Stewart Ain’s article “U.S.-Israel Tensions Now Hitting Pulpits” (April 23), illustrates a high degree of ambivalence among American rabbis over President Barack Obama’s unprecedented serious, forthright and evenhanded efforts to achieve a lasting two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is entirely understandable after eight years of totally laissez-faire U.S. diplomacy, which left the parties to their own devices, resulting in today’s virtually intractable stalemate, with the positions of both sides moving even further apart.
N.Y. area rabbis, some feeling ‘forced,’ wading into rocky political waters; anxiety seen in pews.
As the strain in U.S.-Israel relations continues, some area rabbis who generally don’t mix religion and politics on the pulpit are setting aside those constraints.
“People were asking me and my hand was sort of forced,” said Rabbi Perry Rank, spiritual leader of the Midway Jewish Center, a Conservative synagogue in Syosset, L.I. “My sense is that Mr. [Barack] Obama has unnerved the American Jewish community and people are looking for a perspective on the issue.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Israel's U.S. ambassador formally met with the director of J Street.
"The conversation, which took place at the Israeli Embassy, lasted approximately one hour and covered a wide range of topics, including the peace process, the U.S.-Israel relationship and Iran," said a statement from the group describing the Thursday afternoon meeting between Ambassador Michael Oren and Jeremy Ben-Ami.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- More than three quarters of the U.S. Senate urged the Obama administration not to allow tensions with Israel to harm relations or the prospects of a return to Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Israeli officials in bind about planned visit by sheik with popular TV show.
Jerusalem — The Israeli government will have a tough choice to make if a Saudi cleric with a popular TV show makes good on his promise to broadcast from Jerusalem.
On Sunday Sheik Mohammed al-Areefi, a Muslim cleric who hosts a program with many young viewers, announced that he would be in Jerusalem next week, a claim that caught Israeli officials, and at least some Muslim officials, completely off-guard.
Israeli newspapers are seething with rumors of an likely attempt by the Obama administration to “impose” a settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
That seems unlikely to me, if for no other reason than you can't very well impose a two-state solution when there are, in fact, three entities that are part of this equation, and one of them – Hamas – has no interest in anything resembling peace.
So AIPAC has convinced some 327 members of the House of Representatives to sign a letter essentially telling the Obama administration to keep its criticisms of the Israeli government private.
Mazel tov; that's an impressive achievement for the pro-Israel lobby group, although it probably didn't take much arm twisting; there's a lot of unease on Capitol Hill about where this administration's Mideast policy is headed.