WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama
held a line of fundraisers for his presidential campaign on Thursday. At one of the events, a woman interrupted his comments on foreign policy to yell, “Use your leadership! No war in Iran!”
Obama calmly responded, “Nobody’s announced a war, young lady. You’re jumping the gun a little bit.”
The incident drew focus to a meeting
scheduled to be held between the US president and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
on Monday where the Iranian issue is set to take center stage. On Friday, Obama will meet with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in preparation for Netanyahu's visit.
Obama and Netanyahu during latter's last visit to Washington (Photo: Reuters)
In another campaign event in Manhattan Obama discussed his commitment to Israel's security.
“One of our long-term goals in that region is to make sure that the sacrosanct commitment that we make to Israel’s security is not only a matter of providing to them the military capabilities that they need, not only providing the sort of quality military edge that they need in a very tough neighborhood, but also that we are a partner to them to try to bring about a peace in the region that can be lasting and that is a challenge,” he said.
The sweeping changes in the Middle East, he said, make foreign policy in the region more complex. "It used to be easier to deal with one person who was an autocrat when it came to knowing who you could strike a deal with," Obama said.
With the region's leadership structure changing, the US would have to take into account the "politics and the attitudes of people in the region,: some of which he acknowledged were anti-Israel," he said.
Obama said it was important to “also continue to reach out to people of goodwill on the other side.”
He added that he “absolutely convinced” this was the only way to “try to shape…the kind of lasting, two state-solution that will allow Israel not only to preserve its security, but also to preserve its essence as a democratic Jewish state.”