May 27th, 2010
06:45 AM ET
4 years ago

White House steps up Jewish outreach amid criticism of Mideast policy

(CNN) - When Rabbi Jack Moline recently confronted his friend Rahm Emanuel about mounting Jewish anxiety over the Obama administration's Mideast policy, he was surprised at the White House Chief of Staff's response: to invite Moline and more than a dozen other rabbis to the White House for a nearly two-hour conversation.

But what really surprised Moline, who leads a northern Virginia synagogue, was that Emanuel invited the whole group back a couple of weeks ago for another long sit-down.

"We invited rabbis who'd been supportive of the president since the election," said Moline, who helped organize the two meetings of rabbis from across the country. "And who found themselves concerned about his approach to the Middle East process."

As the Obama administration steps up efforts to restart the Middle East peace process - with U.S.-moderated talks between Israel and Palestinian leaders starting earlier this month and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu scheduled to visit the White House next week - it has launched a simultaneous campaign to allay fears within the American Jewish community over how that process will work.

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Filed under: Middle East • Obama administration
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. gary

    Obama is no friend to isreal.

    May 27, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  2. JP

    When Obama first came into office he did the right thing by demanding that Israel must stop building more illegal settlements on stolen land. I guess AIPAC got to his balls. Everyone knows illegal settlement expansion = no peace. Show some balls Mr. President and cut off all aid to Isreal until they stop illegal settlement expansion. How much more American blood has to be spilled because our blind support of Israel is the terrorists best recruitment tool.

    May 27, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  3. New Age Independant

    Obama has single-handedly eroded the relationship with Israel in just his first year in office. His handling of the Middle East is an embarrassment to the entire country. He chose Biden for foreign policy experience, and it was a complete disaster. He's trying to play both sides of the fence and only comes across as a very weak leader.

    May 27, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  4. Patrick

    Why Jews don't support Republicans is beyond me. Republicans aren't affraid to fight terrorism or stand up for Israel.

    May 27, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. Just Asking

    Was there any discussion about America?

    May 27, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  6. Al-NY,NY

    The only reason he is critisized is because he has the cajones to NOT fall all over himself pandering to the Israeli government

    May 27, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  7. Angus McDugan

    Don't confuse this with Obama's out-reach to Israel which is only reaching out to smack Israel around.

    But, Obama will reach out to Jewish voters as that will serve Obama.

    May 27, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  8. Meka

    President Obama, is trying to CLEAN UP the REPUBLICAN'S MESS, (and may I add-doing a fantastic job). 'Middle East Dilema' has been going on for HOW MANY YEARS ? . . .

    With everything President Obama has been confronted with (EVERYONE WANTS THEIR INTEREST ADDRESSED YESTERDAY)!

    May 27, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  9. Peter

    How that process will work ? It won't.

    May 27, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |