President Barack Obama wore a blue tie and white shirt.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wore the same.
So did Israeli President Shimon Peres.
The colors of the the Israeli flag.
The U.S. and Israel have inextricable interests in national security and economic prosperity, Obama said, arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport today for the start of a three-day tour of the Middle East including the West Bank and Jordan.
“That’s why the United States was the very first nation to recognize the state of Israel 65 years ago,” Obama said. “That’s why the Star of David and the Stars and Stripes fly together today. And that is why I’m confident in declaring that our alliance is eternal, it is forever – lanetzach.”
“ Across this region the winds of change bring both promise and peril,” said Obama, making his first visit to Israel as president. “So I see this visit as an opportunity to reaffirm the unbreakable bonds between our nations, to restate America’s unwavering commitment to Israel’s security, and to speak directly to the people of Israel and to your neighbors. ”
“I want to begin right now, by answering a question that is sometimes asked about our relationship — why? Why does the United States stand so strongly, so firmly with the State of Israel? And the answer is simple. We stand together because we share a common story — patriots determined “to be a free people in our land,” pioneers who forged a nation, heroes who sacrificed to preserve our freedom, and immigrants from every corner of the world who renew constantly our diverse societies.”
“We stand together because we are democracies,” he said. “For as noisy and messy as it may be, we know that democracy is the greatest form of government ever devised by man. ”
“We stand together because it makes us more prosperous. Our trade and investment create jobs for both our peoples. Our partnerships in science and medicine and health bring us closer to new cures, harness new energy and have helped transform us into high-tech hubs of our global economy.”
“We stand together because we share a commitment to helping our fellow human beings around the world. When the earth shakes and the floods come, our doctors and rescuers reach out to help. When people are suffering, from Africa to Asia, we partner to fight disease and overcome hunger.”
“And we stand together because peace must come to the Holy Land. For even as we are clear-eyed about the difficulty, we will never lose sight of the vision of an Israel at peace with its neighbors.”
See Bloomberg’s Margaret Talev and Jonathan Ferziger reporting on what’s also on Obama’s mind today.