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Obama and the Jews Break Bread

President reassures legislators on Israel, Iran

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Obama yesterday.(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

On Tuesday afternoon, after The Scroll was already off celebrating Shavuot, President Obama met with 37 Jewish senators and congressmen at the Old Executive Office Building to reassure him of his unequivocal for support for Israel’s security. (All of the over 40 Jewish legislators were invited; notably absent was Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Virginia), the Minority Whip and sole Republican.) “One part group hug and one part gripe session,” is how Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-New York) described it.

And apparently it went fairly well. According to various reports, Obama was most popular on the questions of Iran and Syria, and a bit less so when it came to the ongoing proximity talks with the Palestinians. “I walked through a minefield in the Middle East and I stepped on the land mines,” Obama reportedly said. “I got some toes blown off.” (The White House stated that the event was “a wide ranging and productive exchange about their shared commitment to peace and security in Israel and the Middle East.”)

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut) and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-New York) were Obama’s toughest customers. They accused him of putting disproportionate pressure on Israel in the proximity talks and of considering proposing his own plan. He nixed this, saying, “I cannot impose a settlement. Israel is a sovereign nation and the notion that I would or could do that is simply wrong.” In fact—somewhat surprisingly—he said that the issue even of West Bank settlements is best left for final-status talks, rather than the current indirect peace talks.

The 90-minute meeting’s most heated exchange reportedly came when Lieberman asserted Obama’s main regional goal appeared to be engaging Arab countries. Obama denied this.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York), who was quite critical of the administration during the darkest days of the recent imbroglio over settlements, reportedly praised Obama’s stances on Iran’s nuclear program and the allegations that Syria was transporting missiles into Lebanon. He even said that Israel should be more vocal in its praise here. (It helped that the meeting was held the same day the United States submitted its China-supported sanctions draft.)

One attendee told Laura Rozen that his boss “came away feeling like [Obama] is genuinely committed to accomplishing a lasting [Israeli-Palestinian peace] agreement, and that he feels it strongly.” Maybe nothing, however, could accomplish quite what an Obama visit to Israel woul: Such a trip was suggested, and Rep. Steve Rothman (D-New Jersey) said he was sure Obama would follow through. Preferably not on a week during which Tablet is off half the time.

Obama Reassure Jewish Members on ‘Obama Plan’ [Ben Smith]
At WH Powwow, Jewish Dems Get a Chance To Vent to Obama [Laura Rozen]
Obama’s Meeting With the Congressional Tribe [Capital J]
Obama Meets With 37 Jewish Pols for a ‘Group Hug and Gripe’ Session [NY Daily News]
O: Israel My ‘Land Mine’ [NY Post]

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Garry says:

As long as American Jews remain in the pocket of the Democratic Party and refuse to vote their interestts, they will never be taken seriously. It is shameful that Jewish office holders have spoken against Israel-at the best let them just keep quiet. No other ethnic group has its so called leaders speak against its interests in the mnanner that Jews do. The best message the Jewish community can give Obama and the Democrats is to close their wallets and open their minds-to alternatives. If Obama is re-elected. all bets are off and Israel will first learn what pressure is. Defeat of a large number of these so called Jewish leaders in November will send them a message that they should represent their community and not their own interests first.

When the President meets with a specific group of Congressmen, I would imagine that he is seeking their feelings, attitudes and opinions relative to the subject he raises or they raise. When the Black Caucus or the Church clergy are meeting with the President, what will they discuss? So, when the Jews of Congress are meeting with the President, the subject is usually relative to the Jews, including Israel. Very democratic, with understanding and strong feelings, they talk. Is this a problem? What’s your problem, Garry?

Garry says:

My problem is the James Baker rule. He famously said in 1991 “F— the Jews they won’t vote for us anyway”. The Democrts have the flip side of that. They can say’ F— the Jews, they’ll vote for us regardless of what we do”. I want American Jews to vote intelligently, not being taken for granted by either party, and voting what is best for them. No other ethnic group’s leaders attack their own group. The President is a mortal person and he has amply demonstrated his thoughts. Voter action is required.I hope tjhat explains my feelings, Shirley.

Lorraine fox says:

I, a democrat voted and rooted for Obama. The fact that he has not visited Israel, snubbed Netanyahu and appears to be catering to the arab states gives me pause. The Israel Palestinian and settlement problem is separate from the U.S. involvement in the middle east. To blame Israel as Petraeus Clinton and Obama have done is unfair and not true. The Iran/Iraq war in the1980′s had nothing to do with Israel. The Iraq invasion of Kuwait in 1991 also had nothing to do with Israel. The U.S. invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with Israel. The Obama administration is on the wrong track linking the Israeli Palestinian problem with our presence and involvement in other middle eastern countries. Today I and so many of my friends all democrats who voted for Obama are sadly disappointed in his stance regarding Israel.

Dorothy Wachsstock says:

To all the Jewish representatives except Sen. Lieberman and Cong Engel, who are the smartest of them all, the rest are in the pocket of the democrat party.

Whatever Pres. Obama told them is meaningless. He lies and breaks every promise he made during the campaign and is arragant about it. He has shown by his actions and words that he dislikes the Israelis and will punish them as he does the negotiating for Abbas.

Pres. Obama has not made it public of his support for Israel and apologized for the first time when it is called for. His treatment of P.M. Netanyahu opened the door for all the anti-semites and anti-Israelis to come out of the closet and speak out against Israel as if Isael was the only country that we gave money to and not dozens of other countrys more.

He has gone around the world apologizing for the country that he wanted to rule..I definitely mean “RULE” and insulted an ally but used his bully pulpit more against some bedrooms in the Jewish Capital of Israel than against Iran and nuclear bombs. Pres. Obama has put our country in jeopardy with his unqualified Cabinet and put Holder who is not one for upholding justice unless it is for Muslim terrorists and against our country, in charge of everything that is against this country.

Not all Jews vote democrat and he can lie to the Jewish so called leaders called that only by the reporters not by us Jewish republicans. We learned some time ago that these Jewish elected officials were in the pocket of lobbyists for democrats not for Jewish issues or our great United States and Israel.

Silent outrage is meaningless. At least Sen. Lieberman went on the floor of the Senate in outrage at Pres. Obama’s treatment of the head of a Jewish State with Sen. McCain, Cong. Pence, Cong. Cantor..so why would we be so stupid to vote for any democrat starting at the bottom to help the democrat party.

Pres. Obama once said that he would like to get his agends accomplished and be a one term Pres. Well as the democrats follow him over the cliff, they will also be one term democrarts till we get them all out of the house and Senate.

Better to be part of the tea party if the republicans don’t fight back.

Thanks for every other informative blog. Where else may just I get that type of information written in such a perfect means? I’ve a mission that I’m simply now running on, and I have been at the look out for such info.

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Obama and the Jews Break Bread

President reassures legislators on Israel, Iran

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