Benjamin Netanyahu

At Talks, Arab Leaders Press for Freeze, Final Status

09/02/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- At the launch of renewed peace talks, Arab leaders called on Israel to sustain a settlement freeze and to negotiate final status issues.

"We call on the Israelis to carry out their obligations, including a freeze on settlements activities, which is not setting a precondition but a call to implement an agreed obligation," Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, said in remarks delivered before he dined at the White House with President Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Egyptian and Jordanian leaders.

Bibi’s Man In Washington

Isaac Molho — a pragmatic deal broker
and Netanyahu’s longtime personal attorney —
is widely respected as Israel’s chief negotiator.

08/31/2010
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv — As Israel-Palestinian peace talks resume for the first time since 2008, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be relying on his longtime personal attorney Isaac Molho to broker the deal of his life.

Israel’s chief negotiator to the peace talks, a highly respected Jerusalem corporate lawyer who stays out of the media spotlight regarding his political work, was first drafted by Netanyahu into diplomacy back in the 1990s as an emissary to Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and as a delegate to the Wye Plantation talks.

Isaac Molho, right, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife Sarah, and President Shimon Peres.

On Eve of Washington Talks: Barak, Abbas Hold Secret Meeting

08/31/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak reportedly met secretly with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the eve of peace talks.

Barak met with Abbas Sunday night in Amman, Israeli media reported, hours after meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah at his palace. Barak reportedly returned to Israel to brief Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu between the meetings.

Ovadia Yosef and the silence - so far - of American Jewish leaders

Update: in this blog, I asked what Jewish leader would be the first to condemn Rabbi Ovadia Yosef''s death wish for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian people.  Answer: Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).  This just in from Foxman:

Israeli-Palestinian talks impending: does Obama have something up his sleeve?

A major Israeli-Palestinian summit in Washington is only hours away, but you'd hardly know it by the sparse media coverage and the relative paucity of comment from an administration that is working hard to keep expectations in check.

Looking through my in-box, there are lots of statements and briefings from the White House and State Department – but only a smattering of news about the talks, which will begin at the State Department dinner on Wednesday night.

U.S., Israel Lobby Against Missile Sales to Syria, Lebanon

08/27/2010

(JTA) -- Israel and the United States reportedly are attempting to prevent missile sales to Lebanon and Syria.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Vladimir Putin, his Russian counterpart, in a bid to persuade him not to sell P-800 Yakhont supersonic cruise missiles to Syria, Ha'aretz reported on Friday, and Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak is set to make the same case in Moscow this week. Israel's case is that Hezbollah used Chinese-manufactured missiles purchased by Syria to target Israeli ships during the 2006 Lebanon war.

Israeli-Palestinian Preview: Who’s Coming to Dinner at the White House?

08/27/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The White House dinner on Sept. 1, prior to the official launch of renewed Palestinian-Israeli talks, will be key to outlining the contours of the negotiations.

"The dinner will help to restore trust," Dennis Ross, the Obama administration's top Iran policy official, said in a conference call last Friday with Jewish organizational leaders.

Unless, that is, it turns into a food fight.

Renewed Talks Seen Carrying Big Risks

‘Huge stakes’ for region, Obama administration if expectations unmet.

08/25/2010
Washington Correspondent

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meet at the State Department next week for their first direct negotiations in 20 months, predictions of quick breakthroughs and swift progress will be in short supply.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Special Envoy George Mitchell.

Will Netanyahu Change Coalition?

Experts divided on prospects of talks, but some suggest prime minister may be willing to bring in Kadima.

08/24/2010
Staff Writer

If the Palestinians are serious about a peace agreement with Israel, many analysts believe Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has the desire and ability to deliver it — even if it means having to change his coalition.

“If [Mahmoud] Abbas decides to move forward and do what is doable, he will have a partner in Netanyahu,” said Jonathan Rynhold, a senior lecturer at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said his focus is on security before engaging in peace talks.

Will Israeli-Palestinian Talks Be About Appearance or Substance?

08/23/2010
JTA

 WASHINGTON (JTA) -- It's a peace conference where nothing is off the table. -- or on it, for that matter.

The Obama administration's invitation to Palestinian and Israeli leaders to launch direct talks on Sept. 2 attempts to reconcile Israeli demands for no preconditions with Palestinian demands that the talks address all the core issues: final borders, the fate of Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees.

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