Obama's First White House Sit-Down With Jewish Leaders Today

The meeting doesn't appear on Obama's official schedule.


By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country

Politics Daily reports that President Obama will have his first White House sit-down with American Jewish leaders today, an event that doesn't appear on the president's public schedule. "[W]hile some domestic issues are expected to be discussed," Lynn Sweet reports, "Iran's nuclear threat and Obama's demand for an Israeli settlement freeze also will be on the agenda."

Indeed, the key question for today's meeting is how well Obama assuages the concerns of Jewish leaders over his calls for Israel to stop settlement expansion in the West Bank. In the wake of his Cairo speech, some Jewish leaders have criticized the president's outspokenness on Israeli settlements (George W. Bush had the same position, in theory, but mostly kept quiet about it).

Obama can't follow through on plans to reignite the Israeli-Palestinian peace process without the American Jewish community onboard, so today's meeting presents an important test.

Two liberal Jewish groups not invited to similar meetings with the Bush White House—Americans for Peace Now and J Street—will be included in today's meeting. The others that will participate are the following:

American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)
Anti-Defamation League
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
National Jewish Democratic Council
Orthodox Union
United Jewish Communities
Union for Reform Judaism
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
American Jewish Committee.