Jewish Groups Welcome Outcome of Obama/Netanyahu Meeting

American-Jewish groups welcomed the outcome of Monday’s meeting between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, as the two leaders indicated they’ve moved passed the debate over the Iran nuclear deal.

After a two-hour meeting in the Oval Office, Netanyahu appeared satisfied and optimistic about the future. “The conversation was substantive, practical,” the Israeli Prime Minister told Israeli reporters after the meeting. “Not that we are agreed on the agreement. But we must look forward at what needs to be done. We have a common interest in keeping Iran from violating the agreement.”

Netanyahu described the meeting as a productive conversation over policy and non-contentious. “I did not sense any broad tension,” he said, according to JTA. “It was not a symposium for debate, it was not a debating society — and there have been such meetings. But this, for sure, was not.”

“Both the tone and the substance of the meeting were in a spirit of being productive — let’s see what we can do, not let’s see how we can argue,” he added.

In joints statements ahead of the meeting, both Obama and Netanyahu presented a more understanding view of each another.

“It’s no secret the Prime Minister and I had a disagreement on the nuclear deal, but we have no disagreement on the need to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb, and we don’t have a disagreement about the importance of us blunting and destabilizing activities that Iran may be taking place,” Obama said. Adding, “The security of Israel is my top priority.”

Netanyahu, for his part, expressed his appreciation of the president’s commitment to Israel’s security. He also reiterated his commitment to the two-state solution.

“President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu demonstrated that U.S.-Israel ties continue to be robust and mutually supportive, and that the shared values and interests of our two full-throttled democracies outweigh any momentary differences,” American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris said in a statement.

World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder praised the two leaders for “taking this opportunity to pursue common values and agendas and strengthen the close partnership enjoyed by the United States and Israel.”

He also welcomed the two leaders’ reaffirmation of their commitment to the two-state solution. “Both President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu understand that the two-state solution is the only solution. Both leaders possess the greatness, the vision and the courage needed to move our common relationship forward,” said Lauder.

Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street, urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to match the promises he made in the Oval Office with concrete actions toward a two-state solution. “As a master communicator, Netanyahu knows how to tell an audience what it wants to hear – and on this visit to Washington he will be speaking to diverse audiences,” Ben-Ami stated. “But actions always speak louder than words. Netanyahu may declare at the White House that he remains committed to two states – but he is also on record at a climactic moment of his reelection campaign last March as saying that there would never be a Palestinian state established while he was Prime Minister.”

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