U.S. Jews Pleased by Outcome

NEW YORK - Many Jewish community leaders here were pleased by the Israeli election's results.

Several influential leaders said they expect a fairly stable Kadima-led government and good relations between prime minister-designate Ehud Olmert and U.S. President George W. Bush. The leaders said Olmert is familiar with the United States and administration, but feared that his failure to capture as many seats as expected could lead to diminished stability.

Seymour Reich, president of the Israel Policy Forum - an American advocacy group promoting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - said the elections proved that Israelis support additional withdrawals from the West Bank. He added that he thinks American Jewish groups will help Olmert implement his plans for the future of the territories.

President of the Union for Reform Judaism, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, said the elections results were positive. He said the important thing is that the center-left has a majority and the right has been weakened. The one open question is how Olmert will use the majority.