Obama Vows to 'Always Be There' for Israel

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During a visit to the Washington, D.C. Holocaust Museum Monday, President Barack Obama restated his commitment to Israel saying he'll "always be there" for the Jewish state.

The president's comments came a few days after Holocaust Remembrance Day. He also announced a series of steps to promote human rights and prevent genocide around the world.

Obama was introduced by Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel, who said that as the nation's chief executive and a father, the president's duty is to remind future generations that the Holocaust happened.

"We must tell our children about a crime unique in human history, the one and only Holocaust," Obama said. "Six million innocent people -- men, women, children, babies -- sent to their deaths just for being different, just for being Jewish."

He added that these "seeds of hate" cannot be allowed to take root again. The president said an individual commitment to the Jewish people extends to American support for Israel.

"When attempts are made to delegitimize the state of Israel, we oppose them," Obama continued.

"When faced with a regime that threatens global security and denies the Holocaust and threatens to destroy Israel, the United States will do everything in our power to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon," he said.

In his speech, President Obama also mentioned South Sudan as one success story in his administration's fight against genocide.

South Sudan

As a result of diplomacy, South Sudan is the world's newest nation. Still, an ongoing fight between Sudanese Muslims and the primarily Christian South is growing.

Hospital officials are trying to cope with the aftermath of bombings and shootings from a brewing war that threatens to wipe out a cease-fire with the Sudanese government.

"The situation is now much, much alarming. We are now stretched to the limit," said Joseph Panyon, administrative director of Bentiu Hospital.

"We are receiving all the military casualties and the civilians alike on top of our normal patients that we have been dealing with," he said.

President Obama tried to intervene over the weekend, calling both sides in the largely Muslim-Christian conflict to account.

"We know what needs to happen," Obama said. "The government of Sudan must stop its military actions -- including aerial bombardments -- and must give aid workers access they need to save lives, and it must end its support for armed groups inside the South."

"Likewise, the government of South Sudan must end its support of armed groups inside Sudan, and it must cease its military actions across the border," he added.

Also Monday, Obama issued a new executive order that will allow the United States to impose sanctions on foreign governments that use modern technology, such as the Internet, to commit human rights abuses.

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John Waage

John Waage

CBN News Sr. Editor

John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.