Obama 311 reuters.
(photo credit: Reuters)
WASHINGTON – A top White House adviser told a major Jewish organization Monday
that despite the changes in the Middle East, the US remained as committed as
ever to Israel’s security.
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Valerie Jarrett, US President Barack Obama’s
senior adviser and assistant for intergovernmental affairs and public
engagement, told the Jewish Council for Public Affairs that her boss has “made
clear that while the region evolves, some things will never change.
them is his unshakeable support for Israel’s security.”
She also spoke of
his “opposition to any efforts to delegitimize Israel, or single her out for
criticism, and his commitment to achieve a peace that will secure the future for
Arabs and Israelis alike,” which garnered applause from the organization’s
Jarrett noted that she had been present last week at
the meeting between President Obama and the Conference of Presidents of Major
American Jewish Organizations.
“At the meeting, the president made clear
that throughout this period of unrest, we have been consistent in rejecting
violence; calling for respect for universal rights; and advocating on behalf of
a process of meaningful reform that is responsive to the needs of the people,”
“These are universal values, and the president will uphold them
everywhere, as he has done from Egypt to Bahrain to Libya. As he does so, he
will also work closely with the international community to ensure that the
process of transition is orderly and stable, and that the region evolves in a
way that advances American interests, including peace between Israel and her
Jarrett stressed that “the status quo in the Arab world
is not sustainable, and neither is the status quo in the search for peace in the
She called on the JCPA to help in this effort, telling
participants, “we need to find a way to make sure that direct negotiations have
credibility and purpose, because this is the only way to resolve the
At the conclusion of her remarks, Jarrett revealed for the
first time her own Jewish ancestry, telling the audience that the upcoming
Pessah holiday was particularly important to her because her parents once hosted
a Seder at which her father announced that her own great-grandfather was
“What a wonderful surprise for our friends, and for me. I had no
idea!” related Jarrett, who is African-American.
“So Passover has always
been a special holiday for me from that point on.”