White House Pushes for Jewish Support on Syria

Flurry of Weekend Calls To Rouse Community Leaders

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By Chemi Shalev (Haaretz)

Published September 02, 2013.

The U.S. administration has launched an outreach campaign to convince American Jewish leaders and their organizations to support President Obama’s efforts to win Congressional support for a military operation in Syria – but the leaders are wary of joining the fray.

Despite the Labor Day weekend, senior White House and administration officials have initiated phone calls with several Jewish figures to reiterate the messages issued by Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry in recent days concerning the centrality of Israel to the administration’s concerns in Syria – and to ask for their public and political support.

Obama and Kerry have emphasized that the proposed operation is crucial to prevent the danger of chemical weapons attacks on Israel and to deter Hezbollah and Iran. “I don’t think they will want to vote, ultimately, to put Israel at risk,” Kerry has said of the American lawmakers.

Kerry has also played to Jewish sensitivities by repeatedly comparing the current situation in Syria to World War II Europe, President Bashar Assad to Adolf Hitler and government inaction towards atrocities then – and, implicitly, passivity of the Jewish community – to the opposition to an operation in Syria now.

For more, go to Haaretz



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