President Bush says America is proud to be Israel’s ally

Addressing a special Knesset session marking Israel’s 60th anniversary, Thursday, May 15, US President George W. Bush declared: America stands with you in firmly opposing Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions. “It would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations,” he said, to let Tehran acquire atomic arms.
Washington sees Israel as one of its partners in the fight against “extremists including Hamas, Hizballah and al Qaeda, as well as its efforts to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions.”
Bush challenged the argument that “if the United States would just break ties with Israel, all our problems in the Middle East would go away,” by saying: “America rejects this utterly. Israel’s population may be just over 7 million, but when you confront terror and evil, you are 307 million strong because America stands with you.”
“Massada will not fall again,” said Bush after touring the national shrine at Massada, the desert fortress where 960 Jews men, women and children took their own lives rather than surrender to Roman forces.
The Knesset seats and gallery were packed for the special session.
The US president referred to his vision of a Palestinian state by predicting that in 60 years, Israel will celebrate its 120th anniversary “as one of the world’s great democracies” and the Palestinians “will have the homeland they have long dreamed of and deserved”.
Arab lawmakers were removed when they displayed placards representing Arab children killed in Gaza and Iraq.
Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu said in his speech that negotiators of a settlement with the Palestinians must not forget that the purpose of peace is to strengthen Israel’s security, not weaken it. Two nationalist lawmakers walked out when prime minister Olmert said that the Bush two-state vision would be approved by a large Knesset majority.

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