Press Release: APN Commends Obama for Expressing Concern over Erosion of Israeli Progressive Values

Obama-at-Adas320x265Americans for Peace Now (APN) commends President Obama for eloquently articulating the strong bond between core American values and progressive Jewish values, and for expressing his frustration with the growing gap between these values and those that are increasingly manifesting themselves in Israeli public life.

APN’s President and CEO Debra DeLee said: “Both in his speech today at Washington’s Adas Israel Synagogue and in his Atlantic Magazine interview yesterday, President Obama reiterated his deep commitment to Israel’s security and well-being, and his admiration of Israel’s founding ethos and founding values. But he went beyond that, and as a good, caring friend, expressed sincere concern for the erosion of these values and for the risk that Israeli government policies may pose to Israel’s ethos and its core values.

“In his speech today, the President declared himself as an ‘honorary member of the tribe,’ and as such articulated concerns that many members of our tribe, American Jews, share regarding Israeli government policies and practices.

“We applaud President Obama for not papering over the growing values-gap between our community and the ultra-nationalist, ultra-conservative components of Israel’s current governing coalition. There is a growing gap between what we, American Jews, call ‘Jewish values’ -- values that are thoroughly progressive -- and some of the values espoused by members of Israel’s government. The worldview of some of the members of this new government is antithetical to ours. This alarming gap must be recognized and articulated. Our hope is that it will be narrowed when Israeli leaders are true to Jewish values, to the values that are the core of Israel’s foundation.

“We hope that President Obama’s speech today, and his interview yesterday, will help narrow that gap.”

Watch Obama’s speech from earlier today

Read his Atlantic interview with Jeffrey Goldberg