POLITICS

The Middle East Interview: President Obama On ISIS, Iran, And Israel - The Atlantic

CAMDEN, NJ - MAY 18:   U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a speech at the Salvation Army, Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community C
CAMDEN, NJ - MAY 18: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a speech at the Salvation Army, Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center May 18, 2015 in Camden, New Jersey. Camden was recently designated as a 'Promise Zone', which uses government grants and social programs to increase the local economy. Obama spoke about how these community partnerships are vital to create many different opportunities for all Americans. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

On Tuesday afternoon, as President Obama was bringing an occasionally contentious but often illuminating hour-long conversation about the Middle East to an end, I brought up a persistent worry. “A majority of American Jews want to support the Iran deal,” I said, “but a lot of people are anxiety-ridden about this, as am I.” Like many Jews—and also, by the way, many non-Jews—I believe that it is prudent to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of anti-Semitic regimes. Obama, who earlier in the discussion had explicitly labeled the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, an anti-Semite, responded with an argument I had not heard him make before.

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