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Obama meets US Jewish leaders ahead of Israel trip
Published Friday 08/03/2013 (updated) 11/03/2013 17:33
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- US President Barack Obama hosted leaders of major American Jewish organizations at the White House on Thursday as he sought to smooth the way for his first presidential visit to Israel later this month.

The meeting was a chance for Obama to preview his agenda for the trip, including the Iran nuclear standoff, Syria's civil war and Israel-Palestinian issues, and to reiterate his "unshakable support" for Israel, an administration official said.

Obama's outreach to prominent figures in the Jewish community could help ease any residual tensions following the 2012 election campaign. Republicans had accused the Democratic president of not being sufficiently supportive of Israel, Washington's closest ally in the Middle East.

But Obama has repeatedly stressed his commitment to Israel despite a sometimes testy relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"President Obama invited leaders from across the American Jewish community to discuss and get input about his upcoming trip to Israel," the official said.

"The president noted that the trip is not dedicated to resolving a specific policy issue, but is rather an opportunity to consult with the Israeli government about a broad range of issues -- including Iran, Syria, the situation in the region, and the peace process," the official said. "He also underscored that the trip is an opportunity for him to speak directly to the Israeli people."
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1 ) AKeenReader / UK
08/03/2013 13:19
It confirms yet again that US only has time for Jewish leaders and that Palestinians don't exist in their vocabulary. How can one expect US to be a neutral peace maker. It's time that Palestinians look in different direction for achieving peace with the brutal Israeli regime.

2 ) USA / USA
09/03/2013 10:15
Palestinians are most definitely in the US vocabulary but not with the adjectives that you would like. But they are adjectives that we believe to be accurate.

3 ) Joe the Philosopher / USA
10/03/2013 02:26
Israel is a brutal country full of thugs. Its very existence is illegal. Zionism is nothing more than racist criminal insanity. I'm embarrassed by having America's leader visit that snakepit of immorality. They are running our country into the ground.

4 ) gabi / australia
10/03/2013 02:48
# 2 - always the apologist for Israel. Always giving out the Israeli hasbara. You should get out more. Read some of the Israeli writ about the issue - like, eg. Shlomo Sand. Or the Journalist Uri Avnery.

5 ) nancy leclerc / USA
10/03/2013 16:02
They complain about us?? Check this PBS web site PASS it on Why should we pay for their Defense and cut ours? http://www.pbs.org/newshour/multimedia/military-spending click here for complete report..if you care Where does USA Military Aid Go Israel $2,799,544,121 Vietnam $2,590,000 Egypt $1,301,900,000 Turkey $5,116,000 Afghanistan $6,800,308,625 Iraq $1,005,989,000
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