President Obama delivered an appeal for reconciliation in his Rosh Hashanah message.
"At a time when our public discourse can too often seem harsh; when society too often focuses on what divides us instead of what unites us; I hope that Americans of all faiths can take this opportunity to reach out to those who are less fortunate; to be tolerant of our neighbors; and to recognize ourselves in one another," Obama said in a video message posted Thursday afternoon on the White House website.
Obama is engaged in an especially rough campaign for the presidency against the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, and also has faced tough language from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who this week demanded a clearer definition of what Obama would regard as a trigger for a strike on Iran's nuclear sites.
"As a nation, let us be mindful of those who are suffering, and renew the unbreakable bond we share with our friends and allies -- including the State of Israel," Obama said.
The president concluded with a message from him and his wife, Michelle: "I wish you and your families a sweet year full of health, happiness, and peace. L’Shana Tovah."
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