International

Defense Secretary Gates Arrives in Israel in Blast’s Wake

03/24/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates arrived in Israel, where he is expected to press Israel and the Palestinians to restart peace talks in the wake of increased unrest.

Gates, who landed in Israel Thursday morning, less than a day after a bomb attack in central Jerusalem and following days of attacks between Israel and Gaza, is in the region assessing the U.S. posture after a wave of uprisings has shaken some regimes and supplanted others.

Report: U.S. Intel Considering Hezbollah as Political

03/22/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- U.S. intelligence is reportedly considering Hezbollah as a political as well as a terrorist entity.

David Ignatius, a Washington Post foreign affairs columnist with close ties to the Obama administration, reported March 18 that the distinction will appear in a National Intelligence Estimate that is now in its draft stages.

Israel, U.S. Woo Latin America After Years of Neglect

03/21/2011
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- It’s time for the West to woo Latin America -- some will say it's about time.

The United States and Israel appear to be heading toward increasing their focus on the area following years of neglect that has resulted in closer ties between Latin America and Iran -- and gains for the Palestinians. The shift comes amid Iran’s deepening influence in the region, as well as the successes of a Palestinian diplomatic offensive that has seen eight Latin American nations agree to recognize a Palestinian “state” in recent months.

At Funeral, Syrian Protesters Chant for Freedom

03/21/2011

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Anti-government demonstrators chanted "God, Syria, freedom" at the funeral of a fellow protester in the southern Syrian city of Deraa.

The protesters at Monday's funeral added to the chant, "The people want the overthrow of corruption," Reuters reported. Black-uniformed security forces sporting assault rifles oversaw the proceedings.

It was the fourth day of anti-government demonstrations in Deraa; five protesters have been killed. Syrians also demonstrated Monday in the town of Jassem, according to reports citing activists.

Norwegian Lawmaker Denies Holocaust

03/21/2011

(JTA) -- Members of a Norwegian lawmaker's own party have called for his resignation after he publicly denied the Holocaust.

Labor Party lawmaker Anders Mathisen reportedly told the Finnmarken newspaper that the Holocaust never happened and challenged readers to prove him wrong.

“There is no evidence the gas chambers or mass graves existed," he told the newspaper, according to reports. "Even reputable Holocaust historians have admitted it cannot be established.”

Israel Files U.N. Complaint Over Gaza Mortar Barrage

03/20/2011

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel's foreign minister ordered the country's delegation to the United Nations to file a formal complaint after over 50 mortars struck southern Israel in one morning.

More than 50 mortars were fired from Gaza into Israel on Saturday morning. Two Israelis were injured by shrapnel and homes and buildings sustained damage, according to reports. Hamas' armed wing Izzadin Kassam Brigades claimed responsibility for 10 of the explosives.

Hoenlein Denounces Lack of U.S. Officials Outrage After Itamar Murders

03/17/2011

NEW YORK (JTA) -- Malcolm Hoenlein, speaking for the foreign policy umbrella for U.S. Jewish groups, denounced governments including the Obama administration for lacking outrage after parents and three children were slaughtered in a West Bank settlement.

"If governments, even our own, do not stand up" then the Jewish people must "shriek and condemn and take action," Hoenlein, the executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said Thursday at a memorial service for the Fogels.

Clinton: Egypt Will Keep the Peace With Israel

03/17/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Egypt's foreign policy will change, but it has an interest in sustaining its peace accords with Israel, Hillary Rodham Clinton said.

"I think there will be different decisions" on foreign policy, the U.S. secretary of state told NPR on Wednesdaty after she toured Egypt on her first visit since a revolution ousted longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak, who had maintained the Camp David accords with Israel.

State ‘Disturbed’ by Reports of Mughrabi Square Naming After Terrorist

03/16/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The State Department called "disturbing" reports that Palestinian Authority officials attended the renaming of a square after a terrorist, saying it condemned such commemorations.

"We are very disturbed by these reports and are seeking clarification from the Palestinian Authority," a State Department official told JTA. "We condemn any commemoration of acts of terrorism and underscore that all parties have an obligation to end incitement."

U.S. Just Shrugs At New Building

03/15/2011
Washington Correspondent

Israel’s decision to accelerate settlement construction in response to the brutal murders of a settler family in Itamar over the weekend might have ignited a sharp reaction from Washington—if the Obama administration had any hopes of moving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process forward.

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