Monday, Representative Roy Blunt, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Missouri, met with Orthodox Jewish leadership from the greater St. Louis area in an issues roundtable facilitated by the Orthodox Union (Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America), the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization. Held at the Young Israel of St. Louis, the meeting featured remarks by Rep. Blunt followed by a discussion of key issues critical to the Orthodox community. Leaders from the University City and Chesterfield communities were in attendance.
Rep. Blunt expressed his support for a united Jerusalem and legislation calling for the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from its current location in Tel Aviv. Acknowledging community concern that a united Jerusalem requires more than just verbal support, Rep. Blunt stated his intention to work with his Senate colleagues for substantive policy in this regard.
“America’s strongest ally in the Middle East is the democracy in the state of Israel, an alliance that dates back to a fellow Missourian, Harry S Truman. I’ve been to Israel eight times and led three trips to Israel for freshman Republican members. We must stand firmly with this proven ally, understanding that all international friendships are not equal,” said Rep. Blunt.
Specifically, Rep. Blunt stated that: “I’m committed to ensuring that Israel maintains its qualitative security edge in the region. Iran's ongoing rush to become a nuclear power poses a terrible danger to the region and certainly to Israel. I believe that the United States must not allow Iran or any other dictatorship to develop nuclear weapons that can be used against us or our allies.”
Equitable education funding also drew Rep. Blunt’s support with his remark to meeting participants that if public schools receive textbook, special education or energy aid, private schools should be eligible for equal support.
A similar meeting is scheduled shortly with Democratic Senate candidate Robin Carnahan.
Maury Litwack, Deputy Director of Public Affairs at the Orthodox Union, stated: “We are grateful to Rep. Blunt for taking the time to air his perspective and hear our community’s views. We thank him for expressing his support for issues close to the heart of the Orthodox community in Missouri and across the U.S., and look forward to continued dialogue.”
Rabbi Moshe Shulman, Rabbi of Young Israel of St. Louis, remarked: “We are very appreciative of Rep. Blunt for coming to St. Louis to speak directly with the community here and discussing issues of importance. We look forward to our meeting with Senate candidate Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, and we thank the OU for enabling our community in Missouri to meet and dialogue with candidates for office.”
This meeting is part of a nationwide effort by the IPA to facilitate discussion between our community leadership and candidates for office. The OU has a long history of elected officials, candidates for public office and other notables speaking to their leadership, including Samuel Alito, Sherrod Brown, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chris Christie, Alberto Gonzalez, Al Gore, Tom Kean, Jr., Carl Levin, Robert Menendez, George Pataki, Rick Perry, Dean Skelos, Bill Thompson and numerous members of Congress in recent years as well as surrogates of both McCain-Palin and Obama-Biden during the 2008 presidential election.