Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looked on as President Obama spoke this morning in the Oval Office of the White House.
Credit Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images
With Iran and its nuclear program looming over the discussions, President Obama said this morning that "the United States will always have Israel's back." The president's comment came with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is at the White House for talks today, by his side.
For his part, Netanyahu told reporters that the U.S. and Israel stand together on policy toward Iran, The Associated Press reports.
The two leaders just held something of a photo op. Other reports on what they had to say:
President Obama told AIPAC, the influential Israel lobbying group, Sunday that his policy on a potential Iranian nuclear weapon was one of prevention, not containment. And in a warning seemingly aimed at Israeli and U.S.
In Israel, a country where citizens serve a mandatory military service of two to three years, the exemption of some is a topic of heated debate. That debate is even fiercer now that Israel's Supreme Court has struck down a law that excused ultra-Orthodox Jews from serving in the military.
The decision highlights growing tensions between the religious and secular elements of Israeli society. As the ultra-Orthodox population continues to grow, many are asking what part they will play in the Jewish state.
The White House meeting next Monday between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could be the most critical encounter for the two men since they took office.
Netanyahu is expected to argue that time is running out on efforts to discourage Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Obama may say the Israelis can count on U.S. support, but that they should give sanctions and diplomacy time to work before turning to military action.