Wexler optimistic about Obama-Bibi meeting


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) said President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will "figure out how to work collaboratively."

After a meeting with Netanyahu in Israel on Sunday, Wexler — an early Jewish supporter of Obama during the primary campaign — told the Jerusalem Post that the two men are "not headed for a train wreck" during their scheduled meeting in Washington next week and that the concern expressed in the media about it is overblown.

"I can say unequivocally that the anxiety is not warranted," Wexler told the newspaper. "I am in constant contact with those in the administration responsible for policy in this region, and nothing could be further than the truth."

"As someone who was with Barack Obama from the very beginning of his campaign, I am not going to be surprised or fall prey to the too often false representation of now-President Obama, and likewise I think the degree of angst also misrepresents Prime Minister Netanyahu’s policies as well," said Wexler.

The congressman also said he did not believe that the administration would link progress on the Israeli-Palestinian issue with stopping Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon, and that Obama would not "pressure" Netanyahu.

"I think President Obama will present a compelling case as to the direction the U.S. will take with regard to Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian track, and will listen to Prime Minister Netanyahu make his case, and the two leaders will figure out how we will work collaboratively," he said. "I don’t think it is a question of pressure."

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