WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama hosted a reception for Jewish American Heritage Month.
The reception Tuesday was less formal than the inaugural one last year, with brief remarks and a small Marine Corps band playing klezmer music.
The 300 invitees included "grass-roots Jewish community leaders from across the country, rabbis, Members of Congress, and a broad range of leaders engaged in business, the arts, education, and public and community service," a White House official said.
Today's announcement that President Barack Obama will address the AIPAC policy conference on Sunday changes the dynamics of the huge annual gathering – although most reports indicate the president will give a speech mostly intended to reassure pro-Israel voters, not announce any new Israeli-Palestinian initiatives.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama will address this year's AIPAC conference.
Obama's decision to keynote the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual policy conference, rumored for days, was confirmed Monday by Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, to reporters traveling with the president aboard Air Force One. AIPAC confirmed the news.
The Associated Press quoted Carney as saying that Obama will not outline policy in his speech but instead will focus on the "deep bond" with Israel.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama reportedly is planning a new speech to the Muslim world that would call for a rejection of Islamic militancy.
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the White House is planning for such a speech within the next two weeks, just as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to roll out proposals for reviving peace talks with the Palestinians in a meeting with Obama and in a speech to the U.S. Congress.
I just published a story on the aftermath of the successful raid in Pakistan that gave Osama bin-Laden the martyrdom he apparently craved. But it's a fire sale kind of martyrdom; he died the leader of a diminished al Qaeda and the non-leader of what is potentially the biggest transformation in the Arab world in generations.
Foreign policy victory in bin Laden killing may not lead to new peace initiatives.
James D. Besser
The death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at the hands of elite U.S. forces was a boost for a president with few foreign policy achievements to his credit. But it will do little to ease the foreign policy and political conundrums his administration faces in a changing Middle East, and in some cases may add new complications.
While the Palestinian Authority supported the U.S. action, Hamas quickly condemned the killing of a “holy warrior.”
The first email I received after the news terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden has been killed by U.S. forces asked the inevitable question: will this embolden the Obama administration and possibly lead to a new U.S. initiative on the Israeli-Palestinian front, and possibly new pressure on the Netanyahu government?