In his acceptance speech Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, US President Barack Obama promised not to waiver on Israel’s security and to keep the world united against Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
The speech primarily focused on the economic difficulties facing the US, including deficit reduction, health care and job creation and social issues. But the president spent several minutes in the middle of the speech laying out foreign policy commitments for his second term.
‘Our commitment to Israel’s security must not waiver and neither must our pursuit of peace,’ he said. ‘The Iranian government must face a world that stays united against its nuclear ambitions,’ he added.
His first administration, Obama said, ‘strengthened old alliances and forged new coalitions to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.’
Obama’s comments came on the heels of a debacle over the language in the Democratic Party regarding Jerusalem. After Democratic members of Congress joined Republicans in criticising the DNC for taking out the 2008 platform’s language on US support for Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a hastily scheduled amendment process Wednesday night saw the 2008 phrasing on Jerusalem reinserted.
Massachusetts Senator John Kerry also took to the stage Thursday night in a speech devoted entirely to foreign policy. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, rumoured to be under contention for secretary of state in a second Obama administration, attacked the Republicans for having ‘lied’ time and again about the president’s stance on Israel.
‘Barack Obama promised always to stand with Israel to tighten sanctions on Iran – and take nothing off the table,’ Kerry said.
The Massachusetts Senator also quoted Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to bolster his case, referencing the PM’s words that the two countries have the same policy and that security cooperation has been unprecedented under the current administration.