Head of World Jewish Congress writes to President Obama

Since the recent deterioration of U.S-Israel relations, several people and groups including U.S. Congress members, have written to Pres Obama, urging him to restore the previous strong links between the 2 allies.  Ex-New York Mayor, Ed Koch, has perhaps been the most eloquent in his dismay and criticism of the Obama administration approach here. Koch also is one of the first of the Democrat leaders who had vigorously promoted Obama for President, but now speaks forcefully against Obama’s attitude towards Israel. 

Since Koch was also critical of a silence among others who should speak out, it is welcome to read the respectful but strong letter to President Obama from Ronald Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress here.

Lauder urges Obama to recognise that Iran is the clear and present danger; that the Palestinians are the ones who should be flagged for the lack of progress, not the Israelis; and that it is vital for the relationship between the U.S. and Israel to be restored to its previously close one.

Lauder concludes with the following : “And what about the most dangerous player in the region?  Shouldn’t the United States remain focused on the single biggest threat that confronts the world today?  That threat is a nuclear armed Iran.  Israel is not only America’s closest ally in the Middle East, it is the one most committed to this Administration’s declared aim of ensuring Iran does not get nuclear weapons.

Mr. President, we embrace your sincerity in your quest to seek a lasting peace.  But we urge you to take into consideration the concerns expressed above.  Our great country and the tiny State of Israel have long shared the core values of freedom and democracy.  It is a bond much treasured by the Jewish people.  In that spirit I submit, most respectfully, that it is time to end our public feud with Israel and to confront the real challenges that we face together.”

The article also links to the website of the Congress, which describes some of its activities, and is worth looking through.

Another Middle East politics Institute was recently inaugurated. The opening included this speech from Hillary Clinton, where she made some encouraging remarks.

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