Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu received a standing ovation at the recent AIPAC conference when he declared, “Jerusalem is not a settlement. It’s our capital.” Pronouncements about Jerusalem as the united, eternal capital of Israel have long served as guaranteed applause lines in virtually every Jewish audience. Israel and world Jewry devote a great deal of attention to the city’s current and future political status.
In absence of talks, Palestinian prime minister’s move could trigger violence, experts warn.
‘Next year in Jerusalem.”
With that renewed cry from Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad about the creation of a Palestinian state as early as next summer — with east Jerusalem as its capital — several analysts feared this week that Fayyad has built up Palestinian expectations to a point that could spark violence.
Scramble to decipher new diplomatic language; Gen. Petraeus’ comments seen as ‘dangerous.’
James D. Besser And Stewart Ain
With nerves frayed after the worst U.S. - Israel diplomatic dust-up in years, Jewish leaders this week were trying to assess whether there has been a fundamental change in U.S. policy toward Jerusalem — or simply a change in tone by an ally frustrated by the long years of stalemate.
Even as they wade through a swamp of unresolved controversies on their interim peace agreement amid distrust exacerbated by a terrorist murder, Benjamin Netanyahu and Yasir Arafat face the threat of that agreement’s broader collapse at their summit near Washington this week.
On the eve of his first U.S. visit since becoming deputy prime minister of Israel, Avigdor Lieberman, who calls for stripping Israeli Arabs of their citizenship, has received a provisional pass from much of the Jewish establishment — and a stamp of approval from one leader who denounced him just last May.
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, told The Jewish Week this week, “I don’t see anything extremist since he became part of the government.”
With Avigdor Lieberman poised to play the role of coalition kingmaker after Tuesday’s Israeli electoral tangle, some Jewish groups here are readying a hasbara campaign aimed at convincing Americans that the Yisrael Beiteinu leader is not the racist and political extremist portrayed in the Israeli and international media.
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.
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