Obama to Jewish Donors: Israel and the U.S. Need ‘Fresh Eyes’
06/21/11
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WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama told Jewish donors to his reelection campaign that Israel and the United States must assess the new Middle East with "fresh eyes."

"Both the United States and Israel are going to have to look at this new landscape with fresh eyes," Obama said Monday night at an event in Washington that charged a minimum $25,000 a couple. "It's not going to be sufficient for us just to keep on doing the same things we've been doing and expect somehow that things are going to work themselves out. We're going to have to be creative and we're going to have to be engaged."

Obama said Israel is the United States' "closest ally" and that he was committed to Israel facing the challenges "from a position of strength," noting the closeness between the two countries' defense establishments and his increase in defense assistance to Israel.

Obama, who has clashed with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government over settlement building and parameters for peace talks with the Palestinians, said that in the coming months "there may be tactical disagreements in terms of how we approach these difficult problems."

Organizers of the event, entitled "Obama Victory Fund 2012 Dinner with the President in support of a strong US-Israel relationship" ushered the White House pool reporters out of the room at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel after Obama's short talk so he could talk frankly with the donors.

Organizers aimed to raise $1 million in the evening. Obama's Jewish supporters have been pushing back against reports that he is losing support in the community because of tensions with Netanyahu.

Last Update:

06/23/2011 - 14:20

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i would be more reassured about obama's support of israel if he made his positive comments about israel in a public forum for the world to hear. instead he has only made those kinds of statements to jewish only audiences. ushering out reporters, so there's no real public record of his comments is obviously meant to give himself deniability. to me that reeks of a two-faced policy that jews of all political attitudes should strongly challenge.

President Obama told Jewish donors to his reelection campaign that Israel and the United States must assess the new Middle East with "fresh eyes."
US Jews who have $25,000 a couple to donate is reason for celebration. Being told by a US president that we must 'assess the new Middle East with fresh eyes' is like being lectured to by a pompous elitist. I realize that I'm not the President (who knows a lot of details about a lot of things) but I am Jewish and have taken the time and effort to know as much as I can about Israel. I don't need Obama to tell me how to assess the Middle East. Even cutting Obama a lot of slack, I don't see how the fact can be avoided, that most of the Islamic world is in shambles and Obama doesn't have a clear policy on how to deal with it. That is not Israel's fault or responsibility to fix.

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