Obama started with the dual assurances, Israel is one of our strongest allies. It's critical for us, and I will never waver from ensuring Israel's security....The plight of the Palestinians is something that we have to pay attention to. It is not good for our security and for Israel's security if you have millions of individuals who feel hopeless....We are working to try to strengthen the ability of both parties to have to sit down across the table."
Obama then pointed out the "mutual demonization" jeopardizing the peace process, while urging leaders through praise to deal with troublesome allies. The President said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "is making some effort to move a little bit further than his coalition wants to go" while Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas "genuinely wants peace" but has to deal with Hamas. Obama concluded:
The Palestinians have to unequivocally renounce violence and rToecognize Israel. And Israel has to acknowledge legitimate grievances and interests of the Palestinians.