March 21, 2013
In his first trip abroad since his re-election, President Barack Obama visited Israel, Ramallah, and Jordan from March 20-23, 2013. Throughout his visit to Israel, he restated America’s unwavering commitment to Israel, its people, security, and future. He also repeated his call for Israelis to step forward and make agreements with the Palestinians. Less than five months after the visit, his administration undertook a full scale effort to broker accords between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Obama’s March 21st address (shown in the photo) was delivered in Jerusalem to an audience of approximately 600 university students and was broadcast on the radio and television across the country. The speech, which drew some criticism from Israeli politicians because it was not held at the Knesset, had the feel of a campaign address. Obama emotionally encouraged Israeli youth to embrace a peaceful future with the Palestinians. That plea for a two-state solution for two peoples was greeted with prolonged applause. The longest applause was reserved for his remark, “But make no mistake — those who adhere to the ideology of rejecting Israel’s right to exist, they might as well reject the earth beneath them or the sky above, because Israel is not going anywhere.”
For complete coverage of President Barack Obama’s March 2013 Presidential trip to Israel, including a video and transcript of the March 21st address, visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/middle-east-trip-2013