Foxman Takes Issue With Obama's Faint Praise of Israel

Tuesday, 21 Jun 2011 04:32 PM

By Newsmax Wires

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Abraham Foxman finds President Barack Obama’s repeated backing for Israel’s security comforting, up to a point. The president usually mixes words of support for Israel with criticism of its actions in the Mideast conflict but lets the Palestinians off easy, says the national director of the Anti-Defamation League.

Foxman issued an exclusive statement to Newsmax today reacting to Obama’s comments on the Mideast during Democratic National Committee (DNC) fundraisers Monday night.

“The United States and Israel will always be stalwart allies and friends,” the president told about 80 people at a D.C. dinner for Americans in Support of a Strong U.S.-Israel Relationship. “That bond is unbreakable, and Israel’s security will always be at the top tier of considerations of how America manages its foreign policy.”

The appearance came a month after he clashed publicly with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the road to peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Obama assured the donors that his goals are the same as theirs — a secure Jewish state living in peace with its neighbors — even if there might be what he described as "tactical disagreements" along the way.

That sentiment brought criticism from Foxman, who said, “When the president reinforces the U.S. commitment to Israel, why is it necessary to highlight that there will be differences, unless and until those differences come up? At a time when the Palestinians have made it clear that they are unwilling to even engage in negotiations, the president should remain focused on the challenges of the moment, not disagreements far into the future."

Abraham, Foxman, Israel, Palestinians
Abraham Foxman wonders of President Obama: "Why didn’t he repeat his criticism of Palestinian attempts to circumvent negotiations?" (Getty Images Photo)
“It is encouraging that President Obama continues to reinforce his commitment to Israel’s security and the unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel. The curious thing is that the only party to the conflict that he mentioned in his remarks to the DNC is Israel. Why didn’t he confront Palestinian intransigence? Why didn’t he repeat his criticism of Palestinian attempts to circumvent negotiations?"

During Obama's talk, the president said the protests sweeping the Middle East, which have toppled governments in Tunisia and Egypt and sparked military conflict in Libya, create opportunities for Israel to achieve its goal of living in peace with its neighbors.

“The consequences of what’s happening there are potentially as significant as what happened in Europe when the Berlin Wall came down,” Obama said.

Obama aimed to raise at least $3 million Monday night for his re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

At a second fundraiser, for donors from the mid-Atlantic region, Obama said the nation is going through “one of the toughest periods in American history,” which required difficult decisions by his administration.

Those decisions, Obama said, have led to a growing economy though there still is work to do.

“The reason that 2012 is important is that I did not run for president just to get us back to where we were,” he said. “What that means is what we’ve begun, we have to finish.”

Obama began fundraising for the 2012 elections in March and has already raised millions of dollars for Democratic candidates and party organizations across the country and in Puerto Rico.

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