WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The joke making the rounds in Jerusalem ahead of next week's Netanyahu-Obama summit: Time to bone up on geology.
Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, told reporters this week that he was misheard when he was quoted as telling Israeli diplomats that a "tectonic rift" was emerging between Israel and the United States. The Israelis didn't get it, said the U.S.-born Oren: He meant there was a "tectonic shift."
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish and international groups called on the United Nations' Secretary General to rebuke the Libyan envoy, who currently leads the General Assembly, for likening Israel to Nazis.
Ali Abdussalam Treki’s "comments are an outrage, a blight upon the United Nations and his high office, and an impediment to historical truth and to peace," B’nai B’rith International President Dennis Glick and Executive Vice President Daniel Mariaschin wrote Tuesday in a letter to Ban Ki-moon.
Broad international sanctions aimed at thwarting Iran's nuclear ambitions could be a step closer, thanks to a U.S.-brokered deal that includes Russia and China, countries that have balked at tough economic penalties.
“We have reached agreement on a strong draft with the cooperation of both Russia and China,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday. “We plan to circulate that draft resolution to the entire [UN] Security Council today.”
A year ago, the Obama administration decided to rejoin the UN Human Rights Council, the ridiculous panel that seems to believe Israel is the only human rights problem in the world, on the theory that it could reform the group from the inside.
Some reform; last week Libya was elected to the Council.
American pro-Israel groups, mostly an echo chamber for the Netanyahu government in Jerusalem, have jumped on the “don't present a U.S. peace plan” refrain like ants jump on picnic scraps. But a longtime Israeli diplomat has different ideas.
JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Obama administration said it would "hold accountable" Israel or the Palestinians should either side undermine trust during renewed peace negotiations.
U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said in a statement released Sunday that the first round of indirect peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians mediated by the United States had been completed.
The opening of the so-called proximity talks were "serious and wide-ranging," he said.
Jewish leaders expect no breakthroughs from Mitchell’s shuttle diplomacy, but say they could bear modest fruit.
James D. Besser
Rarely have peace negotiations started with such low expectations — but that doesn’t mean the indirect “proximity talks” between Israel and the Palestinians, due to begin as early as this week with new rounds of shuttle diplomacy by U.S. special envoy George Mitchell, are doomed to failure.
While suggesting that major breakthroughs are unlikely, many analysts say the talks could prove fruitful, but only if the Obama administration understands the limitations of what the parties themselves can reasonably be expected to do.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama renewed Syria sanctions for a year, noting among other factors its continued backing for terrorist groups.
Obama wrote to the U.S. Congress on Monday saying that he was renewing congressionally mandated sanctions first implemented by President Bush in 2004. The continued sanctions affect trade with Syria and the assets of individuals and entities associated with the regime of President Bashar Assad.
Jewish groups were scrambling on Wednesday to develop strategies for protesting next week's likely New York visit of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The Iranian leader has requested a visa to attend the U.N.-sponsored Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. Obama administration officials hope the meeting will strengthen the 1970 pact as they wrestle with how to enlist international support for tough sanctions aimed at thwarting Iran's nuclear ambitions.