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Kerry Briefs Jewish Leaders On Peace Talks
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Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice briefed Jewish leaders on resumed Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.

The meeting Thursday evening in the White House lasted 90 minutes, participants said, and was characterized mostly by Kerry’s enthusiasm for the resumed talks, and the serious commitment he said saw from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Kerry appeared bullish about talks he has worked assiduously to revive since becoming secretary of state in February, but also nervous about the potential for failure, warning of circumstances — for instance, pressures on Netanyahu — that could undermine the talks.

He repeated his appeal to American Jews to endorse and support the peace process, first made in early June when he addressed the American Jewish Committee.

Kerry said there was a “strategic imperative” to arrive at a deal soon, and said he understood the difficulties Netanyahu faced in dealing with a coalition that included hard right parties and figures.

Kerry expressed frustration with the European Union for its new policy of not giving its grants and prizes to Israeli enterprises in occupied areas, saying it was the sort of move that could nudge away Netanyahu.

Present at the meeting, which was off the record, were leaders from the Conservative movement, the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, J Street, the Israel Policy Forum, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, the Conservative movement, the Orthodox Union, American Friends of Lubavitch, B’nai B’rith International, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Jewish Federations of North America, Hadassah, the National Jewish Democratic Council, the National Council of Jewish Women and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Kerry and Rice had top aides at their side, including Martin Indyk, recently named the top Middle East peace negotiator. Kerry is planning on holding a similar meeting on Friday with representatives of Arab American groups.

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08/10/2013 - 18:04
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Hadassah, Israeli-Palestinian Peace talks, J Street, John Kerry, Susan Rice
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I don't think Kerry could recognize a 'strategic imperative' regarding Israel if it hit him in the face like a pie. After 60 years of US and European intrusion into Israeli politics which has achieved nothing, I have to question Kerry's obsession with reengaging this issue. How many years and how many failures will it take for Kerry to realize that this conflict is not ready to be resolved today. Maybe in 10 years, maybe 100. Look at Egypt; look at Syria; look at Iraq; I could go on. The people living there are killing each other brutally, incomprehensibly. Why would anyone, especially Israelis, trust that the Palestinians would not turn on the Jews at their first opportunity?

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