President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu were making dueling appeals to the American Jewish community Tuesday as they sought to rally support for their opposing positions on the Iranian nuclear deal.
Netanyahu made his case in a live webcast with more than 10,000 participants, according to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which, along with Jewish Federations of North America organized the event.
The prime minister disputed Obama’s assertion that opponents of the diplomatic deal favor war. He called that assertion “utterly false,” saying Israel wants peace, not war.
Obama was to hold a private meeting at the White House later Tuesday with Jewish leaders, some who support the deal, some who oppose it, and others whose organizations are undecided.
The direct appeals from Obama and Netanyahu come amid an intense lobbying campaign on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers plan to vote on the nuclear deal next month. The vote will be one of Congress’ most significant national security decisions in recent years.
Obama also planned to give a speech Wednesday outlining what he sees as the strengths of the nuclear deal.