Is­rael is our best friend, says Bush

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS -

US PRES­I­DENT Ge­orge Bush pledged Amer­ica’s con­stant sup­port as “Is­rael’s old­est and best friend in the world” on Wed­nes­day dur­ing his key­note ad­dress to Shi­mon Peres’s Pres­i­dent’s Con­fer­ence in Jerusalem.

Pre­view­ing a speech he was to make to the Knes­set on Thurs­day, Mr Bush said: “I will talk about the day when I be­lieve that ev­ery child in the Mid­dle East can live in peace and free­dom.

“With trust in the rock of Is­rael, that day will come. And when it does, Amer­ica will be by your side. God bless Is­rael and God bless Amer­ica.”

Mr Bush was mak­ing his sec­ond visit to Is­rael in four months. But this was more of a so­cial than a po­lit­i­cal visit, sched­uled to mark Is­rael’s 60th an­niver­sary. “As a per­son who’s 61 years old, it doesn’t seem that old,” he said ear­lier in the day.

Jerusalem be­came a city un­der a se­cu­rity cor­don dur­ing the two-day visit. Some 14,000 po­lice of­fi­cers were on duty for what was be­ing called “Op­er­a­tion Clear Skies 2”. Af­ter Mr Bush ar­rived by he­li­copter, streets were closed, in­clud­ing the main JerusalemTel Aviv High­way.

King David Street, where the Bush con­tin­gent was based in the King David Ho­tel, re­mained closed for the visit.

PHOTO: YE­HUDA BOLTHSHAUSER

Pres­i­dent Bush on the podium

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