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Hamas Response to Obama Speech: Still Won’t Recognize Israel

05/23/2011

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Hamas condemned President Obama's AIPAC speech, saying it will not recognize Israel despite the United States president's demand.

The Obama administration is "not a friend to the people of the region," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told the Ma'an Palestinian news service.

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

05/22/2011

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.

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

05/20/2011

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.

Obama to BBC: ‘Conditions on the Ground Have Changed’

05/20/2011

President Obama has elaborated upon his call for the 1967 lines to serve as the basis for a Palestinian state's border in an interview with the BBC.

"The basis for negotiations will involve looking at that 1967 border, recognizing that conditions on the ground have changed and there are going to need to be swaps to accommodate the interests of both sides," Obama told the BBC Thursday in an interview following his Middle East policy speech.

Digesting Obama’s Speech—Some Goes Down Easy, Some Hard

05/20/2011
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Within hours of President Obama's Middle East policy speech, Israeli leaders and Jewish groups on the left and right were picking through his remarks on Israel, alternately praising, fretting and criticizing.

The big news was that Obama called for negotiations based on the pre-1967 lines, with land swaps.

“We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states," he said.

Obama: 1967 Borders With Swaps Should Serve as Basis for Negotiations

05/19/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) – President Obama said the future state of Palestine should be based on the pre-1967 border with mutually agreed land swaps with Israel.

In his address Thursday afternoon on U.S. policy in the Middle East, Obama told an audience at the State Department that the borders of a "sovereign, nonmilitarized" Palestinian state "should be based on 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps."

Jewish Groups Plan Ads for Bibi Visit

05/19/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A number of Jewish groups are planning wide-reaching ads in time for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington.

J Street is paying for a New York Times ad featuring an appeal by about 90 leading Israelis, including retired generals, noted scholars and prize laureates, calling on Israel to recognize Palestinian statehood and negotiate a deal with the Palestinians based on 1967 lines.

Arrest of Top Presidential Contender Shakes France’s Jews

05/18/2011
JTA

PARIS (JTA) -- Shock waves continue to ripple throughout France as Dominique Strauss-Kahn, considered the likely Socialist Party candidate to challenge President Nicolas Sarkozy in French presidential elections next year, remains in a New York City jail on charges of sexual assault.

Saturday's arrest of Strauss-Kahn significantly changes the political playing field in France, as some recent polls had showed that the 62-year-old head of the International Monetary Fund was the most popular among those considered to be possible presidential contenders.

"I'm A Nazi" Says Director Von Trier At Cannes

05/18/2011

(JTA) -- Danish film director Lars Von Trier described himself as a Nazi who is not against Jews during the Cannes Film Festival.

Von Trier, who was at the festival to promote his film "Meloncholia," reportedly made the comments in jest. During a news conference Wednesday he said that "I am a Nazi," and called Israel "a pain in the ass."

“I really wanted to be a Jew, and then I found out that I was really a Nazi because, you know, my family was German, which also gave me some pleasure," he said.

Berman, Ros-Lehtinen Introduce Toughened Iran Sanctions

05/18/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A bipartisan bill introduced by top lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives would considerably tighten sanctions on Iran.

The bill, introduced May 13 by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), its ranking Democrat, would ban business with any entity that does $1 million in a single trade with Iran's energy sector, or $5 million over one year.

It also would expand sanctions against alleged human rights violators and financial institutions that deal with Iran.

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