Democrats Talk of Support for Israel

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The primary race is officially over but neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton are taking a break.

Today the two spoke at a Washington conference sponsored by American Israel Public Affairs Committee, an influential pro-Israel lobby.

Both candidates affirmed a strong defense of Israel against terrorists and rogue nations.

"We know that we cannot relent, we cannot yield. And as president I will never compromise when it comes to israel's security," Obama said.

"We stand with Israel because Israel demonstrates that democracy can flourish in the most difficult conditions. Because it's very existence is a stinging rebuke to hatred and the Holocaust. Because in defeating terror Israel's cause is our cause," Clinton said.

Clinton, who has yet to concede the Democratic race, praised the presumptive Democratic nominee, saying he would be a good friend to Israel.

Talk to Israel's Enemies?

Obama also used the moment to address his critics over his suggestion that he would hold talks with Israel's enemies.

"As president I will never compromise when it comes to Israel's security," Obama said. "We must isolate Hamas unless and until they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel's right to exist, and abide by past agreements. There is no room at the negotiating table for terrorist organizations."

GOP rival John McCain, as well as some Democrats, have slammed the freshman senator for suggesting he would naively enter into talks with Israel's and America's enemies.

"Contrary to the claims of some, I have no interest in sitting down with our adversaries just for the sake of talking," Obama said. "I would be willing to lead tough and principled diplomacy with the appropriate Iranian leaders at a time and place of my choosing if, and only if it can advance the interests of the United States."

"I will always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally Israel," he added.

Still, some at the meeting expressed concern over Obama's apparent willingness to meet with Israel's avowed enemies.

Evelyn Mottsman of Pittsburgh said it "disturbs a lot of people that he thinks diplomacy is possible" with Iran.

Source: CBN News, The Associated Press

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