Mahmoud Abbas

Netanyahu - Obama summit: who won, who lost?

Tonight's Israeli newspapers are touting President Obama's promise to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. will press for “direct” talks between Israel and the Palestinians as soon as possible instead of the indirect “proximity” talks now underway.

This is supposedly a victory for Netanyahu, who in news stories leading up to today's White House summit was portrayed as putting direct talks at the top of his Washington wish list, but I wonder; is that what he really wants?

Get Smart: A Reader Correctly Corrects Me

What follows is a letter sent by Alan Septimus that better illuminates the situation originally discussed in the Media column regarding the flotilla (June 9) 

(The next three paragraphs are what Mr. Septimus is primarily referring to:)

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.

Abbas, And A Few Good Men

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.

Jewish Leaders Press Abbas on Direct Talks, Incitement

06/10/2010

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.

Obama Says Gaza Situation ‘Unsustainable,’ Pledges $400 Million

06/10/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama said the situation in the Gaza Strip was "unsustainable" and that he would budget an additional $400 million to improve conditions there and in the West Bank.

Obama and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a meeting here Wednesday discussed the aftermath of Israel's deadly raid last week on a Turkish-flagged ship ferrying aid and activists to Gaza Strip in order to break Israel's blockade of the strip.

Media Roundup: After The Flotilla, Cracks On The Right?

Some chilling words, even from Israel’s friends.

06/09/2010
Associate Editor

 There was a time when Jews trusted “the world’s” good sense. Former Israel Chief Rabbi Meir Lau, a child in the Holocaust, remembered Jews — and the Germans, too — wondering, on the eve of the Final Solution, “What will the world say,” and finding out — not much at all.

Netanyahu, Obama to Meet at End of June

06/08/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet in Washington with President Obama at the end of the month.

Israeli officials told Jewish groups Tuesday that Netanyahu would be in the U.S. capital on June 28-29.

Netanyahu had been scheduled to meet with Obama last week, but was diverted by the fallout of Israel's deadly raid on a Turkish-flagged ship attempting to break Israel's blockade of Gaza.

Obama and Netanyahu both want to upgrade U.S.-brokered "proximity" talks between Israel and the Palestinians to direct talks.

Israel’s Navy Hits Terrorists at Sea

06/07/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel's Navy killed four men that it said were planning a terror attack at sea.

Early Monday morning, the Navy forces fired on Palestinians wearing diving suits off the coast of Gaza. The men were "on their way to perpetrate a terrorist attack," according to the Israel Defense Forces spokesman. No Israeli forces were hurt.

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