President Barack Obama says his administration has done more than any other U.S. administration to support Israel's security, and has described his commitment to Israel as "unshakable."
Obama spoke December 16 to a meeting outside Washington of Reform Jews, who represent a large and generally liberal branch of North American Judaism.
In his remarks, Obama expressed frustration with the failure of the Israelis and Palestinians to resume U.S.-backed peace talks -- but he said the bonds between the United States and Israel transcend the political differences between the main U.S. parties, the Republicans and Obama's Democrats.
Obama said he has taken a tough line against Iran's nuclear program, which he described as a threat to both U.S. and Israeli security. Iran denies Western and Israeli allegations that the Islamic Republic is seeking to develop a nuclear weapon.
Obama administration officials have pointed to high levels of U.S. defense spending and military cooperation with Israel as evidence of Obama's support for the Jewish-led state.
Obama's speech came as he is preparing his campaign for reelection in next November's U.S. vote, and after he has recently come under criticism from his Republican Party presidential rivals for being too demanding of Israel.
compiled from agency reports