran doesn't get the bomb.
We know engagement alone isn't enough. The bottom line is the world needs to agree on an enforceable red line and then act if the red line is crossed.
The threat of Iran has actually brought an opportunity for peace with a fundamental shift in Arab attitudes, which are far more concerned with the threat of Iran than they are with Israel.
One reason Camp David failed was the lack of support from the Arab nations. We need to flesh out the road map to include normal relations from the entire Arab world.
Arab leaders need to take concrete steps to show they are sincere in the desire for peace.
Books in the hands of schoolchildren must show history as it really was and show maps which include Israel as it really is.
I understand why supporters of Israel have doubts about the peace process. We've seen too much process and not enough peace.
Hamas has already won one election. We cannot let it win another. That is why we must find ways of improving the lives of the people in the West Bank and Gaza.
Nothing will show Israel's commitment to peace than freezing new settlements. I know lasting peace with the Palestinians does not come easily. The window of opportunity for a two state solution is fast closing.