President Obama addresses Washington synagogue

In a speech to the Congregation Adas Israel synagogue in Washington Friday, President Barack Obama "forcefully" objected to suggestions that policy differences between his administration and the Israeli government signaled his lack of support for the longtime US ally. Speaking to a largely liberal audience, Obama said the US and Israel should not be expected to paper over differences on Israel's settlement building or the frozen peace process with the Palestinians. "That's not a true measure of friendship," Obama said.
The president defended the nuclear deal shaping up with Iran in the light of deep differences with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, reiterating that it would make Israel and the entire region safer. Netanyahu counters that it poses Israel with an existential threat.  Given the high stakes, Obama welcomed scrutiny of the negotiations, but added: "This deal will have my name on it."

Obama's appearance coincided with Solidarity Shabbat, devoted to a show of unity by political leaders in Europe and North America against anti-Semitism. In this address and his recent interviews, Obama constantly and critically underlines his issues with Netanyahu on the nuclear accord, the Palestinian issue and the prime minister’s campaign references to the Israeli Arab voter.

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