International

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.

Michael Oren, Making the Case for Obama

09/12/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Michael Oren outlines what may be his toughest assignment: Making the case to a skeptical public for a leader who's hard to pin down.

Pitching Bibi to the Americans?

No, that's an easy one.

The real problem for the Israeli ambassador to Washington is how to make Israelis understand President Obama.

"Obama often doesn’t get the credit he deserves in Israel," Oren said in a pre-Rosh Hashanah interview with the U.S. Jewish media. "I think it’s important at some point that he visits us."

Abbas, Netanyahu to Meet Every Two Weeks

09/03/2010

 WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Israeli and Palestinian leaders will meet every two weeks to advance peace talks.

George Mitchell, the senior U.S. envoy to the region, said the sides agreed to meet in the region Sept. 14-15, the first concrete outcome of renewed talks launched Thursday in Washington.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met first with Mitchell and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before moving into face-to-face talks.

EU Commissioner Apologizes for ‘Irrational Jews’ Remark

09/03/2010

(JTA) -- The European Union's trade chief apologized for saying that rational discussion about Israel was impossible with Jews and that the Jewish lobby is the most influential in Washington.

Karel De Gucht, a former Belgian foreign minister who is now the E.U.'s Trade Commissioner, had been asked in a radio interview on Thursday for his opinion on renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks launched in Washington.

At Talks, Arab Leaders Press for Freeze, Final Status

09/02/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- At the launch of renewed peace talks, Arab leaders called on Israel to sustain a settlement freeze and to negotiate final status issues.

"We call on the Israelis to carry out their obligations, including a freeze on settlements activities, which is not setting a precondition but a call to implement an agreed obligation," Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, said in remarks delivered before he dined at the White House with President Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Egyptian and Jordanian leaders.

U.S., Israel Lobby Against Missile Sales to Syria, Lebanon

08/27/2010

(JTA) -- Israel and the United States reportedly are attempting to prevent missile sales to Lebanon and Syria.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Vladimir Putin, his Russian counterpart, in a bid to persuade him not to sell P-800 Yakhont supersonic cruise missiles to Syria, Ha'aretz reported on Friday, and Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak is set to make the same case in Moscow this week. Israel's case is that Hezbollah used Chinese-manufactured missiles purchased by Syria to target Israeli ships during the 2006 Lebanon war.

Israeli-Palestinian Preview: Who’s Coming to Dinner at the White House?

08/27/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The White House dinner on Sept. 1, prior to the official launch of renewed Palestinian-Israeli talks, will be key to outlining the contours of the negotiations.

"The dinner will help to restore trust," Dennis Ross, the Obama administration's top Iran policy official, said in a conference call last Friday with Jewish organizational leaders.

Unless, that is, it turns into a food fight.

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