ADL Applauds President Obama’s Jerusalem Speech as a “Truly Historic Affirmation of the Bond between the United States and Israel”

New York, NY, March 21, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today applauded President Obama’s address to Israeli youth in Jerusalem, calling his speech a “truly historic affirmation of the bonds of friendship between the United States and Israel, a heartfelt acknowledgement of the depth and strength of the biblical Jewish bond to the land of Israel and a clear articulation of mutual values and aspirations for peace shared by both countries.”

The President conveyed a deep understanding of important challenges facing Israel, including the peace process and security issues, and highlighted the remarkable accomplishments the Jewish state has achieved over the past 65 years.

Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

We applaud President Obama’s powerful address and the warmth, respect and admiration it expressed for all that Israel represents for the Jewish people and the world. The speech was a truly historic affirmation of the bonds of friendship between the U.S. and Israel, and a pronouncement of common values and aspirations for peace shared by both countries.

The President clearly articulated the millennia-old connection the Jewish people have to the land of Israel, culminating in the realization of the Zionist dream by which Jews are now a free people in their homeland.  And, he highlighted and praised the many significant accomplishments the country has achieved over the past 65 years.

President Obama also recognized the grave security challenges facing Israel, including terror threats from Hamas, and the dangers posed by a nuclear-armed Iran. His call on the European Union to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization was an important one that should be taken seriously by European leaders.

The President also recognized the risks Israel has taken for peace, steps often not met with reciprocity from the Palestinians. It was important that he reiterated the consistent position that the peace process can only be achieved through negotiations without preconditions, and not through international unilateral actions at forums like the United Nations.

The President’s visit to Israel has been warm, meaningful, positive and significant. The people of Israel cherish the U.S.-Israel relationship, and are encouraged by the President’s empathy, understanding and personal commitment to Israel’s security and prosperity.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.