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.
While the now-extinguished fires in northern Israel were an unimaginable catastrophe for the tiny nation — which, more than almost any other, cherishes its trees — there were heartening aspects of the fatal disaster.
(JTA) —A ruling by dozens of Israel's municipal chief rabbis that forbids renting homes to gentiles, specifically to Arabs, is inconsistent with democratic values, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
The ruling comes less than two months after leading rabbis in Safed signed on to a letter by the city's chief rabbi calling on Jews not to rent to non-Jews there, as well as a month after rabbis in the haredi Orthodox Israeli city of Bnei Brak forbade residents to rent apartments to African refugees, echoing a similar ruling for southern Tel Aviv.
Reading the early reports about the apparent U.S. decision to give up on its efforts to win a renewed Israeli settlement freeze in return for a big package of incentives, I can't help but wonder if what we're seeing here is simply an administration with absolutely no sense of direction.
I will never again pull an all-nighter, or even half-nighter, if I can help it!
Last night, I was up past 1 a.m. trying to finish writing an article about Israel education and advocacy in the United States. Whenever I write about Israel, my head starts spinning and my own opinions dart all over the ideological spectrum depending on what I’ve read most recently.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Obama administration abandoned efforts to get Israel to freeze its settlements.
"After consulting with the parties, we have determined that a moratorium extension will not at this time provide the best basis for resuming negotiations," a number of media quoted a senior administration official as saying on Tuesday.
The Palestinians left direct talks in late September, just weeks after they restarted, demanding that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extend a partial settlement freeze past its ten-month deadline.