"Our job is to rebuild the road to real peace and lasting security throughout the region," Obama said during a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Chicago. "Our job is to do more than lay out another road map."No audacity and no hope here.
"That effort begins with a clear and strong commitment to the security of Israel: Our strongest ally in the region and its only established democracy," he added. "That will always be my starting point."
In what may have been a veiled reference to reports of American opposition to Israeli negotiations with Syria, Obama said: "We should never seek to dictate what is best for the Israelis and their security interests. No Israeli prime minister should ever feel dragged to or blocked from the negotiating table by the United States."
The Illinois senator also called for continued American military assistance to Israel. "We must preserve our total commitment to our unique defense relationship with Israel by fully funding military assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and related missile defense programs," he said.