(JTA) — President Obama told Israel’s defense minister that the United States is committed to Israel’s security.
Obama spoke with Ehud Barak at the White House, where the defense minister had arrived on Monday to meet with U.S. National Security Adviser James Jones.
Obama also told Barak that he is determined to bring about a comprehensive peace in the Middle East, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.
Also Monday, Jones apologized for telling an off-color Jewish joke last week during a 25th anniversary celebration for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
The joke told the story of a Jewish merchant who had tricked a Taliban terrorist searching for water into buying a tie.
"I wish that I had not made this off-the-cuff joke at the top of my remarks," Jones said.
"It also distracted from the larger message I carried that day: That the United States’ commitment to Israel’s security is sacrosanct."