International

U.S. Sees Israel’s ‘Jewish State' Demand As Legit

10/13/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The United States sees as legitimate Israel's demand that Palestinians and other Arab states recognize Israel's Jewish character, a State Department spokesman said.

P.J. Crowley was pressed in a briefing Tuesday about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's offer to extend a partial settlement building freeze in exchange for the Palestinian leadership's recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

Pink Floyd Bassist Roger Waters Changes Concert Video After ADL Raises Concerns

10/10/2010

(JTA) -- Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters reportedly changed one of the videos he uses in his new "The Wall" tour after claims it was anti-Semitic.

The ADL had slammed Waters last week for using what it said was anti-Semitic imagery during performances of "Goodbye Blue Sky," which targets Israel's West Bank security fence.

An animated scene projects images of planes dropping bombs in the shape of Jewish Stars of David, dollar signs, a crucifix, a hammer and sickle, a crescent and star, a Mercedes sign and a Shell Oil sign.

For Netanyahu to Accept New Settlement Freeze, U.S. Might Have to Sweeten Deal

10/05/2010
JTA

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Following reports of an unprecedented U.S. offer of a host of assurances in return for a 60-day extension of the freeze on building in West Bank settlements, some political analysts are wondering why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not grabbed the deal with both hands.

According to the reports, President Obama is offering Netanyahu pledges that the United States will:

* Not ask for additional extensions on the partial ban on settlement building, which expired Sept. 26;

J Street Reeling After Soros Money Revelation

Extent of damage for lobby on Hill unclear; ‘huge setback,’ says expert.

09/29/2010
Washington Correspondent

Since it was formed, J Street, the pro-peace process lobby and political action committee, has fought for credibility in the face of charges from the right that it is anti-Israel. This week it was reeling after revelations in the Washington Times that the group has received substantial contributions from controversial financier George Soros — despite two years of denials.

Early indications suggest J Street’s membership base is holding fast, but there were reports that some members of Congress connected with the group may be reconsidering their affiliation.

George Soros contributed $750,000 to J Street over a three-year period. The group had repeatedly denied the contributions.

U.S. Was Behind 9/11 Attacks, Ahmadinejad Tells U.N.

09/25/2010

(JTA) -- The United States arranged the 9/11 attacks "to save the Zionist regime," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the U.N. General Assembly.

After suggesting that U.S. officials at the highest levels were complicit in the 9/11 attacks, he called on the United Nations to establish "an independent fact-finding group" to investigate the attacks. The U.S. delegation walked out of Ahmadinejad's speech Thursday at the United Nations, as did all 27 European Union delegations, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Costa Rica, according to reports.

Barely Months Into Talks, Will the Freeze Freeze a Peace Deal?

09/22/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- When the fat lady sings on Sept. 26, it may only be an intermission.

That’s the word from an array of Mideast experts across the political spectrum. They are predicting that the seeming intractability between Israel and the Palestinians over whether Israel extends a settlement moratorium beyond its end date will not scuttle the peace talks.

Instead, the observers say, the sides are likely employing the brinksmanship that has come to characterize Middle East peacemaking.

Referendum Vote In Turkey Fuels Uneasiness In Israel

Will Erdogan's victory lead to further strain in relations following flotilla incident, or is it an opportunity?

09/15/2010
Israel Correspondent

 Tel Aviv - A resounding victory at the polls Sunday for Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's referendum to remake the country's constitution and weaken the secular forces in government has spurred Israeli uneasiness about deteriorating ties with an important regional ally.

Though the referendum was about advancing civil liberties in Turkey and weakening the influence of the secular army, the wider-than-expected margin of victory was also seen as a broad approval of Erdogan's foreign policy shift toward Israel.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan

Avigdor Lieberman to Address U.N.

09/14/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Avigdor Lieberman will become the first Israeli foreign minister to address the United Nations General Assembly.

Lieberman will travel to New York at the end of the month to address the international body, according to Israel Hayom.

He will be addressing the General Assembly instead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu due to the latter's commitments to the relaunched direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Second Round of Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks Held in Egypt

09/14/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- The second round of direct peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians brokered by the United States ended in Egypt.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gathered Tuesday with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheik.

Gay Saudi Diplomat Fears Persecution

09/13/2010

(JTA) -- A Saudi Arabian diplomat based in Los Angeles has requested political asylum because he is gay and close friends with a Jewish woman.

The diplomat was identified Saturday by NBC News as Ali Ahmad Asseri, the first secretary of the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles. Asseri said he was effectively fired from his position since his diplomatic passport was not renewed by Saudi officials. He told NBC in an email message that he would be killed if he returned to Saudi Arabia.

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