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.
The first time I heard about a "virtual simcha" was in the late 1990s. Detroit was hit with a massive snowstorm and the 8-day old baby boy's aunt who was to play the role of rabbi was stuck at the airport in New York. The rabbi improvised and she officiated at her nephew's bris via speaker phone.
Of course, if this happened in 2010 and not in the late 1990s the bris would have been officiated by the rabbi through Skype, and she would have seen the simcha and been seen by the attendees.
Using technology to add people to a simcha is becoming more common. An increasing number of grandparents and great-grandparents are attending their grandchildren's wedding in the virtual world.
Just last month I officiated at a wedding that was being streamed live to Israel so that the bride's elderly grandparents could "be there." Through Ustream.tv, the grandparents felt like they were at the wedding even if it meant staying up late into the night in Israel.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Support for the "Clinton parameters" has increased among Israelis and Palestinians, a new poll showed.
Palestinians were split, 49 percent to 49 percent, on accepting the overall parameters; Israelis supported it 52 percent to 38 percent.
The poll, published Tuesday, was conducted among Israelis by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and among Palestinians by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah.
(JTA) -- The United States has dropped deportation proceedings against the son of a Hamas founder who served as a spy for Israel's Shin Bet security service.
Mosab Hassan Yousef will be granted asylum in the United States following a routine background check, an immigration judge ruled Wednesday during a deportation hearing in San Diego, Calif. A U.S. Department of Homeland Security attorney said during the short hearing that the government was dropping its objections to the asylum request.
Yousef, 32, a convert to Christianity, has lived in the United States since 2007.
Joan Arnow, 80, who died Tuesday at her home in Scarsdale after a long bout with melanoma, was recalled lovingly by family members at funeral services Wednesday as a remarkably warm and generous woman, both emotionally and philanthropically.
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."
Why does the marginal and radical organization J Street continue to monopolize James Besser’s reports from Washington (“Fresh Debate Emerging on Strategic Alliance,” June 11)?
It doesn’t represent the mainstream Jewish community and it calls for imposing a solution that Israel feels strongly will deny it the ability to defend itself. Engaging in nonstop criticism of Israeli policies while giving a pass to Palestinian terrorism and the Hamas butchers, J Street is as pro-Israel as Jews For Jesus is Jewish.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Middle East Committee has drafted a report on the Israel/Palestine conflict that has some Jewish groups claiming anti-Semitism (“The Presbyterians: Exacerbating The Problem,” Editorial, June 18).