Prime Minister

Clinton Softens Rhetoric, But Differences Linger

Reiterates ‘unshakable bond’ with Israel amid calls for calm.

03/18/2010
Staff Writer

After a week of harsh U.S. criticism over what it saw as an Israeli “insult” to Vice President Joe Biden, the Obama administration toned down the rhetoric Tuesday as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dismissed suggestions that there was a crisis in U.S.-Israeli relations.
 

Links: the U.S.-Israel crisis intensifies

The U.S.- Israel diplomatic firestorm continues to rage, and a lot of questions remain unanswered: exactly what did Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu know about the plan to build 1600 new housing units in East Jerusalem, announced with such devastating impact when Vice President Joe Biden headed to Israel on a make-nice mission, and when did he know it? What is the Obama administration trying to do with its tough new demands on Israel and harsh rhetoric?  Where does all this lead?

Here are some interesting and very different takes on the  crisis.

U.S.-Israel tensions rising, high stakes for AIPAC

The escalating U.S.-Israel diplomatic crisis will dramatically change the calculus for the upcoming AIPAC policy conference, which starts on Sunday,  in ways difficult to predict.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to be the top administration speaker, and you have to bet AIPAC leaders are nervous about how she will be received by the 3000-plus delegates after her tongue-lashing call to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week.

Biden's Israel speech: not a game changer

 So did Vice President Joe Biden accomplish his top goal during this week's Israel visit – reassuring a skeptical Israeli public about the Obama administration's intentions while also reassuring the Palestinians that the administration is still determined to play a role in bringing the two sides back together for serious peace talks?

The Palestinian With A Plan For Statehood

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s determination to build transparent institutions on the West Bank has won many admirers. Can he succeed?

03/11/2010
JTA

Jerusalem — Pundits and politicians have taken recently to comparing Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to Israel’s founding father, David Ben-Gurion.

No less a figure than President Shimon Peres, one of Ben-Gurion’s foremost disciples, is the latest Israeli leader to offer the accolade.

The reason is simple: Like Ben-Gurion, Fayyad is building institutions of statehood.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad says he is attempting to point his people toward statehood. JTA

Israel’s ‘Macho’ Move

East Jerusalem housing announcement seen marring Biden visit amid ‘proximity’ talk launch.

03/11/2010
Staff Writer

The Israeli approval Tuesday of another 1,600 new housing units in east Jerusalem — coming just hours after Vice President Joe Biden announced in Jerusalem the launching of new Israeli-Palestinian peace talks — stunned the White House but should not have been surprising, according to Middle East expert Stephen P. Cohen.

Burned By The Freeze

With West Bank settlement projects on hold, many families and developers are feeling the pinch.

03/11/2010
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — With five kids and monthly rent topping $1,200, it didn’t take long for Ronen Mizrachi to calculate how much more he would get for his money if he moved his family out of Jerusalem.

So two years ago, Mizrachi, a lawyer, and his wife, an optometrist, purchased a piece of land in Har Gilo, a small, tranquil Jewish settlement-cum-village about five miles south of Jerusalem.

An artists’ rendering of the new building planned by Lev Binyamin.

What’s Wrong With Israel’s Proposed Conversion Bill

03/11/2010
Special To the Jewish Week

Only in Israel. On the day that the U.S. vice president arrived in Israel, reportedly to thwart Israel’s bombing of Iran, and following two days of intensive talks between Israel’s prime minister and President Obama’s special envoy to the Middle East, the Israeli government almost fell ... because of a proposed bill about conversion to Judaism.

Israel’s ‘Macho’ Move

East Jerusalem housing announcement seen marring Biden visit amid ‘proximity’ talk launch.

03/10/2010
Staff Writer

The Israeli approval Tuesday of another 1,600 new housing units in east Jerusalem — coming just hours after Vice President Joe Biden announced in Jerusalem the launching of new Israeli-Palestinian peace talks — stunned the White House but should not have been surprising, according to Middle East expert Stephen P. Cohen.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, greets U.S. Vice President Joe Biden Monday.
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