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."
Israel did what it was told, giving in on the blockade without getting anything back, not even a Red Cross visit for Shalit, so everyone can feel better about themselves -- particularly those leftist American Jews who have had such a hard time supporting Israel lately -- except Shalit and his family won't feel better about themselves, Shalit still is in his his fourth year of isolated suffering, getting nothing out of this.
We'll see how much pressure anyone keeps on Hamas to release Shalit. Everyone who wanted Israel to be "smart," well, this is what they asked for. Let's see how much the pro-Beinart bloggers will ever mention Shalit again. And now let's see if it works for Shalit or if this whole episode will be exposed as yet another scamming of Israel. The Palestinians see this for what it is, a sign that they can take even more chances -- with Israel increasingly being stripped of its right to self-defense.
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.
JERUSALEM (JTA) – On the day last week that Israel gained admission to the prestigious Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Israel's continued control over the Palestinians was eroding its global standing.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- When Elie Wiesel says it's all kosher, it's good.
For now, anyway.
President Obama capped an intensive two weeks of administration make-nice with Israeli officials and the American Jewish community by hosting Wiesel, the Nobel peace laureate and Holocaust memoirist, for lunch at the White House.
"It was a good kosher lunch," was the first thing Wiesel pronounced, emerging from the White House to a gaggle of reporters.
The Jerusalem Post is reporting merger talks between the American Jewish Committee and the American Jewish Congress.
Pardon me while I snort.
In 23 years on this beat, I can't tell you how many times I've written about rumors of a merger between these two groups that have sometimes quarreled over which has the right to be called "AJC." It's never amounted to much except talk.
The skies over Israel were clear on Monday night, clear enough for the annual fireworks on the eve of Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Independence Day.
But for some Israelis, the celebration of the country’s 62nd birthday was overcast.
“62, Under a U.S. Cloud,” a headline over an editorial in the Jerusalem Post declared.
The newspaper said the current chilled relations between Israel and the Obama administration because of the pace of Middle East peace negotiations, added to the threat of a nuclear Iran, cast a pall over Independence Day.
If it’s time for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be creative, as was asserted in Francine Klagsbrun’s opinion piece last week, it’s time for the author and Israel to learn from history, or be doomed to repeat the disasters of appeasement. Moral relativism is now in ascendancy, so that there is the equivalence of the Israel narrative and the Palestinian narrative, no true or false, no right or wrong, but never let the facts get in the way.
With their own counter events, rallies and even popcorn,
pro-Israel students made sure Israeli Apartheid Week didn’t dominate campus discourse.
Last Wednesday, approximately 70 New York University students viewed “The Impact of Occupation: This Body is a Prison,” as part of Israeli Apartheid Week.
While they watched the film, which is highly critical of Israeli policies in the occupied West Bank, many in the audience noshed on popcorn from cups plastered with pro-Israel messages.
ADL's Foxman suggests event as Israeli government digs in over Obama demands.
Stewart Ain and Joshua Mitnick
Tel Aviv - American Jews should consider a march on Washington unless the "crisis" in the U.S.-Israel relationship is resolved soon, according to Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.
He observed that there is a "debate in the American Jewish community" about the best way to achieve Arab-Israeli peace and that such a march in the nation's capital would demonstrate where the American Jewish community lines up on this issue.