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Jewish leaders say Obama meeting was positive

JTA

March 4, 2011 | 10:01 am

Jewish organizational leaders rejected the notion that their meeting with President Obama was negative in any way.

A JTA article this week reported that President Obama, in a meeting Tuesday with members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, reaffirmed American support for Israeli security and discussed U.S. policy in the Middle East in a spirit of cordiality and respect.

But the article also noted negative reactions to the president’s view that Palestinians are prepared for a deal but that supporters of Israel ought to “search your souls” over the Jewish state’s seriousness about making peace.

The Conference of Presidents issued a clarification late Wednesday that, notwithstanding “certain public reports,” Obama has conducted the meeting “in an atmosphere of warmth, friendship and openness and there as no expression of hostility toward Israel or its government.” “

“The President articulated his expectations of all parties with respect to the Middle East peace process,” conference leaders said. “The President underscored the unprecedented security cooperation with and support for Israel. He asserted his commitment to maintaining Israel’s qualitative edge and to sustaining foreign aid to Israel. The President asserted that efforts to delegitimize Israel would be met with a firm response.”

Other participants in the Tuesday meeting, including leaders of the Jewish campus group Hillel and the Conservative movement’s synagogue arm, issued statements affirming the meeting’s positive nature and the president’s support for Israel.

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