Monday, November 2nd, 2009
If anybody has a clue what the Obama administration is really up to on the Israeli-Palestinian front, I wish they’d send me the memo.
Over the weekend pro-Israel groups here were crowing about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s claim that Israeli offers on limiting settlement construction were “unprecedented.”
Since establishing the Middle East Coexistence House, a dormitory floor where Jews, Muslims and members of other faiths live together, at the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University in New Jersey three months ago, Danielle Josephs has described the innovative dialogue project to Jewish activists around the country, Rutgers donors and alumni, faculty members and representatives of non-governmental organizations and journalists.
On Monday she told the President of the United States about her idea.
Military service is in the Perl family’s blood.
Pvt. Otto Perl spent nearly a year in the Austrian army from 1937 to 1938. His father had been an officer in that same army in World War I, and two of his uncles had served in WWI.
Perl, a tailor, was 22 in early 1938 when he was discharged a few months before his homeland was annexed by Nazi Germany. A Jew, he was arrested and sent to the Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps for a year. He survived the forced labor and beatings and frigid weather.
AIPAC’s relationship with the Obama administration hinges on the policies of Bibi Netanyahu
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which holds its annual policy conference in Washington next week, could face its toughest battle with an administration in more than a decade, depending on the proposals Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brings to Washington later in May.
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.
Tamped-down rhetoric on Iran seen as “accommodation” with Obama’s new policy shift on Iran.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dialed down his intense rhetoric about the threat posed by a nuclear Iran in his long-awaited public response to a tightening squeeze from the Obama administration on Sunday.
Jewish groups in the United States and Italy have welcomed the suggestion by a high Vatican official that a proposal to restore a Catholic prayer that is offensive to the Jewish community may be withdrawn. Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said last week that a prayer in the recently revived Latin Mass for the conversion of Jews could be eliminated from the church’s liturgy. That would “solve all the problems,” Cardinal Bertone said, following a groundswell of Jewish criticism that questioned the efficacy of decades of Jewish-Catholic dialogue.
Vice President Dick Cheney’s trip throughout the Middle East last week found him in Israel on Easter — he joined thousands of pilgrims at a service in Jerusalem — but his visit there was no holiday.
During his three days in Israel, Cheney met with Israeli and Palestinian officials, voiced the Bush administration’s continued support for the Jewish state, urged all sides in the Middle East peace process to make further concessions and criticized two belligerent governments in the region.
As he visits Israel this week for the second time in four months, President George W. Bush has scaled down his expectations for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement.
Instead of the optimism he displayed late last year when he spoke of the creation of a Palestinian state before he left office, Bush told Israeli journalists Monday that he was hoping the two sides could “get a state defined by the end of my presidency.”
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.