Bush: I’ll defend Israel

President Bush reiterated his pledge to come to Israel’s assistance should Iran strike.

“I have made it clear that absolutely, that we will support our ally Israel if attacked by Iran,” Bush told CNN in an interview Wednesday marking an end to a three-day, U.S.-convened Israeli-Palestinian peace conference aimed at reinvigorating talks.

Bush said that if he were an Israeli hearing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wishing that Israel did not exist, “I would take his words seriously.”

He also said he would not champion a Palestinian state until terrorism ended.

“I would never expect a country to allow terrorists to be on their border,” he said. “I believe that the best way to defeat those terrorists and radicals, however, is through a vision based upon liberty. And so my message to the Israelis is, it is in your interest that your prime minister negotiate with the Palestinians a democracy.”

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