This year's General Assembly took place in New Orleans, bringing together professional and lay leaders in the Jewish community. Highlights included speeches by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Vice-President Joe Biden.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton ended a six-hour meeting with little more than an agreement on the usefulness of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
"The prime minister and the secretary agreed on the importance of continuing direct negotiations to achieve our goals," said a State Department statement at the conclusion of the meeting in New York.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Israeli plans to build additional housing in eastern Jerusalem is counterproductive to peace talks.
Clinton made the statement Wednesday during a joint video conference with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, in which she announced that the United States would give an additional $150 million to the Palestinian Authority.
She is scheduled to meet Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York.
Is there a new crisis in U.S.-Israel relations because of the latest flap over building in East Jerusalem?
If there is, it may be because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a mistaken view that a congressional election that is changing all the rules for domestic politics will affect Obama administration Middle East policy, as well.
For a federation system hurting in tough times, New Orleans was a natural site for the GA.
Editor And Publisher
New Orleans — For a long time the 79th General Assembly of The Jewish Federations of North America had been scheduled to take place this week in Orlando, Fla. But after a top consultant scouted that city last winter, and concluded that it would add little to the spirit of the annual gathering of the federation movement — and that Disney World might prove a major distraction — the decision was made to move the three-day GA here to New Orleans.
(JTA) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he is concerned over Israel's plans to build hundreds of housing units in eastern Jerusalem.
Ban and Netanyahu met Monday night in New York. The leaders also spoke about efforts to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as the decision by a United Nations body to refer to Rachel's Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs as mosques.
What is it about Joe Biden and East Jerusalem housing announcements?
The Israelis did it again on the eve of the Vice-President's meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the results were as predictable as a Three Stooges script: the Israelis announced plans for more than 1300 new apartments (the bonk on Biden's head), the State Department reflexively emitted a shopworn protest (the poke in the eye), commentators commented (picture Curly woob-woob-woobing) and then everybody went about their business.