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Israeli lawmakers reject Obama's AIPAC speech

(Xinhua)

13:32, March 05, 2012

JERUSALEM, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Israeli lawmakers on Sunday lashed at U.S. President Barak Obama's stance on Iran, after his speech at an influential pro-Israel lobbying group where he called for diplomacy rather than military force to prevent a nuclear Iran.

Obama appealed to let economic sanctions further isolate Iran rather than a strike to deter the Islamic Republic from obtaining nuclear weapon. He spoke in front of the annual American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference.

Shortly after Obama's speech, Israeli Knesset parliament members (MK) harshly rejected his call for Israel to put a stop to the war drumbeat.

"We are facing an existential threat, not the U.S.. If Israel doesn't bluster, the US will also be in danger, because Iran's missiles will reach them too." Likud party MK Ayub Kara told local media. "Israel is doing everything possible to keep the world safe, and it's unfortunate that the White House doesn't see things the way we see them here," he said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman dismissed Obama's call for diplomacy on the grounds, noting that Israel is an independent state and will make the "correct decisions," Lieberman said on Sunday.

Danny Danon, another Likud MK also disagreed with Obama's stance based on Israel right as a sovereign nation.

"Looking back at the way the United States criticized Israel for destroying the nuclear reactor in Iraq, Israel must make its decisions based on its own good judgment," Danon said.

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