Obama sought the opinions of Jewish community leaders to gain their favor in the Iran nuclear deal discussions.
President Obama knew that consulting Jewish leadership was a necessary step in the nuclear deal with Iran. Meeting a heady mixture of representatives from powerful Jewish organizations as well as representatives of major Jewish community movements, Obama made sure to get the opinions of representatives of a community in America that is significantly invested in the issues of the Middle East.
The plea to appease the powerful Jewish community is due, in large part, to the fact that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has voiced his opposition to the US-Iran nuclear deal.
In the first of the two closed door meetings which nearly lasted for 90 minutes, President Obama appears to have “pleaded” with the leaders to support his cause of signing the nuclear deal with Iran. The president wanted to ensure the Jewish community knew he and the government cared about them, their well-being, and their opinions. He seems to have made an emotional appeal to the community by telling them how “deeply he feels about Israel and the Jewish people and anti-Semitism” according to a member who attended the first meeting.
The White House only released the list of attendees and not the summary of the meeting. Among the attendees of the meetings were powerful leaders in the Jewish community including Robert Cohen, president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee; Allen I. Fagin, executive vice president of the Orthodox Union; Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; and Abraham Foxman, National Director of the
According to reports from attendees of the meetings, Obama was seeking support to break through the stone wall from the republicans in congress who are looking to reject or at least significantly dilute the Iran nuclear deal since he is looking to complete the deal by the end of June. Obama also wanted to convince the American Jewish community that the US-Iran deal would not jeopardize America’s relationship with Israel.