WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Obama administration appears to be rebuffing calls from some Jewish groups for the United States to be more assertive and public in defending Israel regarding the flotilla incident.
The bluntest appeal for a more pronounced pro-Israel posture came from Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League's national director, who is in Israel meeting with the Israeli leadership.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- At least 15 activists onboard a flotilla of ships bound for Gaza were killed during rioting after Israeli Naval forces boarded the ships to redirect them to an Israeli port.
Israel's Navy intercepted six of the ships early Monday morning as they attempted to break the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Israel had radioed to the ships numerous times, requesting that they head to the port in Ashdod, where they could unload their aid material to be transferred to Gaza after security inspections, the Israel Defense Forces Spokesman said in a statement.
“This morning between 10:00 and 10:15 AM CDT, the President spoke by phone with Prime Minister Netanyahu. He said he understood the Prime Minister's decision to return immediately to Israel to deal with today's events. They agreed to reschedule their meeting at the first opportunity. The President expressed deep regret at the loss of life in today's incident, and concern for the wounded, many of whom are being treated in Israeli hospitals.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- With nations around the world condemning Israel for the deaths of nine people aboard a Gaza-bound ship, israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a planned visit to the White House.
Netanyahu was scheduled to meet Tuesday with President Obama following a weekend visit to Canada, which included a working meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The visit would have been Netanyahu's first meeting with Obama since a late March meeting at the White House in which the administration was accused of snubbing the Israeli leader.
(JTA) -- The Vatican expressed "pain" and "great concern" at the deaths of activists on a convoy bringing aid to Gaza, while French leaders criticized the Israeli Navy's use of force in turning back the flotilla.
Chief Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Monday that the raid by Israeli Navy commandos, in which dozens of protesters were killed or injured, was "a very painful thing, in particular for the useless loss of human lives."