Middle East

White House Jewish outreach on steroids

Friday, July 17th, 2009 Pretty much every Jewish reporter was focused this week on President Barack Obama’s meeting with 16 Jewish leaders at the White House – a presidential performance described as masterful even by some participants uneasy about his evolving Middle East policies and his determination to speak bluntly to Israel about issues such as settlements (read the Jewish Week story on the meeting here).

Ross to White House: it’s official

Thursday, June 25th, 2009 As this blog reported last week, longtime U.S. Middle East peace negotiator and pro-Israel think tanker Dennis Ross is going over to the White House; as numerous blogs have reported, it’s something of a promotion for Ross, who had a nebulous role at the State Department as a special envoy to something or other. Here’s what the NSC spokesman had to say:

Jimmy Carter, Hamas and the Obama administration

Thursday, June 18th, 2009 Over at Foreign Policy, the diligent Laura Rozen has an interesting blog item on Barack Obama’s Jimmy Carter problem. Rozen cites a Fox News report that the former president will press the administration to take Hamas off the U.S. terrorist list; whether or not the report is true, it’s not news this administration wants to hear as it walks multiple tightropes in its intensifying Middle East diplomacy.

How Iran Could Bolster Israel

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Ah, if only logic applied to the Middle East.

Jeffrey Goldberg, national correspondent for The Atlantic, has a provocative piece in the July/August issue of the magazine, entitled “How Iran Could Save The Middle East.”

His thesis, well worth considering, is that based on the Mideast cliché, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” key states in the region like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt could form an alliance with Israel based on their common opposition to and fear of Iran, especially a nuclear Iran.

Obama’s Cairo speech, friendship with Israel and finding the right balance

Thursday, June 4th, 2009 There will be plenty of commentaries about President Obama’s speech to the Islamic world in Cairo today, and Jewish groups were weighing in even before he finished speaking.  There was lots of meat to chew on, and the Jewish world is going to sate its appetite on the stuff for a long time. Despite Obama’s strong and unequivocal statement against settlements, it was the first time an Arab and Muslim audience heard a strongly pro-Israel speech from a major leader.

Big surprise: Jewish Ds and Rs disagree on Obama “100 days”

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 Here’s a stunner: Jewish Democrats think President Barack Obama has done a great job during his first 100 days in office and Jewish Republicans disagree. Some Jews on the left say the new administration has become too centrist for their liking, but centrist Jewish groups that focus heavily on domestic matters couldn’t be happier.

Jane Harman controversy - unwelcome backdrop for AIPAC policy conference

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 James Besser in Washington With its annual policy conference approaching,  the last thing AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby, needed was a lot of new publicity about the Espionage Act case involving two former employees. Well, that’s what it’s getting, thanks to a controversial and bizarre story in CQ Politics – a publication of the respected Congressional Quarterly.

Does Obama mean what he says about Israel and the two-state solution?

Friday, April 17th, 2009 Is the Barack Obama administration planning a serious push for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement that could produce some real pressure on Israel, not just the usual wrist-slapping on issues such as settlements?  And could that ignite genuine conflict with the new right-of-center government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu? Return to Jewish Week Home PageFollow the Jewish Week on Twitter And check out the Jewish Week’s Facebook page and become a fan!
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