Asia

Netanyahu rejects eastern Jerusalem construction freeze

04/22/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected an Obama administration call for a total construction freeze in eastern Jerusalem, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The rejection was conveyed last weekend by Israeli officials to White House officials, the newspaper reported in an article published Thursday.

The Prime Minister's Office on Thursday confirmed the Wall Street Journal report, which was based on Washington diplomatic sources, Israeli media reported.

U.S.-Israel Tensions Now Hitting Pulpits

N.Y. area rabbis, some feeling ‘forced,’ wading into rocky political waters; anxiety seen in pews.

04/20/2010
Staff Writer

As the strain in U.S.-Israel relations continues, some area rabbis who generally don’t mix religion and politics on the pulpit are setting aside those constraints.

“People were asking me and my hand was sort of forced,” said Rabbi Perry Rank, spiritual leader of the Midway Jewish Center, a Conservative synagogue in Syosset, L.I. “My sense is that Mr. [Barack] Obama has unnerved the American Jewish community and people are looking for a perspective on the issue.

Rabbis Andrew Bachman and Perry Rank: Taking to pulpit, with differing views of Obama’s policies.

Israel Versus iPad

04/20/2010

Israel may be in a tense standoff with U.S. President Barack Obama, but the high-tech-savvy country seemed to be picking a fight this week with another formidable foe: Apple. And the Jewish state’s decision to ban the iPad, Apple’s vaunted new e-tablet, had tech writers and bloggers the world over scratching their heads trying to understand the move.

The reason? Israel’s explanation of the ban didn’t seem to add up.

Tech writers baffled by Israel’s ban on Apple’s iPad.

Reform Leader Lights Independence Torch

04/20/2010

(JTA) – Israel included a Reform rabbi for the first time in launching its Independence Day celebrations.

Rabbi Richard Hirsch was one of 14 Israelis asked to help light the torch Monday evening marking the start of Israel’s 62nd Independence Day.

The committee naming the honorees, working out of the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, recognized Hirsch for strengthening ties between the Reform movement and Israel.

State Dept. Summons Syria Envoy On Arms transfers

04/20/2010

 (JTA) – The Obama administration “condemned in the strongest terms” Syria’s alleged transfer of arms to Hezbollah and suggested that Syria’s actions would affect renewed bilateral relations.

The administration summoned Syria’s top envoy to discuss the transfers, a sign that it has evidence contradicting Syria’s persistent denials.

Cracks In Bipartisan Israel Support

04/20/2010

American Jews, and Israel, have long taken pride in the fact that support for the Jewish state is a bipartisan issue among political leaders in this country. Whether a Democrat or Republican was in the White House for the last three decades, Israel was viewed as a strong ally in every sense of the word.

But there are cracks in the façade of late, perhaps inevitable in an age of increasing partisanship in Washington, yet troubling nonetheless and in need of attention.

Adrift On Iran

04/20/2010

Last weekend’s New York Times report on a secret memo by Defense Secretary Robert Gates warning that the Obama administration needs a better long-term strategy for dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat reflects some disturbing realities.

U.S. And Israel Seen On Collision Course

At Teaneck synagogue, Jerusalem Post diplomatic correspondent says political honeymoon at an end;
sees administration push for quick resolution.

04/20/2010
Editor and Publisher

Israel’s 16-year honeymoon with the White House (under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush) is over, and the tension between Jerusalem and the Obama administration is “dramatic and considerable,” according to the senior diplomatic correspondent for The Jerusalem Post.

Herb Keinon, a native of Denver who has lived in and covered Israel for 27 years, spoke of “conceptual gaps on two major planes” between the allies in a talk Sunday evening at Congregation Rinat Yisrael in Teaneck, N.J.

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Peace Pieces

04/20/2010
Editorial Intern

Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs may not always get along, but two young pianists — one a Jew from Tel Aviv, the other an Arab from Nazareth — will be living in harmony next week at Carnegie Hall. Onstage, that is.

Israel At 62

04/20/2010

The skies over Israel were clear on Monday night, clear enough for the annual fireworks on the eve of Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Independence Day.

But for some Israelis, the celebration of the country’s 62nd birthday was overcast.

“62, Under a U.S. Cloud,” a headline over an editorial in the Jerusalem Post declared.

The newspaper said the current chilled relations between Israel and the Obama administration because of the pace of Middle East peace negotiations, added to the threat of a nuclear Iran, cast a pall over Independence Day.

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