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Remarks on Signing Legislation To Enhance Security Cooperation With Israel

July 27, 2012

Hello, everybody. Hope you guys are all staying cool. Well, listen, I just wanted to welcome these outstanding leaders to the Oval Office. I want to in particular acknowledge Congressman Howard Berman and Senator Barbara Boxer, who have done outstanding work in shepherding through this bipartisan piece of legislation that underscores our unshakeable commitment to Israel.

As many of you know, I have made it a top priority for my administration to deepen cooperation with Israel across the whole spectrum of security issues: intelligence, military, technology. And in many ways, what this legislation does is bring together all the outstanding cooperation that we have seen, really, at an unprecedented level between our two countries that underscore our unshakeable commitment to Israel's security.

I'm also very pleased that this week we are going to be able to announce $70 million in additional spending—$70 billion [million],* excuse me, in additional spending for Iron Dome. This is a program that has been critical in terms of providing security and safety for Israeli families. It is a program that has been tested and has prevented missile strikes inside of Israel. And it is testimony to the leadership of the folks sitting here that we're going to be able to lock in that funding to assure that that program continues and that we are standing by our friends in Israel when it comes to these kinds of attacks.

Let me just close by saying that the tragic events that we saw in Bulgaria emphasize the degree to which this continues to be a challenge not just for Israel, but for the entire world—preventing terrorist attacks and making sure that the people of Israel are not targeted.

And I hope that, as I sign as this bill, once again, everybody understands how committed all of us are, Republicans and Democrats, as Americans, to our friends in making sure that Israel is safe and secure.

And Leon Panetta, our Secretary of Defense, will be traveling to Israel to further consult and find additional ways that we can ensure such cooperation at a time when, quite frankly, the region is experiencing heightened tensions.

So with that, let me sign this bill. Again, I want to thank all who are standing beside me for their outstanding leadership and their outstanding work on this issue. Okay.

[At this point, the President signed the bill.]

Let me make sure I'm using enough pens, and everybody gets one. [Laughter] There you go. Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 10:24 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. S. 2165, approved July 27, was assigned Public Law No. 112-150.

* White House correction.

Barack Obama, Remarks on Signing Legislation To Enhance Security Cooperation With Israel Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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