Obama: Israel’s government should live up to the nation’s founding ideals

by Jiliet Eilperin

May 22, 2015

President Obama made an impassioned appeal to American Jews on Friday, arguing that his approach to the problems in the Middle East flows from an interpretation of Jewish values that he has adopted as guiding principles in his own life.

The 29-minute speech at Adas Israel Congregation in the District, which was just the fourth time that an American president has addressed a congregation at a U.S. synagogue, underscored the personal stake Obama has in strengthening his relationship with some segments of the country’s Jewish community.

The president addressed a range of policy issues — including the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran and the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process. But at its core, the speech was a plea for understanding that his criticisms of Israel’s government stem from his belief that the country must live up to “the type of nation that it was intended to be in its earliest founding.”

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