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Jewish Congressmen to Obama: Show More Support for Israel

37 Jewish members of Congress met with US Pres. Obama on Tuesday, asking him to display more public support for Israel – and even pay a visit.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 5/20/2010, 1:50 PM / Last Update: 5/20/2010, 1:43 PM

Flash 90

Over three dozen Jewish members of Congress met with U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday afternoon-evening and asked him to display more public support for Israel – and even to take a trip to the Jewish State.

Among the participants were nine Senators - Joseph Lieberman, Russ Feingold, Barbara Boxer, Benjamin Cardin, Al Franken, Dianne Feinstein, Herb Kohl, Frank Lautenberg, and Charles Schumer – and 28 U.S. Representatives. Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) said that the meeting was called after some Congressmen had “raised concerns” about Obama’s attitudes and positions regarding Israel.

Berkley said afterwards she wants "to see the president step up and vocalize his support for Israel far more than he has."

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) said, “We reiterated to the President the urgency for him to strengthen the longstanding friendship between United States and Israel. We stressed that the U.S. must not in any way seek to impose a settlement on Israel, and the President agreed, stating that he would not do so, and that any agreement had to be negotiated between the parties. We also urged him to make clear to the Palestinians that the U.S. will not do their work for them.”

Rothman: "Best President Ever for Israel"
Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ) noted Republican Party efforts “to distort President Obama's positions on Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” He said that Obama is the “best president on U.S.-Israel military and intelligence cooperation in American history."

A White House statement said that Obama had met with “Jewish members of the Democratic caucuses for approximately an hour and a half [Tuesday] afternoon to discuss a range of issues important to U.S. foreign policy. The conversation included an update on proximity talks and administration efforts to strengthen Israel's security, including the Administration’s recent decision to provide Israel with an additional $205 million in funding for the Iron Dome missile defense system.” It was reported that the lawmakers expressed their appreciation for these steps.

Obama "Genuinely lnterested"
Nadler noted that Obama expressed  “his absolute determination that Iran would not achieve a nuclear bomb,” and added that the President was “genuinely interested in our advice.”