Washington: As many as 14 key American Senators has asked US President Barack Obama to issue a "strongly worded defence of Israel" when he addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.
   
Expressing his strong concern over the efforts in the Middle East to isolate Israel, the 14 Senators in a letter on Monday urged Obama to "utilise the opportunity offered by your address at the United Nations to reaffirm and explain America's determination to stand by Israel at this difficult hour."
   
A copy of the letter was released by Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey.
   
"We are deeply disappointed that President Mahmoud Abbas appears determined to scorn your persistent efforts to persuade him to return to the negotiating table with Israel and instead seek unilateral diplomatic action in New York that will only set back the prospects for peace," the Senators said.
     
The senators said they are also troubled by the anti-Israeli rhetoric that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has displayed in recent weeks in the wake of the Palmer Report, which is harmful to Turkey's reputation in the United States, especially when coupled with its reluctance to take any meaningful actions in response to the brutal crackdown in Syria.
   
The United States, according to them, need to make it clear that the country will not tolerate continued threats to Israel by governments or individuals in the region or attempts to delegitimise Israel at the UN or other international forums.

"Violence and unilateralism against Israel will be met with the strongest US opposition," they said, adding, political and physical attacks on Israel pose real dangers to the prospects for building Mideast peace and present the possibility of a region-wide deterioration into violence.
   
The senators said that Israel's real sense of growing isolation will make it much more difficult to move the region in a positive direction and urged the US President to reaffirm and explain country's determination to stand by Israel at this difficult hour.

(Agencies)