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“Masada shall never fall again, and America will always stand with you,” President Bush told Israel’s Knesset.

On the second day of a valedictory visit by the president to mark Israel’s 60th anniversary, Bush on Thursday addressed Israel’s parliament following a visit to Masada, where 960 Jewish rebels fled Roman forces in the 1st-century, held out for months, and finally committed suicide when facing certain capture and execution.

Bush has been at pains to emphasize the strength of U.S-Israeli ties during the visit, where during his speech to the Knesset he said that the United States would stay firm in its fight against Islamist terror.

“America stands with you in firmly opposing Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions,” he said.

“Permitting the world’s leading sponsor of terror to possess the world’s deadliest weapon would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations. For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”

Bush stopped short of saying what measures his administration, which ends in January, might take if it deems diplomatic pressure on Tehran to have reached a dead end.

Describing Israel and the United States as fighting on the same side against the Iranian regime, Al-Qaida, Hamas and Hezbollah, Bush said: “It is more than a clash of arms. It is a clash of visions, a great ideological struggle. On one side are those who defend the ideals of justice and dignity with the power of reason and truth. On the other side are those who pursue a narrow vision of cruelty and control by committing murder, inciting fear, and spreading lies.”

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