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The issue has become both a diplomatic and a political issue for Mr. Obama, who recently saw a Democratic candidate for Congress lose a special election in New York over what analysts said was worry among Jewish voters that the president was not backing Israel strongly enough.

After his defense at the U.N., Jewish advocacy groups vociferously praised the president for insisting that Palestinians negotiate a solution rather than have it imposed.

Outside of the Palestinian situation, Mr. Obama used his address at the U.N. to call out regimes in Iran, Syria and Yemen for special condemnation.

Even as he chided the U.N. for its potential action on Israel, Mr. Obama called on the world body’s members to take a stronger stand in following the U.S. lead in trying to isolate those regimes.

“The question for us is clear,” the president said. “Will we stand with the Syrian people or with their oppressors?”