Obama administration

U.S. Military Aid to Israel Delayed

12/27/2010

(JTA) -- United States military aid to Israel for fiscal year 2011 has been delayed for three months.

The more than $3 million in military aid, among the largest amount Israel has ever received, includes grants to upgrade the Iron Dome and Arrow anti-ballistic missile systems.

The delay follows the Obama's administration's difficulty in passing the annual 2011 budget, which forced the president to sign a presidential order extending the current budget through March. Funding for the budget will be disbursed on a month-to-month basis until then.

Richard Holbrooke, Veteran Diplomat, Dies

12/14/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Richard Holbrooke, the legendary U.S. diplomat who brokered a Balkan peace and who enjoyed talking about his Jewish roots, has died.

Holbrooke, who was the Obama administration's envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan when he died, suffered a torn aorta on Friday and was hospitalized. The State Department announced his death on Monday. He was 69.

U.S. Pulls The Plug

12/07/2010
Editorial

It’s hardly surprising that U.S. efforts to coax Israel into extending its West Bank settlement freeze seem to have derailed. What was unclear from the initial reports: does the Obama administration have a Plan B, or does this represent the effective end of its efforts to find a route to peace for Israel and the Palestinians?

From the beginning, it never made much sense to us to invest U.S. prestige in an unbecoming effort to lure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu back to the peace table with a rich package of incentives that included F-35 warplanes.

Administration dropping settlement moratorium haggling: some early reactions

Reading the early reports about the apparent U.S. decision to give up on its efforts to win a renewed Israeli settlement freeze in return for a big package of incentives, I can't help but wonder if what we're seeing here is simply an administration with absolutely no sense of direction.

U.S. Drops Settlement Freeze Effort

12/07/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Obama administration abandoned efforts to get Israel to freeze its settlements.

"After consulting with the parties, we have determined that a moratorium extension will not at this time provide the best basis for resuming negotiations," a number of media quoted a senior administration official as saying on Tuesday.

The Palestinians left direct talks in late September, just weeks after they restarted, demanding that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extend a partial settlement freeze past its ten-month deadline.

White House Raps Palestinian Position on Western Wall

11/30/2010

(JTA) — The Obama administration condemned a Palestinian Authority paper that denies any Jewish connection to the Western Wall.

Optimism Now, Apocalypse Later

11/30/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

I was scheduling a lifecycle event with a congregant the other day and we ran into a snag having to do with his 27-year-old daughter's vacation schedule. "Oh, sorry rabbi," he said, "that weekend will be impossible. Amy will be trekking in Vietnam."

Come again?

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

WikiLeaks and Israel: no bombshells, lots of stuff for foreign policy geeks

On one hand, this weekend's WikiLeaks dump of hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables was a letdown after all the media hype. There were lots of interesting bits and pieces, few bombshells.

A nervous Israel, it seems, will come away from the information avalanche without much diplomatic damage – not like Saudi Arabia, perhaps, which was revealed to be pushing for a U.S. attack to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program.

Groping for an answer on airport security

I'm a little on the ambivalent side when it comes to new TSA security procedures.

I”m not all that fussed about airport scanners; I've been through a few and it's no big deal, so I don't plan to opt out and get groped by some TSA screener who's justifiably frustrated and angry about being abused by angry travelers.

What bothers me is what this new airport security regimen may tell us about TSA leaders.

START treaty: Good for the Jews?

Ratification of the renewed START treaty is one of the hottest issues facing the lame duck session of Congress and a rising priority for the Obama administration as GOP resistance grows.

It's also a priority for some analysts who say renewing the treaty is critical in bolstering the Kremlin's support for U.S.-led efforts to keep Iran from going nuclear.

Now some Jewish groups have weighed in.

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