NEW YORK (JTA) – President Obama reportedly urged Jewish communal leaders to speak to their friends and colleagues in Israel and to “search your souls” over Israel's seriousness about making peace.
In an hourlong meeting Tuesday with about 50 representatives from the Jewish community’s chief foreign policy umbrella group, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Obama reiterated the U.S. commitment to Israel, according to statements from both the White House and Conference of Presidents.
JTA is reporting that a delegation of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations met with President Obama on Tuesday and that the meeting went well, with Mr. Obama expressing his undying commitment to Israel's security and the assorted Jewish leaders proclaiming themselves satisfied – at least on the record.
Does it matter much that the Obama administration vetoed a UN Security Council resolution labeling Israel's settlement activity illegal? Naturally, it depends on who you ask, but my answer is: probably not.
Mostly, it strikes me as an action by an administration that has concluded – rightly or wrongly – that the current status quo is the best it can hope for in the Middle East.
Though the coming battle over the 2012 budget will be waged across line items on spread sheets and political talking points, those most affected will be real people with real problems.
Above it all looms the ballooning deficit and a new Congress replete with members from both sides who campaigned on cutting spending and lowering the budget. In such an atmosphere, the decisions facing the President are not easy ones: how to make the investments in our future and protect those suffering because of poverty and the recession while not contributing to the deficit.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish groups expressed concerns about proposed Obama administration cuts in poverty assistance, but praised the U.S. budget for preserving aid to Israel.
The White House's proposed budget, released Monday, projects cuts in programs such as heating for the poor and in blocs of money funneled to the states for social programs, and increases funding for education and for "clean energy" development.