WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The United States has invited Israel and the Palestinians to relaunch direct peace talks next month, though the parameters remain vague.
"On behalf of the United States government I've invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to meet on Sept. 2 to resolve all final status issues which we believe can be completed within one year," Hillary Rodham Clinton, the U.S. secretary of state, said in a conference call on Friday.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians are "very, very close," a U.S. State Department spokesman said, and Hillary Rodham Clinton is in constant telephone contact with the leaders.
For weeks there have been murmurings in the Israeli press about the likely resumption of direct Israeli – Palestinian peace talks, and yesterday there were reports both sides will be invited to Washington in early September to start negotiations under the auspices of the Mideast Quartet.<
There are plenty of horrifying aspects to the new Pew poll showing that 18 percent of Americans now believe – against all the evidence – that President Obama is a Muslim, up from 11 percent in March, 2009.
If you go by the comments, letters to the editor and emails that come my way via the Jewish Week, you'd think President Obama is a sure bet to lose in 2012 a Jewish vote he won so overwhelmingly in 2008.
But wait: most of the angry anti-Obama comments I hear come from the same folks who were calling him a Muslim fifth columnist and an anti-Semite in 2008; their criticisms may be angrier than ever, but they don't suggest any real change in his overall Jewish support.
Vigorous debate about the many challenges that face America is welcome. But there is something disturbing about the extremes to which so many of today’s radio and television talk show hosts go in tapping deep wellsprings of rage as part of the all-important quest for top ratings.
The ongoing conflict between Fox News host Glenn Beck and the Jewish Funds for Justice offers a window into this dynamic.
This is just so predictable, it makes me want to scream.
Congressional Republicans and the Obama administration will go head to head next month in what could be their biggest battle. The issue: whether or not to let Bush-era tax cuts expire in the face of incomprehensibly large deficts and an economy that has not yet recovered from the Great Recession.
And a slew of Jewish groups with a big stake in the debate will be struck mute.
In the “Can't win for losing” department, President Obama's abysmal popularity standings in Israeli public opinion polls may soon be matched by low scores across the Arab world.
The 2010 Arab Public Opinion Poll, released today by the Brookings Institution, shows a precipitous drop in optimism about U.S. policy in six Arab countries - Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates.
It’s an old joke with a not-so-funny punch line: the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Sadly, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is giving new credence to the cliché as he is pressed from all sides to begin direct peace talks with Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he wants them, and he has convinced President Barack Obama that face-to-face negotiations are preferable to the unproductive, indirect “proximity talks” now underway under the auspices of U.S. envoy George Mitchell.