Mayor Bloomberg said he would “urge” President Obama “to clarify and reiterate his support for Israel. I feel very strongly about that.”
After speaking at a Manhattan breakfast hosted by the Met Council on Jewish Poverty on Sunday, Bloomberg was asked by a reporter if he thought Obama might lose support among Jewish voters in the upcoming 2012 election.
“I think Jews will look at what the president said and he’s got to say — I’m sure, between now and then,” said Bloomberg.
Many Democrats and Republicans here cringed when, on the eve of a visit from the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama said Isarel should use their pre-1967 borders in peace talks with the Palestinians.
“If you talk to the experts,” said Bloomberg, “the ’67 borders is — been something that’s used as a starting point in many other presidents’ remarks. So, it’s not necessarily fair to take this out of context. But, when Israel is particularly threatened — and there was an attack today, taken place as of a few minutes ago — it’s particularly important that the president stand up” and support Israel.
Bloomberg said the recent uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and other counties, had reshuffled long-held calculations in that region.
“The whole world is changing,” he said. “[The] Arab Spring is going to leave — all the assumptions of who is an ally of whom and who is protecting whom — up in the air. And we need the president to lead and he’s got to be unequivocally clear. Israel is the only real democracy in the region.”
Follow Azi Paybarah via RSS.