Barack Obama

The last word on the Netanyahu - Obama summit: what we don't know

What we know after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Washington visit this week: both the Israeli leader and President Obama have decided that for various reasons it's best not to be quarreling, especially in public. Both have a strong vested interest in restoring the public trappings of the “special” U.S.-Israel relationship.

The problem is what we don't  know; the pomp-rich visit leaves us with more questions than answers:

Bibi’s Back in Town

07/09/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

What a difference a few weeks make, eh?

It was only a month or so ago that Israel’s relationship with the United States government was in serious trouble. First it was the visit of Vice-President Biden to Israel that was marred by Israel’s ill-timed announcement of new housing starts in East Jerusalem. President Obama was said to be furious. Then it was Israel’s handling of the Gaza flotilla that seemed to anger everyone in the world who was awake and breathing at the time.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

At Obama - Netanyahu Summit, Great Pomp But Questions Lingering

Bibi-Obama meeting high on atmospherics, low on specifics going forward.

07/07/2010
Washington Correspondent

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu staged a diplomatic dance in Washington on Tuesday meant to show the world — and their respective constituencies — that they are still in step.  

But the carefully choreographed atmospherics belied potential difficulties ahead and many unanswered questions, starting with these: will President Barack Obama stick to his stated goal of moving aggressively on the Israeli-Palestinian front despite a plateful of international and domestic political problems?

President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a “make-nice” meeting at the White House  Tuesday. getty images

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'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.

Richard Cohen Psychoanalyzes President Obama

President Obama, cool and detached and still sounding more like a professor than a president, remains a mystery to many analysts. In today's Washington Post, columnist Richard Cohen takes a stab at psychoanalyzing the chief executive, and the results are interesting.

B'nai B'rith poll: the latest in the 'who can slam J Street the most' sweepstakes?

Update: the folks at Americans for Peace Now point out that I missed a key finding of the B'nai B'rith survey. APN spokesman Ori Nir, in a press release, points out that "a full 55 percent agreed" with the statement "A two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is essential to Israel's survival as a national home of the Jewish people as a vibrant democracy."  

Fresh Debate Emerging On U.S.-Israel Strategic Alliance

New round of questions over whether Israel is liability to U.S.

06/09/2010
Washington Correspondent

A relationship built on the notion that Israel is a critical U.S. strategic asset may be weakening as more and more analysts in both countries argue that the Jewish state is becoming more of a foreign policy liability.

So far that view has not penetrated Israel’s overwhelming support in Congress, and all but the most partisan Jewish leaders say it hasn’t affected Obama administration policy. On the contrary, there was evidence strategic cooperation was deepening even before President Barack Obama’s recent Jewish charm offensive.

Respected foreign policy analyst Anthony Cordesman: Genuine alliances are two-way streets.

After Flotilla Debacle, Will Netanyahu Change Course?

Analysts disagree on whether he will reach out to Kadima and how he will handle inquiry demands.

06/08/2010
Staff Writer

Depending on whom you ask, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is either on the verge of reshuffling his cabinet or is digging in his heels following last week’s Gaza flotilla debacle.

“I don’t see any sign of it,” Yossi Alpher, an Israeli political analyst, said of a possible government shake-up. “Netanyahu continues to rely on a cabinet of seven for key policy decisions.”

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni of the Kadima party, above, called Monday for a no-confidence vote in Benjamin Netanyahu’s gov't

Lazio Tops Ticket As NY GOP Chooses Candidates

06/04/2010
Assistant Managing Editor

Eager to win back control of Albany, New York’s Republicans engaged in a spirited battle over the top of their party’s ticket Wednesday at their convention in Manhattan, with supporters of Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, a Democrat, struggling to get him on the ballot.

Although Levy, who had the backing of GOP state chairman Ed Cox, had enough support to get on the ballot had he been a Republican, 28 percent, he failed to muster enough support in a second roll call to allow him on the ballot before switched parties.

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