June 4th, 2009
11:45 AM ET
9 years ago

Obama in Cairo: The Arab-Israeli conflict

CAIRO, Egypt (CNN) - President Obama called America's bond with Israel "unbreakable" and chastised Holocaust deniers, but also decried the suffering in the Palestinian territories in the strongest terms.

"America's strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied.

"On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people - Muslims and Christians - have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. ... They endure the daily humiliations - large and small - that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: The situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. And America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity and a state of their own.

"Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and it does not succeed. For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America's founding.

Filed under: Israel • Middle East • President Obama
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