Obama reaffirms policy toward Israel ahead of Netanyahu meeting

Days before his meeting with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama reaffirmed his administration’s policy toward Israel’s security.

At a fundraiser Thursday in New York City, Obama said he intends to "draw sharp lines" in order to maintain Israel's long-term security.

At the same time, he said it was important to "also continue to reach out to people of good will on the other side.”

Obama said he was “absolutely convinced” this was the only way to “try to shape ... the kind of lasting, two state-solution that will allow Israel not only to preserve its security, but also to preserve its essence as a democratic Jewish state."

The president's remarks on Israel were met with applause from the fundraising crowd.

Obama will address the issue in greater detail when he speaks to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Sunday. The following day he will sit down for his face-to-face meeting with Netanyahu.

Obama told the New York crowd that Israel’s security would be strengthened not only by a U.S. military commitment, but through U.S. diplomacy aimed at bringing about a peace process.

“One of our long-term goals in that region is to make sure that the sacrosanct commitment that we make to Israel’s security is not only a matter of providing to them the military capabilities that they need, not only providing the sort of quality military edge that they need in a very tough neighborhood, but also that we are a partner to them to try to bring about a peace in the region that can be lasting, and that is a challenge,” he said.