A largely behind-the-scenes campaign on behalf of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard has gone public in recent weeks, as a variety of Jewish organizations and former American political officials have urged the onetime naval intelligence analyst’s release from a life prison sentence.
AIPAC’s relationship with the Obama administration hinges on the policies of Bibi Netanyahu
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which holds its annual policy conference in Washington next week, could face its toughest battle with an administration in more than a decade, depending on the proposals Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brings to Washington later in May.
Netanyahu speech could be dry run for meeting with Obama
In a speech that could be a dry run for his upcoming meetings with President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said his government is ready to “resume peace negotiations” with the Palestinians “without any delay, without any preconditions, the sooner the better” and called for a “triple-track” approach that includes political as well as economic and security negotiations.
More is at stake in D.C. meeting for Netanyahu than for Obama, observers say.
The smart money (is there such a thing when it comes to American presidents and Israeli prime ministers?) says, No friction.
The atmospherics (the Israeli prime minister won’t utter the words “two-state solution” and his foreign minister wants to ignore prior accords, while the American president wants an end to settlement building) say, Friction galore.
Obama’s Iran deadline bought some time in his relationship with Israel and its leader, Benjamin Netanyahu.
While President Obama met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu halfway on the volatile issue of Iran during their inaugural meeting in Washington this week, gaps between the two allies on the issue remain wide — and could get wider still as the administration begins dealing with a palate of unattractive policy options.
The Obama administration is confident it will retain strong Jewish support even as it ratchets up the pressure on Israel and offers clues that, unlike its predecessors, it means what it says about the thorny issue of Jewish settlements on the West Bank.
While the pro-Israel establishment is already reacting angrily to the administration’s shifted red lines on settlements, many analysts say President Barack Obama’s ability to soften tough positions with pro-Israel reassurances will prevent a broad Jewish backlash.
Tamped-down rhetoric on Iran seen as “accommodation” with Obama’s new policy shift on Iran.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dialed down his intense rhetoric about the threat posed by a nuclear Iran in his long-awaited public response to a tightening squeeze from the Obama administration on Sunday.
The unfolding drama on the streets of Tehran vastly complicates the fight for sanctions against Iran. getty images
On Monday AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby group that has been at the forefront of efforts to impose and stiffen sanctions on Iran, distributed to reporters an interview with an Iranian demonstrator calling on the international community to apply “much more sanctions” on the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
A public opinion pollster is interviewing people on the street. He stops four people and asks, “Excuse me, what is your opinion of the meat shortage?” A Russian says, “What is opinion?” A Pole says, “What is meat?” An American says, “What is shortage?” An Israeli says, “What is ‘excuse me’?” My first time in Israel was an education. But not in the way I had anticipated.
As President Barack Obama pumps new energy into what had been a moribund peace process, Jewish leaders are voicing concern that his line in the sand against new Israeli construction on the West Bank is unmatched by a concrete, reciprocal demand from the Palestinians.
Although Obama, in his address to the Muslim world from Cairo last week, emphasized the need to abandon violence and for Israel’s enemies to accept its right to exist, some fear the pressure on Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will send a different message.