Wednesday, November 18th, 2009
Haven’t we seen this movie before?
The script goes like this: Washington objects to Israeli settlement construction; there are some angry words on both sides, and then an apparent coming together around some vaguely defined, transparent face-saving compromise. Both sides insist there’s no crisis in the relationship.
Jewish leaders divided on what Obama should stress in his GA speech.
President Barack Obama’s speech to the Jewish Federations of North America (formerly UJC) General Assembly next week, his first to a Jewish group since his inauguration, could be a turning point in his low standing in Israeli polls and help blunt the skepticism of many Jewish leaders here about his Middle East policies.
(Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will also speak, an embarrassment of media riches for the group.)
J Street, the pro-peace-process political action committee and lobby that many pro-Israel hawks love to hate, demonstrated this week that it can pull off an overflow Washington conference, attract hordes of media, feed the passion of supporters and use new technologies to satisfy young activists.
Even some American supporters of Lieberman, above, say his outspokenness could be a problem.
Next month’s expected Washington visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could prove awkward for pro-Israel groups here and explosive for the Obama administration, largely because of the early bombshells dropped by his new foreign minister, Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman.
Days after taking office, Lieberman summarily discarded the results of the 2007 Annapolis peace conference and warned outsiders not to meddle in Israeli policy and politics.
Anti-Israel remarks by Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadenijad are seen as rejection of closer ties with moderate Western governments
Monday’s anti-Israel tirade by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the Durban II conference on racism could undermine Obama administration diplomatic outreach, several Jewish leaders who attended the controversial conference in Geneva said this week.
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.
As attacks continue, new pro-Israel, pro-peace process group seeks to arouse a Jewish silent majority
Delegates to the upcoming national conference by J Street, the group that has become the favorite target of a furious pro-Israel establishment, will face both their organization’s exhilarating rise — and eroding commitment to Israel-related issues by the very Jews it hopes to attract to its ranks.