White House, Jewish Dems defend president’s Israel policies


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The White House website posted a defense of President Obama’s Israel record, and several prominent Jewish Democrats penned Op-Eds defending his policies.

"President Obama: Advancing Israel’s Security and Supporting Peace," which appeared online on June 3, addressed the controversy over the president’s call in a May 19 Middle East policy speech for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to based on 1967 lines, with mutually agreed swaps.

"He has stated frankly what everyone knows — a lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples: Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people, each state enjoying self determination, mutual recognition, and peace," the post said.

At least two conservative pro-Israel groups have launched media campaigns in recent days suggesting that Obama is distancing himself from Israel.

The post lists a number of Obama’s pro-Israel statements, including his remark that Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with Hamas as long as the group does not recognize Israel and does not renounce terrorism; his pledge to combat delegitimization of Israel; his increases in security assistance to Israel and his efforts to isolate Iran.

In addition to the White House posting, defenders of Obama’s Israel record took to newspaper’s Op-Ed pages, with his former White House chief of staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel writing for the Washington Post, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, and Robert Wexler, a former Florida congressman, both penning opinion articles for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Florida, with a substantial Jewish populations, is seen as a swing state in the 2012 election.

Recommended from JTA