Obama wishes 1,000 rabbis shana tova
In annual pre-Rosh Hashana conference call with rabbis, US leader says conclusion of Syria crisis will show he can be counted on to curb Iran's nuclear program

WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama took a few minutes off from dealing with the Syrian crisis to wish some 1,000 rabbis a happy Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year).


One of the rabbis who took part in the annual conference call said Obama was asked how the US could be counted on to curb Iran's nuclear program if it does not respond to Syria's use of chemical weapons. Obama refused to tell the rabbis what he plans to do with regards to Syria, but said that the conclusion of the current crisis will prove he can be relied upon.


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The American leader also spoke of the unbreakable bond between the US and Israel and the values shared by both countries, including the Jewish values of social justice. Obama also mentioned the Jews' participation in the struggle for civil rights led by Martin Luther King Jr. The US recently marked the 50th anniversary of King's "I have a dream" speech.


During the conference call Obama also mentioned his administration's efforts to promote health care reform and peace between Israel and the Palestinians.



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