Israeli President Shimon Peres held a private meeting on Monday with President Barack Obama.

On Tuesday, details of that meeting emerged.

An expanded meeting consisting representatives of the U.S. and Israeli governments preceded the private meeting between the two presidents.

Ron Dermer, adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Sallai Meridor; and Mr. Peres’ adviser, Avi Gil, participated.

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, National Security Adviser James Jones and the director of the Middle East department at the National Security Council, Dan Shapiro, represented the American side during the prior meeting.

During the private meeting, Mr. Obama said the American commitment to the State of Israel’s security was unequivocal and would find expression throughout the president’s entire term. This commitment to Israel’s security is at the top of the United States’ priorities, Mr. Obama said.

Mr. Peres took the opportunity to talk about matters connected with Iran in order to explain one of Israel’s concerns to Mr. Obama.

He said: “We must not repeat the terrible mistake that brought about the atrocity of the Holocaust, he said. Iran is the world’s problem, not only Israel’s, but it disturbs us very much, mainly because of our history as Jews. You must understand: after what we as Jews have gone through, we must open our eyes to reality, and reality is extremely disturbing.”

President Obama mentioned his future meeting with the prime minister of Israel, saying: “I look forward to my meeting with Netanyahu and am sure that we will be able to work together in positive cooperation,” he said.

Mr. Peres said his earlier meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took place in an excellent atmosphere.

“She asked me many questions about the composition of the coalition,” he said. He commented that he and Clinton had spoken about Hamas, “which lives according to the religious dictates of eternity, as compared with a political organization like Fatah, which must hold negotiations.”

David Bedein can be reached at


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.