Obama Invites U.S. Jewish Leaders to White House Meeting

The meeting comes amid tense Israel-U.S. ties over Obama administration pressure to halt settlement construction.

President Barack Obama was on Monday to play host to Jewish leaders, in his first such meeting at the White House. The meeting comes as the Obama administration seeks to halt Israel's settlement construction in the West Bank, creating the greatest tension in Israel-U.S. ties for decades.

The head of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, Alan Solow, told politicsdaily.com that "There will be a variety of viewpoints in the room."

Solow told the website that although the Jewish groups who will be represented at the meeting have varying policy positions, they "are all unified in a common bond, whether from the left or the right" in keeping Israel secure.

Iran's nuclear threat and the American president's demand for a freeze on Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank were expected to dominate the meeting.

Officials had originally tried to keep the meeting secret after it was arranged late last week, but hastily added it to the official schedule after the news leaked out, the U.K.'s Telegraph reported Monday.

The Telegraph quoted one of the organizers of the meeting as saying that "American Jews more or less agree with the president on settlements, but it's the focus on criticising Israel that's disconcerting."