In an annual Rosh Hashanah video message, US President Barack Obama on Friday hinted at hopes of renewed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
In the clip, released ahead of the Jewish new year, which begins Sunday at sunset, the US president said that “peace is hard,” but urged Jews worldwide and Israel to “write the next chapter in a way that speaks to the best of our traditions and the highest of our ideals.”
“As human beings we are not required to be perfect,” Obama said in the video, “but we are required to atone where we’ve fallen short, to do whatever we can to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, and to love the stranger and treat him as we would like to be treated.”
The US president added that “faith is hard, hope is hard, peace is hard, but right now the book is open, not just for God but for us.”
Obama sealed the video with wishes for a happy new year, “from my family to yours, shana tova.”
The White House said Friday that it’s trying to arrange a November meeting between Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Spokesman Josh Earnest said he anticipates a White House meeting in early November. It would be the first formal meeting between the two leaders in months.
Earlier, in his annual pre-High Holidays call to US rabbis, Obama said that he was ready to meet with Netanyahu during the United Nations’ General Assembly opening session, which starts next week and runs through Oct. 6. Netanyahu until now has rebuffed such overtures because of his disagreement with the US leader over the Iran nuclear deal.
“Our consultations have already begun with Israeli military and intelligence officials,” Obama said.
“My hope is to have a long discussion with Mr. Netanyahu about these issues when he comes to the United Nations during the General Assembly of the United Nations, or immediately after that,” he said.
AP, JTA contributed to this report.