Bibi-Obama meeting high on atmospherics, low on specifics going forward.
James D. Besser
President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu staged a diplomatic dance in Washington on Tuesday meant to show the world — and their respective constituencies — that they are still in step.
But the carefully choreographed atmospherics belied potential difficulties ahead and many unanswered questions, starting with these: will President Barack Obama stick to his stated goal of moving aggressively on the Israeli-Palestinian front despite a plateful of international and domestic political problems?
PRAGUE (JTA) -- The launch of JCall has brought the debate that American Jewry has seen over J Street to Jewish Europe: Outside of Israel, how critical in public should you be of Israeli government policies you believe are not in Israel’s best interests?
The founders of JCall, who seek to push what they see as a recalcitrant Israeli government closer to a two-state solution, say criticism of Israeli policies is constructive and necessary.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- When Elie Wiesel says it's all kosher, it's good.
For now, anyway.
President Obama capped an intensive two weeks of administration make-nice with Israeli officials and the American Jewish community by hosting Wiesel, the Nobel peace laureate and Holocaust memoirist, for lunch at the White House.
"It was a good kosher lunch," was the first thing Wiesel pronounced, emerging from the White House to a gaggle of reporters.
N.Y. area rabbis, some feeling ‘forced,’ wading into rocky political waters; anxiety seen in pews.
As the strain in U.S.-Israel relations continues, some area rabbis who generally don’t mix religion and politics on the pulpit are setting aside those constraints.
“People were asking me and my hand was sort of forced,” said Rabbi Perry Rank, spiritual leader of the Midway Jewish Center, a Conservative synagogue in Syosset, L.I. “My sense is that Mr. [Barack] Obama has unnerved the American Jewish community and people are looking for a perspective on the issue.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Israel's U.S. ambassador formally met with the director of J Street.
"The conversation, which took place at the Israeli Embassy, lasted approximately one hour and covered a wide range of topics, including the peace process, the U.S.-Israel relationship and Iran," said a statement from the group describing the Thursday afternoon meeting between Ambassador Michael Oren and Jeremy Ben-Ami.