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In a Rosh Hashanah greeting to Jews the world over, U.S. President Barack Obama called for the rejection of "the impulse to harden ourselves to others' suffering," urging empathy and "compassion to those in need."

The first African-American president also called for resistance to "prejudice, intolerance and indifference" and for a strong stance against what he described as "the scourge of anti-Semitism, which is still prevalent in far too many corners of our world."

Obama also expressed the desire to "work to achieve lasting peace and security for the state of Israel, so that the Jewish state is fully accepted by its neighbors, and its children can live their dreams free from fear."