Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the Christians United For Israel (CUFI) Washington, D.C. Summit on Tuesday via satellite, reaffirming strong ties between the United States and Israel.
Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed a receptive and friendly audience, and received a standing ovation as he spoke from a studio in Israel.
“That applause was so loud I could hear it here in Jerusalem,” joked Netanyahu.
The CUFI Summit—an annual gathering of supporters, members and college students—is taking place at a time when tensions are rising between Israel and the U.S., and when the nuclear ambitions of Iran are a primary concern for those paying attention to United States foreign policy.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Israel is also serving as a backdrop to this year’s Summit, as she has pledged support for and reaffirmed the mutually positive relationship between the two countries.
“We all prefer a diplomatic resolution, and Iran’s leaders still have the opportunity to make the right decision,” Clinton said Tuesday. “The choice is ultimately Iran’s to make. Our own choice is clear: We will use all elements of American power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
As tension brews in the Middle East, the Israeli Prime Minister said that the relationship between the United States and Israel are both intertwined and that there is a mutual dependency between the two nations. Netanyahu, however, stopped short of mentioning any military interventions.
Netanyahu singled out CUFI as one of the reasons the bond between Israel and the U.S. is so strong.
“You refuse to accept one of the greatest lies of modern times. That the Jewish people are foreign occupiers in Judea and Samaria.”
Besides thanking CUFI members for their support, he also said that battle against militant Islam has not yet been won by Western democracies, and that Israel is the only country in the Middle East that comes close to the values and principles held by the U.S.
“As the sea rages all around us, Israel stands alone as an island of freedom.”