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Riverdale Synagogue Bomb Plot Case Carries High Stakes

Lawyers for Newburgh Four claim entrapment in incident cited as case in point for nonprofit security grants.

07/07/2010
Assistant Managing Editor

 When the trial of the so-called Newburgh Four, accused of a plotting to blow up two Riverdale synagogues, commences next month, it will be the first case of alleged anti-Jewish terrorism in a New York courtroom in more than 15 years.

NYPD officers patrol in front of Riverdale Temple, one of two Riverdale synagogues targeted in bomb plot. getty images

Netanyahu - Obama summit: who won, who lost?

Tonight's Israeli newspapers are touting President Obama's promise to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. will press for “direct” talks between Israel and the Palestinians as soon as possible instead of the indirect “proximity” talks now underway.

This is supposedly a victory for Netanyahu, who in news stories leading up to today's White House summit was portrayed as putting direct talks at the top of his Washington wish list, but I wonder; is that what he really wants?

Netanyahu in Washington, Part 1

 U.S.-Israel summits are generally pretty predictable affairs, but today's Barack Obama – Benjamin Netanyahu meeting takes the honey cake.

A kiss-and-make-up session, we learned weeks ago. A chance for Netanyahu to demonstrate all the “unprecedented” things he's done to advance the peace process, to use a word that pro-Israel groups here can't seem to get enough of. An opportunity for Obama, chastened by the intense political reaction to his earlier dealing with Netanyahu, to show he's a nice guy who really likes Israel and can get along with Netanyahu.

Obama, Netanyahu to Focus on Move to Direct Talks

07/02/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Proximity talks between the Israelis and Palestinians have addressed "core issues" and President Obama is ready to move to direct talks, White House officials said.

Ben Rhodes and Daniel Shapiro, two senior staffers on the White House national security council, spoke Friday afternoon with reporters ahead of a summit Tuesday between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Summer Interns in Chicago: Building a Community and Jewish Identity

07/02/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

The 2010-2011 school year is likely to be a busy one for pro-Israel advocates on college campuses across North America. Jessica Ost, a rising junior at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, is spending her summer vacation preparing for the battles ahead.

Jessica is working with the Chicago Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), where she is learning Israel advocacy as well as other issues related to the Jewish community as part of the Harriet and Maurice Lewis Family Summer Intern Program, a project of Hillels of Illinois.

2010 participants in the Lewis Family Summer Intern Program

Obama's immigration reform speech: first reactions

President Obama, coming off a handful of important legislative victories, hinted today in a major speech that he might try his hand at legislation on the third rail of American politics – immigration reform.

That's good news for Jewish groups like the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and the American Jewish Committee, as well as a coalition of some 600 faith leaders that gathered at the White House today and delivered a letter urging strong action to pass legislation that “both protects our interests and abides by our values” before the end of the year.

Stuart Levey: The Man Trying to Make Iran Sanctions Work

07/01/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Stuart Levey was given a big stick when the Bush administration made him the first under secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence. But the stick only started to hurt its targets -- terrorist groups and rogue nations -- when he figured out how to soft-talk nations and private businesses into going along.

Levey is that rarity -- a senior government official who has transitioned not just between two administrations, but between two presidents with profound foreign policy differences.

Stuart Levey (U.S. Treasury Department)

Settlement Freeze, Iran, Peace Talks to Headline Vital Obama-Bibi Meeting

06/30/2010
JTA

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."

Netanyahu In D.C., The Sequel

06/30/2010
Editorial

 If all goes according to plan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will call on President Barack Obama at the White House next week for a visit postponed after Israel’s interdiction of the Gaza flotilla in June. All signs point to a continuation of the kiss-and-make-up efforts by two leaders who understand that public friction between the close allies serves the interest of neither.

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