Daily Video

May 19, 2009

Obama Talks With Israeli Prime Minister

In the first part of this video, President Barack Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House to discuss Iran’s nuclear capabilities and the Middle East peace process.

Israel’s conservative prime minister faces intense pressure from the Obama administration to seek a two-state solution to the conflict in the Middle East, which would give Palestinians a homeland seperate from Israel.

In his meeting with the president, Netanyahu expressed his willingness to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

“I want to start peace negotiations with the Palestinians immediately,” he said. “I would like to broaden the circle of peace to include others in the Arab world.”

Acknowledging that Israel perceives Iran to be its greatest security threat, the president also assured Netanyahu that America would push Iran to stop its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

“We are engaged in a process to reach out to Iran and persuade them that it is not in their interest to pursue a nuclear weapon and that they should change course,” Obama said.

Quotes

“The common goal is peace. Everybody in Israel, as in the United States, wants peace. The common threat we face are terrorist regimes and organizations that seek to undermine the peace and endanger both our peoples.” – Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister

“The worst danger we face is that Iran would develop nuclear military capabilities. Iran openly calls for our destruction, which is unacceptable by any standard. It threatens the moderate Arab regimes in the Middle East. It threatens U.S. interests worldwide.” – Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister

“To the extent that we can make peace with the Palestinians — between the Palestinians and the Israelis, then I actually think it strengthens our hand in the international community in dealing with a potential Iranian threat.” – President Barack Obama

Warm Up Questions

1. What do you know about Iran? Who is the leader of Iran?

2. Which countries have nuclear weapons?

Discussion Questions

1. What did you think of this video? What did their body language tell you about their relationship?

2. Why is it in America’s interest to help seek a solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians?

3. President Obama has been criticized for saying he would talk to Iran’s extremist leadership. What are the pros and cons of a meeting between President Obama and Iran’s top leaders?

Additional Resources

Read the transcript

In-depth Coverage: Israel-Palestinian Conflict

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