19-01-2020 12:24 PM Jerusalem Timing

Obama Pledges ’Unbreakable Alliance’ with Zionism

Obama Pledges ’Unbreakable Alliance’ with Zionism

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday arrived in the Occupied Territories for the first time as president, vowing an "eternal" alliance with the Jewish entity.

Zionist President Shimon Peres (L), US President Barack Obama (M), Zionist PM Benjamin Netanyahu (R)US President Barack Obama on Wednesday arrived in the Occupied Territories for the first time as president, vowing an "eternal" alliance with the Jewish entity.

Obama strove for reassurance as he faces skepticism over his strategy for confronting Iran and his personal commitment to the Zionist entity, following sharp public disagreements with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"The United States is proud to stand with you as your strongest ally and your greatest friend," Obama said at a lavish welcoming ceremony, shortly after Air Force One rolled to a halt to a peal of military trumpets at Ben Gurion airport.

"Our alliance is eternal, it is forever," Obama declared, arguing America's vital national security interests mandated a strong defense of the Jewish entity, which he said "makes us both stronger."

Obama's arrival sparked glowing praise from Zionist leaders, when President Shimon Peres lauded Obama as a "remarkable world leader" who had shown a deep personal commitment to protect the entity of occupation.

"A world without your friendship would invite aggression against Israel... In times of peace, in times of war, your support for Israel is unshakeable," he said.

Netanyahu was also effusive as Obama embarked on the first overseas mission of his second term, which will also see him hold talks with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah and on Friday travel to Jordan to meet King Abdullah II.

For all the rhetoric, officials have downplayed expectations for Obama's long-awaited visit, and there are few hopes his arrival will overcome the deadlock in Zionist-Palestinian peace efforts.

"Peace must come to the Holy Land," Obama told his hosts on arrival but he has made clear he was coming to listen rather than launch any new peace initiative.

Disillusioned by the failure of Obama's first-term peace efforts, the Palestinians are hoping he will help broker the release of more than 1,000 prisoners held by occupation authorities and also free up $700 million in blocked US aid.

Obama will tell the Palestinians that initiatives, like seeking statehood recognition at the United Nations, are counterproductive, while warning the Zionist government that settlement building undercuts the chances of resuming peace talks.

It seems unlikely Obama and Netanyahu will narrow their differences over the point of no return on Iran's civil nuclear program.

During his visit, Obama will pointedly court the historic symbolism of the
Jewish entity, when he inspects the Dead Sea Scrolls and visits the tomb of Theodor Herzl, founder of modern Zionism.