Wiesel to lunch at White House

Part of US administration "charm offensive" aimed at Jewish community.

By JTA
May 4, 2010 15:48
Elie Wiesel.

elie wiesel. (photo credit: AP [file])

 
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WASHINGTON - Elie Wiesel received a lunch invitation at the White House.

The event is to take place on Tuesday, following the publication of newspaper ads by Wiesel obliquely criticizing the Obama administration for pressuring Israel to end building in eastern Jerusalem.

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Wiesel is a Nobel Peace Laureate and Holocaust memoirist.

A "charm offensive" has been recently launched by the Obama administration directed at the Jewish community, blanketing Jewish events with speakers touting close US-Israel ties.

Last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed the American Jewish Committee and on Monday both Dennis Ross and Daniel Shapiro -- two top national security councillors dealing with the Middle East -- spoke to the Anti-Defamation League.

The campaign comes after two months of tensions sparked by Israel's announcement in early March of a major eastern Jerusalem building start during a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden.

Obama is said to strongly value his friendship with Wiesel, inviting the author to join him last summer when he toured Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany.

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