Obama Talks Mideast Peace With Jewish Leaders at White House

U.S. President reiterates America’s 'unshakable' support for Israel’s security, commitment to achieve a peace that will secure the future for Arabs and Israelis.

U.S. President Barack Obama held a meeting with a 50-member delegation of Jewish leaders at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations at the White House on Tuesday, stressing Washington's support for Israel and its security.

A White House statement defined the meeting as "productive," citing the President emphasizing "America's unshakable support for Israel’s security, opposition to any effort to de-legitimize it or single it out for criticism, and commitment to achieve a peace that will secure the future for Arabs and Israelis alike."

Barack Obama and Conference of Presidents - White House - 1.3.2011
White House

The delegation was led by Conference of Presidents Chairman Alan Solow and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein, who thanked the President for "the extraordinary session."

"The open lines of communication with President Obama and his Administration are highly valued and provide us with the opportunity to articulate the views of American Jewry on issues that face our country," they said.

During the meeting that lasted about one hour, Obama shared with his guests his view on the turbulence in the Middle East; the recent veto of the resolution at the United Nations Security Council that condemned settlements construction, and prospects of peace between Israel and its neighbors.

The delegation also met with Dan Shapiro, Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa at the National Security Council, who usually briefs the Jewish leaders on the current administration's positions vis-à-vis Middle Eastern issues, Dennis Ross, Special Assistant to the President, who addressed J Street's annual conference as the administration’s representative; and David S. Cohen, the Department of Treasury’s Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, who spoke about sanctions against Iran.

Tuesday was a busy day for Jews in Washington; not only was there the meeting at the White House, and the final day of the J Street annual conference, but the leftist pro-Israel lobby's activists held 240 meetings on the Hill.