White House Chief of Staff Praises AJC at Global Forum

May 15, 2014, 21:12 ET from American Jewish Committee

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough lauded AJC for its efforts in support of Israeli-Palestinian peace and opposition to Iran's nuclear program. In remarks before the AJC Global Forum, attended by more than 2,000 people from across the U.S. and 70 countries around the world, McDonough conveyed the personal appreciation of President Obama for the global Jewish advocacy organization.

He recalled that Secretary of State Kerry, in the early days of the resumed Israeli-Palestinian talks last year "came to the AJC Global Forum because your organization understands that peace and security are inextricably linked."

While the talks are currently suspended, McDonough stressed "the United States will never waver in our commitment to a just and lasting peace."

On Iran, McDonough was direct and firm. During the current negotiations "our bottom line has not changed and will not change," he said. "We are committed to doing what we must to keep Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon."

In addition to the nuclear issue, "unprecedented" American support for Israel's security, as well as the security of Gulf partners counters Iran's support for terrorism and its destabilizing efforts in the region, he noted.

McDonough repeated the Administration's consistently clear messages of strong support for Israel. "Throughout its history, the State of Israel has had no greater friend than the United States of America," he said. "The unbreakable bonds between our two countries are as strong as ever."

And, he referred to President Obama's statement before the UN General Assembly last September that "the United States will never compromise our commitment to Israel's security, nor our support for its existence as a Jewish state."

The Chief of Staff also thanked AJC for its advocacy for immigration reform. "You have been a key partner" in this effort "to fix a broken immigration system," he said. "Last year, thanks in no small part to your hard work, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate came together and passed a bipartisan, common-sense immigration bill."

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SOURCE American Jewish Committee