Poor Mort Klein must be foaming at the mouth. Used to being routinely invited to high level White House briefings under previous presidents, Pres. Obama left him out in the cold yesterday when he met with leaders of 14 Jewish groups. The last time Obama staffers met with a similar group they did include Klein, who fulminated about his extremist pro-Israel agenda. Apparently, he wore out his welcome and may not see the inside of the White House for some time.
Malcolm Hoenlein WAS invited to the meeting and attempted to fill Klein’s shoes with his negativity, none of which Pres. Obama was having. Malcolm ought to watch out–he may be the leader left off the list for the next meeting.
A correspondent for Rupert Murdoch’s otherwise strongly pro-Israel Australian notes:
Mr Obama yesterday held his first meeting with US Jewish leaders – a meeting that marked a possible changing of the guard of Jewish leadership in the US.
Groups which under George W. Bush enjoyed good access to the White House – including the Lubavitch movement and the Zionist Organisation of America – were not included on the keenly contested list, while more liberal groups such as Americans for Peace Now and the newly formed J Street Lobby met Mr Obama.
This could be one of the reasons why the ZOA’s Lori Lowenthal Marcus is creating a new right-wing group that plans to shadow (read, “smear”) J Street. Even she sees the handwriting on the political wall. The jealousy is palpable.
For those of you keeping score at home: Lubavitch and ZOA–out. Peace Now, J Street, Israel Policy Forum–in.
H/t to Sol Salbe.