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May 27th, 2010
11:54 AM ET

White House steps up Jewish outreach amid criticism of Mideast policy

When Rabbi Jack Moline recently confronted his friend Rahm Emanuel about mounting Jewish anxiety over the Obama administration's Mideast policy, he was surprised at the White House Chief of Staff's response: to invite Moline and more than a dozen other rabbis to the White House for a nearly two-hour conversation.

But what really surprised Moline, who leads a northern Virginia synagogue, was that Emanuel (pictured above in Israel today) invited the whole group back a couple of weeks ago for another long sit-down.

"We invited rabbis who'd been supportive of the president since the election," said Moline, who helped organize the two meetings of rabbis from across the country. "And who found themselves concerned about his approach to the Middle East process."

As the Obama administration steps up efforts to restart the Middle East peace process - with U.S.-moderated talks between Israel and Palestinian leaders starting earlier this month and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu scheduled to visit the White House next week - it has launched a simultaneous campaign to allay fears within the American Jewish community over how that process will work.

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- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Israel • Judaism • Middle East • Politics

soundoff (One Response)
  1. Serge Crespy

    Would it be possible for the U.S. to "LEASE" (say: 100 year lease – possibly 500 acres) in Jerusalem to provide Palestinian housing ? .......

    May 27, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.