Jewish groups praise White House for Syria actions


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Pro-Israel groups praised the Obama administration for stiffening Syria’s isolation.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the American Jewish Committee and B’nai B’rith International praised the administration for its victory April 29 in getting a 29-9 majority on the United Nations Human Rights Council to condemn Syria for its recent lethal crackdown on protesters.

"This is a historic day in the annals of the U.N. Human Rights Council,” David Harris, the AJC executive director, said in a statement. “We salute the Obama administration for initiating the resolution on Syria and pressing for its adoption at an emergency session of the Council devoted to Syria.”

The Human Rights Council has been a redoubt of anti-Israelism and was boycotted by the Bush administration.

The Obama administration joined the council, despite the skepticism of some conservative and Jewish groups, arguing that it was more productive to try to work with the body to target genuine human rights abusers.

AIPAC in its statement also praised the White House for expanding the available sanctions against Syria to include top Syrian officials, the Syrian intelligence agency and Iranian officials assisting the Syrians in their crackdown.

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