Benjamin Netanyahu

New Pollard talk in Jerusalem, but will it sell in Washington?

 I'm hearing more and more rumbles about a possible effort  by the Israeli government to win the release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, now in his 25th year in prison.

Contrary to earlier reports, the talk doesn't center on a trade – releasing Pollard in return for an extension of the West Bank settlement moratorium, a major sticking point in the continuation of the recently restarted Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Still more on the AJC Jewish public opinion survey: unasked questions

I know it seems petty to complain about the American Jewish Committee's annual survey of Jewish public opinion ( the latest was released last week, and got a lot of ink in the Jewish Week.)

Shalit Negotiations Resumed, Netanyahu Says

10/17/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Negotiations to release captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit from Hamas have resumed, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu on Sunday said that Israel has "renewed contact with the German mediator" in order to free Shalit, who is being held in the Gaza Strip.

Shalit was captured in a cross-border raid in June 2006.

Israeli Officials Speak of ‘Phased’ Jordan Valley Presence

10/15/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Israel's presence in the Jordan Valley under a peace agreement would be "phased," Israel's U.S. ambassador told an audience of Muslim and Arab Americans.

Michael Oren at a dinner arranged by the Center for Middle East Peace said Wednesday night that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has "stated his commitment to continuing a phased Israeli army presence in the Jordan Valley."

"We understand that this may conflict with the search for dignity on the part of the Palestinians. That is why we stress the word phased," he said.

U.S. Sees Israel’s ‘Jewish State' Demand As Legit

10/13/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The United States sees as legitimate Israel's demand that Palestinians and other Arab states recognize Israel's Jewish character, a State Department spokesman said.

P.J. Crowley was pressed in a briefing Tuesday about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's offer to extend a partial settlement building freeze in exchange for the Palestinian leadership's recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

An Empty Loyalty Oath

10/12/2010
Editorial

Make no mistake, the wording advocated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that would require non-Jewish immigrants to express loyalty to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state before receiving citizenship is more about internal political expediency than ideology. Same goes for the prime minister’s proposal to extend the building moratorium in the West Bank in exchange for a public declaration by the Palestinian Authority recognizing “Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.”

Netanyahu Offers Settlement Freeze for Recognition as a Jewish State

10/12/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would reinstate a West Bank construction freeze if the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Netanyahu made the offer Monday in a wide-ranging speech at the opening of the Knesset's winter session.

Notes on a Dysfunctional Peace Process

 What a crazy, dysfunctional peace process.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas says Palestinian statehood is his number one goal, but he apparently doesn't want it bad enough to accept some kind of compromise on a settlement moratorium that will allow talks – the only route to his goal- to continue.

Caught Between A Freeze And A Thaw

As new poll shows support for continued
settlement building, Israelis guessing about
Netanyahu’s motives and what’s next.

10/05/2010
Israel Correspondent

News this week that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was seriously considering President Barack Obama’s request for an additional 60-day building freeze in return for several guarantees from the U.S. administration came as a surprise to many Israelis who had considered the West Bank building thaw a done deal.

To some, Netanyahu’s move was all the more surprising given the public’s mood since the freeze ended.

Netanyahu, center, at Sunday’s cabinet meeting. Photos by Getty Images
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