Obama in talks with US Jewish leaders

By Jessica Elgot, July 13, 2009

President Barack Obama is meeting US Jewish leaders to respond to their concerns over his Middle East policies.

Although ostensibly the leaders have been invited to discuss Mr Obama’s domestic policy, in fact he is understood to be particularly addressing the pressure he is putting on the Israeli government to crack down on illegal Jewish settlements.

Mr Obama has invited representatives from Orthodox, Conservative and Reform groups alongside major American Jewish organisations such as the American Jewish Committee and Hadassah.

Concerns over perceived unfair pressure on Israel have been discussed within the US Jewish leadership, though quietly, ever since Mr Obama's June 4 speech to the Muslim world.

But the president still has a high approval rating from the Jewish community in the US, with 79 per cent supporting his administration, according to US opinion poll Gallup.

The meeting is off the record and was intended to be kept secret.

Last updated: 3:53pm, July 13 2009