WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama’s commitment to Middle East peace talks is “unwavering,” even after crushing midterm elections, a top aide said.
“The president has made it very clear that he is committed to doing whatever he can to foster talks in the Middle East – that’s unwavering,” Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s senior adviser for public engagement, said in a conference call Wednesday with a broad array of special interest groups, including Jewish groups. “That’s not a partisan issue; his commitment to that is unwavering.”
Jarrett initiated the call to reassure several sympathetic groups about the White House’s commitment in a number of “progressive” areas in the wake of Tuesday’s Republican sweep of the U.S. House of Representatives — one that Obama has described as a "shellacking."
The new GOP leadership has said it will actively intercede in the peace process, including penalizing the Palestinian Authority unless it recognizes Israel as a Jewish state. A number of conservative commentators have called on Obama to limit, in the wake of the midterm electoral defeat, his ambition to arrive at a peace deal within a year.