Reports from Israel indicate that the Netanyahu government, under pressure from the Obama administration to come up with some kind of plan to advance the stalled peace process, is floating the idea of abandoning talks for a final agreement with the Palestinians, and instead pressing for an interim agreement that would create a kind of Palestinian quasi-state with temporary borders.
In a speech Monday to the J Street conference in Washington, the senior White House adviser on Middle East peace issues said the current process of the United States working with both sides on bridging proposals needs more time.
“That process hasn't played out yet,” Ross said. “We'll make a judgment on where the process is, where the two sides are and what we think the most appropriate steps are on where we'll have the most impact.
It used to be that a primary goal of Israel's friends in this country was to ensure strong U.S.-Israel relations and to create a genuinely bipartisan wall of support for the Jewish state in U.S. politics.
Now, the goal seems more to take advantage of today's bitter partisanship to advance a specific vision of U.S.-Israeli relations or support a particular political viewpoint in Israel. Or to use Israel as just another wedge issue in the U.S. partisan wars.
WASHINGTON (JTA) – A combination of calculation, luck and principles are steering the Obama administration to emphasize democracy and human rights in the Middle East in the post-Mubarak era.
On Tuesday, President Obama laid out a revamped strategy that takes into account U.S. strategic interests in the region while also emphasizing the need to accommodate uprisings that have swept away governments in Egypt and Tunisia, as well as protests nipping at U.S. allies in Barhain, Jordan and Yemen.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A senior White House official told Jewish leaders that the United States does not deal with the Muslim Brotherhood but would not interfere in the Egyptian transition process.
Dan Shapiro, the senior National Security Council official dealing with Israel and its neighbors, briefed Jewish leaders on Wednesday evening, as forces loyal to Hosni Mubarak unleashed violence against protesters seeking to unseat his 30-year autocracy.
It is understandable that Israeli leaders and citizens alike are watching the fast-moving events in Egypt — and possible reverberations in Jordan — with great trepidation.
Peace with Egypt, formalized in 1979, has been anything but warm, but it has been real and enduring, and it has allowed Israel to focus its defenses on other threats, including Hamas and Hezbollah terrorism and the terrifying prospect of a nuclear Iran.
As dovish groups urge no U.S. veto, Rep. Ackerman severs ties with J Street.
James D. Besser
A United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem as illegal is putting the Obama administration in an awkward squeeze — and thrusting two major pro-peace process groups into the tumultuous epicenter of the Middle East debate.
The Obama administration, which is expected to veto the resolution, nevertheless is caught between its own longstanding stance on settlements and political realities at home.