JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel's Cabinet unanimously approved a commission of inquiry into the interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla that left nine passengers dead.
Two foreign observers were named to the commission.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during Monday's meeting to approve the independent public commission that its establishment "will make it clear to the entire world that the State of Israel acts according to the law, transparently, and with full responsibility."
For public consumption, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in Washington this week, had to share the world's indignation about Israel's naughty behavior on that ship in not letting a band of Turkish brigands throw its soldiers into the sea.
"Unlawful, unacceptable," is how he described the incident. "Our main demand is how to end the blockade on Gaza and I believe the entire world stands with us." Right.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish leaders pressed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the issues of incitement and direct talks.
Abbas met for dinner Wednesday evening with an array of the national Jewish leadership under the auspices of the Center for Middle East Peace. The meeting came after he met with President Obama at the White House.
The major topic of the evening was Abbas' reluctance to advance from proximity talks, brokered by the United States, to direct talks with Israel. Both the Obama and Netanyahu administrations favor direct talks.
With loss of Turkey — once a leading vacation destination — life in the Jewish state feels even lonelier.
Jerusalem — There was a time, not very long ago, when Israelis had a friend in the Muslim world. As bad as things got with the Palestinians, the Syrians, the Lebanese, Israelis could point to Turkey as a solid bulwark against near total isolation in the Muslim world.
Perhaps if the Israeli government did not, in the words of my friend in Modiin (who made aliyah last year), believe that behaving like gangsters enhances the State of Israel’s security, we would not have Israel’s face being bloodied on the world stage (“Israel’s Delegitimizers Are Gaining,” June 4). To borrow a line from intrepid British politician Daniel Hannan, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has now shown himself as the “devalued leader of a devalued government.”
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Obama administration appears to be rebuffing calls from some Jewish groups for the United States to be more assertive and public in defending Israel regarding the flotilla incident.
The bluntest appeal for a more pronounced pro-Israel posture came from Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League's national director, who is in Israel meeting with the Israeli leadership.
First, Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz last fall called Richard Goldstone a “Jewish anti-Semite.”
Then last December, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the “Goldstone threat” was one of “three primary threats facing us today.” Just last month, the threat of demonstrations in his native South Africa caused him to momentarily cancel plans to attend his grandson’s bar mitzvah.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- With nations around the world condemning Israel for the deaths of nine people aboard a Gaza-bound ship, israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a planned visit to the White House.
Netanyahu was scheduled to meet Tuesday with President Obama following a weekend visit to Canada, which included a working meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The visit would have been Netanyahu's first meeting with Obama since a late March meeting at the White House in which the administration was accused of snubbing the Israeli leader.