Israeli-Palestinian negotiations

Maybe it's not a good time for an Obama visit to Israel, after all

An interesting item yesterday by Jerusalem Post blogger Shmuel Rosner, who  analyzes some of the wreckage of last week's Netanyahu-Obama meeting.

A Proposal for Mideast Talks and Other Reflections on the Washington Week that Was

05/26/2011 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

It's been a crazy week in the ongoing soap opera, "Bibi and 'Bama," and given the reception Prime Minister Netanyahu got in Congress, I think the GOP wishes Netanyahu could be their standard bearer in 2012. There are so many fascinating dynamics at work here that it would make for a top notch TV comedy if the situation weren't deathly serious.

First, let me make a modest proposal.

Moving the goalposts on Palestinian statehood

Republican lawmakers and some pro-Israel groups are in an snit about President Obama's call for Israel and the Palestinians to resume negotiations, with the starting point being the 1967 borders – with negotiated land swaps.

Is what they're saying that there should never be a real Palestinian state? Because if you reject the idea of starting with the 67 borders and negotiating from there, that may be what you're advocating, intentionally or not.

Abbas: Netanyahu Speech Left ‘Nothing to Build On’

05/24/2011 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said there was nothing for peace talks to build on in Benjamin Netanyahu's address to the U.S. Congress.

Abbas, speaking to the Palestine Liberation Organization and also with reporters on Wednesday in Ramallah, asserted that if no progress is made in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians that he will go to the United Nations General Assembly in September seeking recognition of a unilaterally declared Palestinian state.

Netanyahu to Congress: No Compromise on Jerusalem, Refugees or Jordan River Presence

05/23/2011 - 20:00
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that any peace deal with the Palestinians must grant Israel a military presence along the Jordan River, exclude repatriation of Palestinian refugees to Israel and leave Jerusalem as Israel’s united capital.

However, the Israeli leader said in his address to a joint meeting of Congress on Tuesday, some Jewish settlements in the West Bank would fall outside Israel’s borders in a final peace deal.

New poll: tepid support here for active US peace role, skepticism about Arab Spring

An interesting poll in today's edition of The Hill.

On Israel, some 27 percent of voters surveyed by the Capitol Hill newspaper said this country is “too supportive of the Jewish state,” with 31 percent saying U.S. policy is not supportive enough – and 31 percent saying it's just “about right.”

Obama to AIPAC: Israelis, Palestinians Should Negotiate a New Border

05/21/2011 - 20:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) – President Obama said his call for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations based on the pre-1967 lines did not mean the future state of Palestine would have those exact borders.

Obama, at AIPAC, takes on the 1967 borders issue

An interesting morning at the AIPAC policy conference. Then again, how could it not be with President Barack Obama addressing more than 10,000 participants only days after giving a major policy address on the Middle East?

I half expected a purely political speech, reaffirming his strong support for Israel, using key slogans like Israel's qualitative military edge and banging away at Iran, and avoiding his call the other day for peace negotiations kith the Palestinians based on the 1967, with negotiated land swaps.

Instead, Obama addressed the issue head on.

Obama's speech: where's the followup?

Days after President Obama's big Middle East speech at the State Department, the Jewish left is caught between skepticism and hope, the right is on the warpath – and I suspect most American Jews are wondering what the fuss is all about.

Yes, President Obama uttered the words “1967 borders” on Thursday along with “mutually agreed swaps,” all of which has been more or less U.S. policy for a long time even though that particular rhetorical formulation hasn't been used.

After White House Meeting, Netanyahu Sticks to Objections to Obama Speech

05/19/2011 - 20:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held firm in his meeting with President Obama to his reservations to the outlines of peace negotiations that the president laid out in a speech yesterday.

"A peace backed by illusions will crash on the rocks of Middle East reality," Netanyahu told Obama while the two addressed the media in the White House after a meeting on Friday. In his remarks at the White House, Netanyahu reitereated his contention that the 1967 lines were "indefensible" for Israel.

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