President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday morning hosted Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey to the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem, where he referenced the US Supreme Court ruling this week backing the American president in not recognizing Jerusalem as part of Israel.
Rivlin began by saying “we are proud to have you as a friend. We salute and appreciate you, and your friendship will be well remembered.”
“I am a seventh generation Jerusalemite, and even though I was born nine years before the State of Israel was established, I was born in Jerusalem, and I am Israeli,” he said, in a not so subtle reference to the ruling overturning a Congressional law that would have US President Barack Obama recognize the Israeli capital as such.
Turning his attention to the regional chaos embodied by Iran’s nuclear program and Syria’s internecine civil war, the president said, “It was commonly thought that the enemy of your enemy was your friend.”
“However, we know that this is no longer necessarily the case. For us it is not a theoretical or hypothetical issue. This is a very real threat to the citizens of Israel – Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike,” he added.
In response, Dempsey said, “I am happy to back in Israel, I am here to gain a better understanding with our counterparts in the IDF, of the threats and security challenges, and of what we can do to address them.”
“While this is my sixth time here, my Israeli counterpart has been to America eight times. And at a staff level we are interacting constantly, and this kind of interaction is necessary for us to face the security challenges that face not only Israel but the United States.”
He concluded, “You have our deep commitment to continue to build on that relationship, but you don’t have to thank me, this is something we are honored to be part of.”