U.S.

'Son of Hamas' to be Granted U.S. Asylum

07/01/2010

(JTA) -- The United States has dropped deportation proceedings against the son of a Hamas founder who served as a spy for Israel's Shin Bet security service.

Mosab Hassan Yousef will be granted asylum in the United States following a routine background check, an immigration judge ruled Wednesday during a deportation hearing in San Diego, Calif. A U.S. Department of Homeland Security attorney said during the short hearing that the government was dropping its objections to the asylum request.

Yousef, 32, a convert to Christianity, has lived in the United States since 2007.

Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren - U.S. and Israel drifting apart?

What to make out of yesterday's report in Ha'aretz that Amb. Michael Oren, meeting with Israeli diplomats in Jerusalem, said the U.S. and Israel are in a “tectonic rift” and drifting apart?

U.S. Calls Flotillas to Gaza ‘Irresponsible’

06/24/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Obama administration said sea-bound aid to Gaza is "irresponsible."

"Mechanisms exist for the transfer of humanitarian assistance to Gaza by member states and groups that want to do so," a U.S. State Department release said Wednesday, in response to a reporter's question about Lebanese plans to ship aid to the Gaza Strip. "Direct delivery by sea is neither appropriate nor responsible, and certainly not effective, under the circumstances."

Pols: Keep Flotilla Crew Out Of U.S.

06/17/2010
Staff Writer

Just steps from the site of last month’s attempted Times Square bombing, a group of lawmakers gathered Monday to express concern that three people they called terrorists may be planning to come to the United States.

The three were aboard one of the six Gaza-bound aid boats that were forcibly stopped last month by Israeli soldiers. A clash between activists on one of the ships and IDF troops led to the deaths of nine activists, with several soldiers wounded.

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.

Jewish Groups Want Stronger U.S. Defense of Israel, Obama Not Obliging

06/02/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Obama administration appears to be rebuffing calls from some Jewish groups for the United States to be more assertive and public in defending Israel regarding the flotilla incident.

The bluntest appeal for a more pronounced pro-Israel posture came from Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League's national director, who is in Israel meeting with the Israeli leadership.

U.S. Delegation Heading to Palestine Investment Confab

06/01/2010

(JTA) — President Obama is sending a delegation to the Palestine Investment Conference to take place Wednesday through Friday in Bethlehem.
George Mitchell, Obama’s special envoy for Middle East peace, will lead the delegation, according to the White House.

U.S.-Israel Tensions Now Hitting Pulpits

N.Y. area rabbis, some feeling ‘forced,’ wading into rocky political waters; anxiety seen in pews.

04/20/2010
Staff Writer

As the strain in U.S.-Israel relations continues, some area rabbis who generally don’t mix religion and politics on the pulpit are setting aside those constraints.

“People were asking me and my hand was sort of forced,” said Rabbi Perry Rank, spiritual leader of the Midway Jewish Center, a Conservative synagogue in Syosset, L.I. “My sense is that Mr. [Barack] Obama has unnerved the American Jewish community and people are looking for a perspective on the issue.

Rabbis Andrew Bachman and Perry Rank: Taking to pulpit, with differing views of Obama’s policies.

U.S. And Israel Seen On Collision Course

At Teaneck synagogue, Jerusalem Post diplomatic correspondent says political honeymoon at an end;
sees administration push for quick resolution.

04/20/2010
Editor and Publisher

Israel’s 16-year honeymoon with the White House (under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush) is over, and the tension between Jerusalem and the Obama administration is “dramatic and considerable,” according to the senior diplomatic correspondent for The Jerusalem Post.

Herb Keinon, a native of Denver who has lived in and covered Israel for 27 years, spoke of “conceptual gaps on two major planes” between the allies in a talk Sunday evening at Congregation Rinat Yisrael in Teaneck, N.J.

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WaPo columnist: democratization, not a U.S. peace plan, should be administration goal

With talk continuing about a possible U.S. Mideast peace proposal, the Washington Post's Jackson Diehl has a thought provoking analysis suggesting this is exactly the wrong policy for the current situation.

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