WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish leaders pressed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the issues of incitement and direct talks.
Abbas met for dinner Wednesday evening with an array of the national Jewish leadership under the auspices of the Center for Middle East Peace. The meeting came after he met with President Obama at the White House.
The major topic of the evening was Abbas' reluctance to advance from proximity talks, brokered by the United States, to direct talks with Israel. Both the Obama and Netanyahu administrations favor direct talks.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Leaders of the Orthodox Union met with top administration officials and with U.S. senators.
Members of synagogues and organizations affiliated with the umbrella body met Wednesday with top National Security Council staff and discussed the U.S.-Israel relationship, the peace process and Iran sanctions, as well as education and energy policy.
The Orthodox Union has been among the sharpest critics of Obama administration pressure on Israel to freeze building in eastern Jerusalem.
A light rain fell as hundreds of New Yorkers rallied across the street from the Israeli Consulate in Manhattan Wednesday to voice their support for the embattled Jewish state in the wake of the Gaza flotilla deaths.
“This is a consensus rally,” said Rabbi Avi Weiss, the founder of AMCHA-The Coalition for Jewish Concerns. “Israel is facing an existential threat. It’s important for everyone to express solidarity with Israel.”
(JTA) -- The Conservative movement has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the captivity of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism's youth and young adult services department has begun a Yellow Balloon campaign to mark the fourth anniversary of Shalit's captivity. Shalit was captured in a cross-border raid on June 25, 2006 and reportedly is being held by the terrorist group Hamas in Gaza.