James Besser |
In a speech that could be a dry run for his upcoming meetings with President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said his government is ready to “resume peace negotiations” with the Palestinians “without any delay, without any preconditions, the sooner the better” and called for a “triple-track” approach that includes political as well as economic and security negotiations.
In a hint at how he might approach dealing with diplomacy should he be named Israel’s next ambassador to Washington, as widely reported, Michael Oren said in New York on Monday that “it would be preferable to excise the word ‘solution’” when dealing with Mideast tensions and talk rather “about better managing the conflict and moving toward” answers.
The Obama administration’s point man on Iran, Dennis Ross, traveled to the Middle East this week to reassure Arab states concerned about U.S. overtures to Tehran and to stress America’s commitment to Israeli-Palestinian peace.
With income down 25 percent, the Jewish Theological Seminary said it would fire 16 staff members, cut salaries of employees making more than $60,000 and not rehire non-tenured faculty. But that still leaves the institution with a $5.5 million projected deficit for the 2009-2010 academic year.
Although President Barack Obama called upon Israelis and Palestinians Tuesday to “take steps” towards a peace agreement, Israeli observers question the practicality of such moves now.
And Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon reportedly said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would stress the Iranian issue ahead of the Palestinian one in his talks next month with Obama.
Although Egyptian authorities arrested 49 members of a Hezbollah terrorist cell bent on attacking Israeli tourists and Egyptian institutions, Israeli intelligence experts believe more terrorists are still at large in Egypt.
“There are still squads out there that have not been detained, including 13 operatives the Egyptians are looking for in the central Sinai Peninsula,” said Reuven Ehrlich, director of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center just north of Tel Aviv.