Marking the first stop in his two-day visit to Poland, United States President Barack Obama visited the memorials where tens of thousands of Jews were killed in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Second World War.
More than a dozen members of the city’s Jewish community gathered to watch the ceremony, and Obama greeted them afterward.
Taking his hand, a woman told him, “It’s the only Jewish state we have and we trust you.’’
In his speech last week at the State Department, Obama called for Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations to begin based on the boundaries that existed on the eve of June 1967 Arab-Israeli War.
But his proposal angered Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called those pre-war lines “indefensible.’’
“I will always be there for Israel,’’ Obama told the woman, reported the Boston Globe.
Obama also told a man in a kippa, the Jewish skullcap, “We will always be there,’’ the US support for Israel “I promise.’’
The exchange at the historic site of persecution began as the presidential visit meant is to mend relations with Eastern and Central Europe. This region has great affection for the United States for its role in World War II and anti-Soviet position in the following decades.
Last evening, Obama met with the leaders of 18 European nations, the majority of them from Central and Eastern Europe, to assure them of his commitment to the security of their nations.
Obama arrived in Poland from Deauville, France, where the Group of Eight summit concluded yesterday with a call to encourage democratic reform in North Africa and the Middle East.