An ‘October Surprise’ could affect the election, upset Washington.
Tel Aviv — Is Benjamin Netanyahu looking for a way to defuse his public debate over Iran with President Obama, or is he ratcheting up pressure for a U.S. military intervention?
That was the question analysts were grappling with after the Israeli prime minister issued a public call Monday for the U.S. to lay down a clear red line for Iran’s nuclear development that would trigger American military attacks. Such a call, the Israeli prime minister said, would reduce the possibility of conflict.
Israelis are anxious about nukes and a war, but most still keep it on the back burner.
Tel Aviv — In a sketch from a recent episode of the Israeli television satire “Wonderful Country,” a real-estate broker showing a property to a young couple boasts of a sea view but opens up the window to reveal a building façade.
“Ah, in June, none of this building row will be here,” the broker explains. “There’s that thing with Iran this summer. So everything works out, the bomb!”
Israel's ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, said Iran targeted his embassy.
Oren said last year's alleged plot to assassinate Saudi Ambassador Abel Al-Jubeir at a Washington restaurant also included plans to blow up the Israeli Embassy, WTOP radio in Washington reported Wednesday.
Although I truly believe President Barack Obama has had good intentions in his policies toward Israel, and has accomplished much in the region, there are several key respects where he could have been — and still can be — a greater friend to Israel.
The Burgas, Bulgaria attack, which Israel’s government is blaming on Iran, comes on the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires that left 85 people dead. Israel, Argentina and many other governments blame Iranian agents for that incident; Tehran denies the allegations.
Jewish groups and Senate Dems mostly agree during annual meeting — despite some subtle tensions.
Ron Kampeas/ JTA
Washington — There was common ground on Iran and preserving the social safety net at a meeting between Democratic senators and Jewish community leaders, although subtle tensions on both issues emerged.
In the back-and-forth on Capitol Hill, the senators pushed back against the notion that the Obama administration is not wholly committed to keeping Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb. And in a refrain familiar to such exchanges, senators urged Jewish groups to lobby not just for spending but also for tax hikes.
Administration emphasizes that sanctions will remain.
Ron Kampeas JTA
Washington — The differences between the U.S. and Israeli positions on Iran’s nuclear program are about to become very clear, and the Obama administration is reassuring the Jewish community that the divide is not so vast.
Administration officials in a meeting Monday with Jewish communal leaders emphasized that they will be steadfast in upholding one key Israeli demand: That sanctions not be sacrificed to the negotiating process. Iran won’t get relief just for showing up for talks, the officials said.
Iran has hanged a man it said was a Mossad agent who killed an Iranian nuclear scientist in 2010, its state media reported on Tuesday.
Majid Jamali Fashi, 24, was hanged at Tehran's Evin Prison after being sentenced to death in August last year for the murder of Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, the state news agency quoted the central prosecutor’s office as saying. It said he had confessed to the crime.
Israel still has time to strike Iran and the right to decide for itself whether to do so, Vice President Joe Biden said.
Appearing Tuesday in Atlanta at the annual convention of the Conservative movement's Rabbinical Assembly, Biden said "the window has not closed in terms of the Israelis if they choose to act on their own militarily."
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has suggested that Israel has until the fall to strike; the Obama administration has been pressing Israel to give time for sanctions and diplomacy to work.
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