Skip To Content
Breaking News

President Obama Pushes Iran Deal With Jewish Meetings

The Obama administration’s effort to sell the Iran nuclear deal to the Jewish community kicked up a notch with two meetings scheduled on the same day between the president and Jewish leaders.

President Barack Obama will attend two White House meetings Monday with Jewish leaders on Monday — one with organizational leaders, and a second unusual meeting with a group described by sources close to the White House as “influencers.”

Translated, “influencers” means major Jewish donors to the Democratic party, said the sources, who had been briefed by the White House on the meetings. Donors are a key constituency now that Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama’s heir apparent, has formally launched her now presidential bid and will be seeking to tap these same donors for funds.

The White House is especially sensitive to skepticism about the Iran deal within that donor constituency, the sources said. Among those attending the meeting are Haim Saban, the Israeli American entertainment mogul who has been a major donor to Democrats but who also has in the past criticized Obama’s Israel policies.

Obama and Susan Rice, his national security adviser, will meet midday with top officials of Jewish organizations, including civil defense groups like the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League, umbrella groups like the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Federations of North America, pro-Israel groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and J Street, and the major religious streams.

Later that afternoon, Obama and Rice will have the meeting with the donors, described on the schedule as “Jewish community leaders,” as the White House describes them on its schedule. (The schedule lists the earlier meeting as with “leaders of Jewish organizations”.)

Secretary of State John Kerry and Wendy Sherman, the undersecretary of state who leads the U.S. delegation to the Iran talks, held a similar meeting last week with organizational leaders that lasted two hours.

The major powers and Iran earlier this month released the outline of a deal that would exchange sanctions relief for restrictions aimed at keeping Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel opposes the emerging deal, saying it will leave Iran a nuclear weapons threshold state.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

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.