Palestinians have a right to be a free people on their land, as well. (Applause.) Now, I want to emphasize — that’s not easy. The Palestinians are not the easiest of partners. (Laughter.)
As many of you know, I’ve visited the houses hit by rocket fire in Sderot. I’ve been to Yad Vashem and made that solemn vow: “Never forget. Never again.” When someone threatens Israel’s citizens or its very right to exist, Israelis necessarily that seriously. And so do I. Today, the military and intelligence cooperation between our two countries is stronger than ever.
And the rights of the Jewish people then compel me to think about a Palestinian child in Ramallah that feels trapped without opportunity. That’s what Jewish values teach me. That’s what the Judeo-Christian tradition teaches me.
And we cannot expect Israel to take existential risks with their security so that any deal that takes place has to take into account the genuine dangers of terrorism and hostility.
Jeff [Goldberg] reminded me that he once called me “the first Jewish President.” (Laughter.)… I was flattered. And as an honorary member of the tribe, not to mention somebody who’s hosted seven White House Seders and been advised by — (applause) — and been advised by two Jewish chiefs of staff, I can also proudly say that I’m getting a little bit of the hang of the lingo.
If he told them he was inspired by their struggle:
And to a young man like me, grappling with his own identity, recognizing the scars of race here in this nation, inspired by the civil rights struggle, the idea that you could be grounded in your history, as Israel was, but not be trapped by it, to be able to repair the world — that idea was liberating. The example of Israel and its values was inspiring.