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Ron Kampeas and Eric Fingerhut
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White House to J Street: We have your back

WorldPublished: 30 October 2009

WASHINGTON – Israel’s ambassador turned down an invitation to speak this week at the inaugural J Street conference shortly after his spokesman was quoted as saying that some of the group’s positions would “impair” Israel’s interest. The Obama administration seemed to have a different message for the group: We have your back.

On Sunday, before the official launch of the conference, the White House’s top outreach official urged Jewish and Arab leaders to change their communities’ “hearts and minds” about President Obama’s peace push at a joint session convened by J Street and the Arab American Institute.

“We need to build support” for Obama’s efforts to restart Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, Tina Tchen said. “There are hearts and minds in the United States that need to be changed.”


‘Kvelling’ for Obama

WorldPublished: 23 January 2009

WASHINGTON – It was a week dedicated primarily to marking the election of the first African-American president in U.S. history, but the ongoing ceremonies were punctuated by several Jewish moments, wrinkles, and parties.

Barack Obama’s supporters said it was a historic week for all Americans, and especially Jewish ones, to take pride in.


Biden and the Jews: Strong ties and friendly disagreements

WorldPublished: 30 August 2008
DENVER – Before he announced his vice presidential pick, Barack Obama said he wanted someone to spar with but who ultimately would be loyal enough to create a comfortable working relationship.
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