NEW YORK (JTA) -- The PLO representative to Washington called for a new approach to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying the two sides are far from resolution.
“We are not close to ending this conflict,” the representative, Maen Rashid Areikat, said Wednesday at a kosher luncheon organized by New York University’s Taub Center for Israel Studies and the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service.
NEW YORK (JTA) – President Obama reportedly urged Jewish communal leaders to speak to their friends and colleagues in Israel and to “search your souls” over Israel's seriousness about making peace.
In an hourlong meeting Tuesday with about 50 representatives from the Jewish community’s chief foreign policy umbrella group, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Obama reiterated the U.S. commitment to Israel, according to statements from both the White House and Conference of Presidents.
JTA is reporting that a delegation of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations met with President Obama on Tuesday and that the meeting went well, with Mr. Obama expressing his undying commitment to Israel's security and the assorted Jewish leaders proclaiming themselves satisfied – at least on the record.
Former Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), now the head of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, thinks the turbulence washing across the Middle East offers a window of opportunity for the Obama administration to take a more assertive role in forging an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
On Christmas Eve of this past year, Yediot Achronot, the largest circulation newspaper in Israel, ran an interview with David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, which has attracted a great deal of attention in the online Jewish world for comments he made about the latest failures in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
I wonder how many Israeli leaders will be misled into thinking the hopes of those who want to hold on to the West Bank forever – and the hopes of those who just want to put off painful compromises as long as possible - now reside in Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and likely contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
I've been pretty critical of the Obama administration's approach to Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, but I also have a lot of sympathy; they can't walk away and maintain international credibility, but every option for breaking the negotiating deadlock is fraught with risk of a backlash in Israel – and with political risk here.
What brought this into focus was a conversation I had yesterday with a longtime pro-Israel activist who generally favors an active peace process.
Want to hear the latest from the anti-Israel Obama White House and those Israel bashers at the State Department?
In response to a question about the Palestinian Authority's endorsement of a “study” claiming that the Western Wall in Jerusalem is really part of the Islamic Waqf and not really Jewish at all, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley had this to say: