Benjamin Netanyahu

Bibi And The U.S.: More Confusion, And A Correction

My last blog, posted on Tuesday, posed the question of what Prime Minister Netanyahu’s strategy is regarding peace talks with the Palestinians. That question remains, even more so today, but I stand corrected on one conclusion I drew.

I noted that Mideast experts are baffled by the Israeli leader’s seeming willingness to press ahead in negotiations, including the possibility of ceding West Bank land, while at the same time holding fast on the right to build in the settlements, and quickening the pace of construction.

What Is Bibi Thinking?

What Is Bibi Thinking?

Does Bibi really want a deal with the Palestinian Authority?

That’s the question Mideast observers, here and in Israel, are asking more and more these days, and they are baffled.

There are those who feel the Israeli prime minister genuinely is interested in negotiations that would include ceding territory to the Palestinians, as long as there were security talks for Israel as well. At least, they say, that’s what Netanyahu told President Obama this summer during White House talks that seemed to go well.

Netanyahu to publicly ask Obama for Pollard's release: will this help or hurt?

This morning  Associated Press reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to “press President Barack Obama to release” convicted spy Jonathan Pollard “in a formal and public manner."

Report: Talks Stymied Over Israel’s ‘Security Concept’

12/21/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Israeli-Palestinian talks were reportedly at an impasse over Israel's insistence on a continued military presence when a dispute over settlements ended them.

Newsweek, quoting negotiators from each side, reported Monday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that the Palestinians accept Israel's "security concept" before discussing any other topic.

Could Latest Conversion Flap Bring Down Israel’s Government?

The Knesset’s passage today of a preliminary reading of a bill that affirms the legitimacy of conversions performed by rabbis of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) seems benign on the surface.

After all, the IDF rabbis are chosen by the Chief Rabbinate, and the vote was an overwhelming 74-18.

Diaspora Rabbis Urge Israeli Colleagues to Speak Out on Rental Ruling

12/14/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Over 750 rabbis and cantors of all denominations signed a letter urging their Israeli colleagues to speak out against a ruling by 39 municipal rabbis banning renting to non-Jews.

"The recent halakhic ruling from community rabbis in Israel that forbids leasing apartments to non-Jews has caused great shock and pain in our communities," said the letter, initiated by the New Israel Fund. "The attempt to root discriminatory policies based on religion or ethnicity in Torah is a painful distortion of our tradition."

Livni Says Israel Should Freeze Settlement Building

12/13/2010

(JTA) -- Israel should have instituted a second settlement building freeze in exchange for U.S. guarantees, Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni said on ABC News.

Netanyahu Distances Self From Barak Dividing Jerusalem Remarks

12/12/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu distanced himself from remarks made by Defense Minister Ehud Barak regarding dividing Jerusalem during a Washington forum.

Obama, Clinton throw in the towel on Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

In the next few days you're going to hear a lot of spin about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's speech to the Saban Center for Middle East Policy on Friday night – the first major administration pronouncement since it abandoned its efforts to win a 90 day extension of Israel's settlement moratorium in return for a rich package of incentives, a deal they hoped would lure the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.

Poll: Slight Majority of Israeli Jews Unfavorable to Obama

12/10/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A slight majority of Jewish Israelis has negative views of President Obama, but his supporters are more numerous than previously reported, according to a poll.

The Brookings Institution poll of Jewish Israelis recorded 51 percent responding that they had negative views of Obama and 41 percent responding that they had positive views of the U.S. president.

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