It wasn’t your usual pro-Israel rally Wednesday outside the United Nations.
That became apparent when Roz Rothstein, founder of the Israel advocacy group Stand With Us, shouted into the microphone, “Today we are all Israelis,” and a voice in the crowd yelled back, “Halleluiah.”
Rabbi Avi Weiss is planning to lead a group of rabbis and congregants Tuesday at 10 a.m. in a peaceful sit-down demonstration on First Avenue at 40th Street to block traffic headed to the United Nations to protest Palestinian plans this week to seek UN recognition as a state.
President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are set to meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting.
Netanyahu is scheduled to arrive Wednesday in New York for the General Assembly meeting. He told his Cabinet Sunday that he will meet with Obama, as well as other world leaders, upon his arrival.
White House National Security Council spokesman Ben Rhodes confirmed the scheduled meeting to reporters over the weekend. Obama is not scheduled to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, according to the White House.
I wrote this week about new Palestinian tactics in their endless effort to avoid direct negotiations with Israel, including the U.N. Quickstep – the accelerating effort to tap dance around negotiations with “official” recognition of Palestinian statehood in the General Assembly in September.
The more I think about it, the more this seems like a very smart strategy – and a very dumb one.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- While U.S. officials are running a full-court diplomatic press against the Palestinian bid for U.N. recognition of statehood this September and officials at international Jewish organizations are trying to convince foreign leaders to oppose statehood, the Israeli government appears to be taking a different approach: acceptance.
On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a Knesset committee that there is no way to stop the U.N. General Assembly from recognizing Palestinian statehood.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The United States will not participate in Durban III, this September, the State Department said.
In a letter to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Joseph E. Macmanus, acting assistant secretary for legislative affairs, confirmed the United States would not attend the conference, which in its previous iterations has been a forum for anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- The United Nations "should not delude" the Palestinians into thinking that a unilateral declaration of a state will lead to its establishment, Israeli President Shimon Peres told a U.N. official.
Israel supports the establishment of an independent state, but one achieved through "direct and discreet" negotiations, Peres told U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Dr. Ashe-Rose Migiro Sunday during a meeting in Jerusalem.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- U.S. Senators introduced an enhanced Iran sanctions bill matching one recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The crux of both bills is a ban on business with any entity that does $1 million in a single trade with Iran's energy sector, or $5 million over one year. The current threshold is $20 million in business per year.