WASHINGTON — The National Jewish Democratic Council issued a statement criticizing Sen. Marco Rubio for leaving Israel out of their responses to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.
"Speaking on behalf of the Republican Party, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) neglected to even say one word in support of Israel or our nation's efforts to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program," said Aaron Keyak, the group's executive director, in a statement that will be distributed to reporters late Tuesday. "President Obama was clear that we must stand steadfast with Israel in pursuit of security and a lasting peace, and do what is necessary to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon."
Obama mentioned Israel just once in his remarks to a Joint Session of Congress.
"And we will stand steadfast with Israel in pursuit of security and a lasting peace," Obama said, alluding to his visit to the region next month.
"Jewish Democrats are proud to stand with President Obama and his second term priorities that put support for Israel and preventing a nuclear Iran at the top of his foreign policy agenda," Keyak added. "Republicans should support President Obama and his strong leadership on these important issues -- or at least mention them when they choose to give a broad national address."
And unlike Rubio, Obama mentioned Iran, saying: "Likewise, the leaders of Iran must recognize that now is the time for a diplomatic solution, because a coalition stands united in demanding that they meet their obligations, and we will do what is necessary to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon."