Obama campaign unveils video with testimonials from Israeli leaders


WASHINGTON (JTA) — — President Obama’s reelection campaign unveiled a video featuring testimonials from Israeli leaders a day after he raised $500,000 from Jewish donors.

The video, e-blasted Friday to Jewish supporters by David Axelrod, a top campaign official, intersperses speeches by Obama to Jewish audiences and at the United Nations with testimonials culled from news broadcasts.

Among those speaking are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli ambassador to Washington Michael Oren, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, President Shimon Peres and former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy.

Much of the seven-minute video addresses the close security relationship between the countries, although portions — notably Oren’s comments — say there is agreement also on Middle East peace talks.

Obama’s critics among conservatives and Republicans have emphasized his tendency to openly differ with Israel on the conditions for talks, especially when it comes to settlements.

The video was released the day after Obama addressed a crowd of about 100 Jewish donors in New York. The minimum entry fee was $5,000.

In his opening remarks, Obama cited close security cooperation and his efforts to isolate Iran until it makes its suspected nuclear weapons program more transparent.

"Since I’ve been in office, we have unequivocally said that Israel’s security is non-negotiable, and that we will do everything that’s necessary to make sure that Israel is able to thrive and prosper as a secure Jewish state," he said. "Part of that has been to make sure that we’ve got the strongest military cooperation that we’ve ever had between our two nations."

Obama also noted his efforts to revive the U.S. economy.

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