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White House Sends Biden to Meet Jewish Leaders

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Vice President Joe Biden, with Malcolm Hoenlein and Richard Stone, speaks to delegates of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations May 21. Credit: Conference of Presidents.A delegation of 70 leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations met in Washington, DC, on May 21 with Vice President Joe Biden and other officials to discuss a variety of foreign policy issues.

Rather than Biden, President Barack Obama was the headliner of last year’s White House meeting with Conference of Presidents delegates. At that March 2011 gathering, Obama reportedly told Jewish leaders to search their souls over Israel’s seriousness about making peace.

Earlier in May, Obama—who was at the NATO Summit in Chicago on Monday and did not speak to the Conference of Presidents delegation—attended a gathering of nine foreign policy editors who discussed Afghanistan, Israel, NATO and the G8 Summit at Camp David. Some of the participating editors are known for being highly critical of Israel.

The journalists who met with Obama included author Peter Beinart, who has come under fire since writing a New York Times op-ed titled “To Save Israel, Boycott the Settlements,” The New Yorker’s David Remnick, who has called Israel undemocratic and compared the Jewish state to Syria and Egypt, and Time Magazine’s Joe Klein, who has written that Iran is developing nuclear weapons merely to “deter Israel.”

Some of the topics on the agenda when Jewish leaders met Biden and other government officials on Monday included preventing Iran from developing or acquiring nuclear weapons, U.S.-Israel security cooperation, and the “Arab Spring.” The officials re-emphasized the Obama administration’s “ironclad” commitment to Israel’s security and their agreement to “keep all options on the table” in order to prevent a nuclear Iran.
JointMedia News Service

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