AIPAC head: Keep disputes private


WASHINGTON (JTA) — AIPAC’s president and a key donor to President Obama’s campaign urged the White House to keep differences with Israel private.

"Allies should work out their differences privately," Lee Rosenberg said to a standing ovation in his inaugural speech as president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Speaking at AIPAC’s annual policy conference in Washington, Rosenberg described the tensions between Israel and the United States as "very unfortunate" and made it clear he believed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had done his part in aplogizing for the announcement of construction plans for a Jewish neighborhood in in eastern Jerusalem during an Israel visit two weeks ago by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

"How friends disagree, how they react when missteps occur, that can determine the nature of the relationship," Rosenberg said.

He suggested that the Obama administration should focus its pressure on the Palestinians, to bring them back to peace talks.

"The reluctant partner in this peace process is not Israel’s elected leader, Prime Minister Netanyahu. The recalcitrant partner are the Palestinians and their leader: President Mahmoud Abbas," he said.

Rosenberg, a Chicago-based venture capitalist, was a key-fundraiser for Obama’s presidential bid.

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