Obama Tells Rabbis He Plans to Meet Netanyahu Next Month


obamaPresident Barack Obama told rabbis in a pre-High Holidays phone call on Thursday that security talks with Israel had resumed and he hoped to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu early next month.

“Our consultations have already begun with Israeli military and intelligence officials,” Obama said. “My hope is to have a long discussion with Mr. Netanyahu about these issues when he comes to the United Nations during the General Assembly of the United Nations, or immediately after that.”

Obama said that he was ready to meet with Netanyahu during the United Nations’ General Assembly opening session, which starts next week and runs through Oct. 6. Netanyahu until now has rebuffed such overtures because of his disagreement with the U.S. leader over the Iran nuclear deal.

“Acknowledging the vigorous debate that has occurred within the American Jewish community and in Israel, the president explained that the deal is consistent with his unwavering commitment to Israel’s security, and he expressed his willingness to discuss additional ways to enhance Israel’s security and further strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship as the deal is implemented,” the White House said in its readout of the phone call, which drew 500 rabbis from across the denominational spectrum.

Obama said that he was still devoted to advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace despite the collapse last year of U.S.-brokered talks.

“Israel’s long-term security does depend on somehow resolving the Palestinian issue,” Obama said. “We’re going to have to work on these issues, and they’re going to be messy and challenging in the years to come.”

Obama said he would stand by Israel on matters of security, but called on U.S. Jews as well as Israel to closely consider the Palestinian question.

“There’s going to have to be some soul searching in Israel and the American Jewish community because they’re tough questions,” he said.

{CB Frommer-Matzav.com Newscenter}