Obama administration

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.

Netanyahu Updates Cabinet on U.S. Settlement Freeze Proposal

11/14/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will present to his Cabinet an American proposal to convince Israel to again freeze settlement construction in an effort to resume peace talks with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu updated the Cabinet on the American offer Sunday during its regular meeting. Netanyahu met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday in New York for seven hours.

Is Netanyahu testing a newly weakened Obama?

Is there a new crisis in U.S.-Israel relations because of the latest flap over building in East Jerusalem?

If there is, it may be because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a mistaken view that a congressional election that is changing all the rules for domestic politics will affect Obama administration Middle East policy, as well.

Bibi: Jerusalem Building, Peace Unconnected

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he sees no connection between peace and building in eastern Jerusalem.

Netanyahu made the comment after President Obama, during an official visit to Indonesia, cautioned that such building is “never helpful.”

Obama was asked to react to Monday’s announcement of the approval of the construction of 1,000 new units.

Window Closing on Peace, Kerry Says in Israel

11/10/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Though there are "real opportunities" for a comprehensive peace in the Middle East, the window is closing, U.S. Sen. John Kerry warned.

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