WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Half the Democratic caucus in the U.S. Senate urged President Obama to suspend assistance to the Palestinian Authority unless Hamas recognizes Israel and renounces terrorism.
"It is imperative for you to make clear to President Abbas that Palestinian Authority participation in a unity government with an unreformed Hamas will jeopardize its relationship with the United States, including its receipt of U.S. aid," said the letter sent May 6 to Obama and signed by 27 Democratic senators.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Palestinian rival factions Fatah and Hamas in a formal ceremony signed a unity agreement, repairing a four-year rift.
The ceremony Wednesday in Cairo was delayed for two hours after a question about whether the head of the Islamist Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, should sit on stage and if he would speak at the event.
The signing of the unity deal turns "the black page of division," Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Fatah party, said following the signing at the Egyptian intelligence headquarters.
NEW YORK (JTA) – For years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, many Americans waited in fear for the next strike by al-Qaida on U.S. soil. But the ensuing decade has seen no more major terrorist attacks in the United States.
Now, with the news that Osama bin Laden has been killed in Pakistan by U.S. forces, the question many American Jews are considering is whether the liquidation of al-Qaida’s leader makes a follow-up attack more or less likely, and whether Jews could be a target.
Without respected economic reformer, Western aid seen in jeopardy; Bibi trip to D.C. ‘made easier’ by deal.
In their quest to form a unity government, the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have apparently shoved aside Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, a move that analysts believe may doom their planned new enterprise.
“It would be very difficult without him,” said Jonathan Spyer, a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center. “I think [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas will have to take some steps back from this.”
What's most striking to me about recent events in the Middle East is how just about all the experts – the administration deep thinkers, their Republican critics, the academics and the foreign policy talking heads – failed to predict the seismic forces that are reshaping the region in ways we can't begin to fathom.
This isn't a matter of partisan politics. The Obama administration is clearly clueless about a region in turmoil, but I haven't heard anything resembling acumen from the Republicans, either.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- The Palestinians will continue to negotiate peace with Israel despite a unity agreement with the terrorist Hamas organization, Mahmoud Abbas said.
Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, told reporters Thursday that the Palestine Liberation Organization that he heads will continue to be responsible for handling negotiations, Haaretz reported. Hamas is not a member of the PLO.
Abbas' comments came a day after his Fatah movement and Hamas, which controls Gaza, announced that they had reconciled, following a meeting in Cairo.
Wednesday’s Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement, the result of secret negotiations in Cairo over a period of weeks, is yet another complication for an Obama administration facing a tidal wave of political change in the Middle East and new international pressure to resume active Israeli-Palestinian mediation.
According to press reports, the deal includes the creation of an interim government and elections to be called within a year.
(JTA) -- The rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have agreed to a reconciliation deal.
The surprise deal to form an interim government and hold general elections within a year was reached in secret negotiations in Cairo between the two sides, according to reports. A formal announcement of the reconciliation reportedly will be made next week.
“All points of differences have been overcome," said Taher Al-Nono, a Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip, according to Reuters.
Avi Dichter says program leads to connection to Israel for young people and government should pay more.
Avi Dichter, a former head of Israel’s Shin Bet (internal security service) and a former minister of internal security, is a Knesset member from the Kadima Party. He was one of six Knesset members who spent last week meeting with Jewish leaders here and in Boston to learn about the American Jewish community as part of a new effort launched by the Ruderman Fellows Program and Brandeis University. The Jewish Week caught up with him for a wide-ranging interview touching on everything from diaspora Jewry to the Goldstone report to Israel’s new missile-defense system.
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