McCain noted the talks bringing together Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, saying "all of us hope [they] will yield progress toward peace." But he said that "we must also ensure that Israel's people can live in safety until there is a Palestinian leadership willing and able to deliver peace." He then added, "a peace process that places faith in terrorists can never end in peace" – an apparent reference to the Hamas leadership in Gaza.
In his speech, Obama first set forth his view that Israel's security is "sacrosanct" and proposed a "deepened" defense cooperation between the US and Israel with $30 billion in assistance to Israel over the next decade, uncoupled from any assistance to other countries in the region (read Egypt). He then said, "real security can only come through lasting peace," adding that, "as president, I will work to help Israel achieve the goal of two states ... living side by side in peace and security" – almost word for word Bush's oft-stated formula for peace.
But Obama also said he would "not wait until the waning days of my presidency" – a reference to President Bush, with the Annapolis peace process announced last year, and also to other presidents, including Clinton, who engaged in a full-court press on peace talks in the final months of their presidencies. "I will take an active role, and make a personal commitment to do all I can to advance the cause of peace from the start of my administration," Obama told the pro-Israel AIPAC.