Benjamin Netanyahu

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.

Judge In Israel’s Flotilla Inquiry Wants Wider Scope

06/30/2010

(JTA) — The judge who is leading an Israeli inquiry into its interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla has requested a wider scope for the investigation.

Jacob Turkel, a retired Israeli Supreme Court justice, has threatened to resign unless his independent committee is given the right to conduct a full judicial inquiry, according to Israeli reports Tuesday. He also has requested to add two members to the committee.

Shalit Family, Supporters Begin Cross-Israel March

06/29/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- The family of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and thousands of supporters began a protest march to mark the four years of his captivity.

Under the slogan "Gilad is still alive," at least 2,000 supporters on Sunday joined Shalit's family on a march from northern Israel to Jerusalem, a 120-mile walk that is expected to take about 12 days. The march, which left from the family's home in Mitzpe Hila near the Lebanese border, will make stops in sites significant to the family.

Israeli Foreign Ministry employees stage slowdown, could affect Netanyahu's U.S. visit

06/28/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israeli Foreign Ministry employees have stopped making arrangements for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington next month.

The action is part of a partial strike to achieve better wages for Israeli diplomats, Haaretz reported Monday.

Oren ‘Clarifies’: Pollard Spied for Israel

06/23/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Israel's ambassador to Washington "clarified" that Jonathan Pollard spied for Israel and was not run by rogues, as he had said earlier.

Michael Oren in an interview Tuesday on the Washington news station WTOP was answering questions about whether Israel still ran spies in the United States. He was making the case that such allegations are long out of date.

Reaction Mixed to Israeli Announcement on Easing of Gaza Blockade

06/22/2010
JTA

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel's decision to loosen its blockade on Gaza is drawing both praise and criticism.

Israel's security Cabinet on Sunday voted to ease land-based civilian imports to the Gaza Strip; the naval blockade will remain in place.

The move garnered praise from the White House, which released a statement Sunday saying it welcomed the new policy toward Gaza.

Israel’s Conversion Bill May Change

Knesset Member David Rotem says law
would apply only to Israeli conversions;
Reform and Conservative leaders not satisfied.

06/16/2010
Staff Writer

 The author of Israel’s controversial conversion bill has for the first time suggested a change in the bill in the wake of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s promise that any bill dealing with conversion “must ensure the unity of the Jewish people in its entirety.”

U.S. and Israel Agree on Key Issues—For Now

06/15/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) – The relationship between the Obama administration, the Netanyahu government and the pro-Israel community is ensconced on all fronts in “agree, for now” mode.

On isolating Iran, everyone agrees -- and is pleased -- that the new set of U.N. sanctions will make it easier for the United States to enhance its own unilateral sanctions.

Differences are looming, however, on whether the U.S. sanctions should carve out exemptions for countries that helped push through the U.N. sanctions.

Support For Gaza Blockade Seen Sinking in Israel

International pressure causing some Israelis to question sanctions.

06/15/2010
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv—Amid heavy international pressure on the issue, domestic political support for Israel’s economic blockade of the Gaza Strip border passages has badly frayed.

Once confined largely to the Israeli left, criticism of a policy that banned basic goods such as fresh meat, margarine and plaster has spread to security hawks who acknowledge the closure is not serving its original policy goal of weakening Hamas. That may make it easier politically for the government to make concessions on a blockade that, until now, has enjoyed widespread popular support.

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