Jewish Leaders Get Briefing From John Kerry and Susan Rice on Mideast Peace

90-Minute Talk Shows Optimism on Progress

getty images

By JTA

Published August 08, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

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, 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.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.