Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Obama Trumpets Israel Support in Call to Rabbis

President Obama discussed the Middle East and education policy in a pre-Rosh Hashanah call with rabbis.

Close to 900 rabbis listened into Obama?s call Thursday afternoon, which was arranged by the Reform movement?s Religious Action Center. Obama has made such calls since 2009, the first year of his presidency.

He fielded two questions, one about what the changes of the ?Arab Spring? mean for Israel, the other about funding for schools. Obama said the United States was committed to Israel, and noted close U.S.-Israel cooperation and his efforts to isolate Iran as long as it advances its suspected nuclear weapons program.

In remarks obtained by the Washington Jewish Week, he said: ?The most important thing we can do to stabilize the strategic situation for Israel is if we can actually resolve the Palestinian-Israeli crisis because that?s what feeds so much of the tumult in Egypt. That?s what I think has created the deep tension between Turkey and Israel and Turkey has historically been a friend and ally of Israel?s. That?s why we think direct negotiations are so critical.?

Rabbi Avi Shafran, the spokesman for Agudath Israel of America, said the phone call in addition to Obama?s speech this week to the United Nations created a positive impression.

?He spoke about his commitment to Israel and to peace around the world,? said Shafran. In response to concerns expressed about poor funding for schools, Obama agreed and touted his recently unveiled jobs program, which includes a major teachers hiring component.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.