FROM Ron Kampeas
Trump and Netanyahu discuss a two- and one-state solution President Trump and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a White House news conference today before holding a private meeting. Asked if he supports the "two-state solution" as past presidents have, Trump broke with decades of American policy. "So I'm looking at two state and one state and I like the one that both parties like" I can live with either one... But honestly, if Bibi and the Palestinians of Israel and the Palestinians are happy I'm happy with the one they like the best." Asked the same question, Prime Minister Netanyahu avoided the phrase "two-state solution" and talked of a "regional approach" to resolving issues between Israel and the Palestinians. Ron Kampeas, Washington Bureau Chief for the JTA , a wire service that covers Jewish affairs, has more on what is a very big reversal.
Trump taps hard-liner for ambassador to Israel Liberal American Jewish groups are already working to prevent confirmation of Donald Trump's choice of David Friedman to be America's Ambassador to Israel. Not only does Trump's advisor and former bankruptcy lawyer have no diplomatic experience, he represents a complete departure from decades of US policy toward Israel and the Palestinians. Ron Kampeas, Washington Bureau Chief for JTA , an international wire service covering issues of Jewish concern, says doves have pledged to fight Friedman's confirmation.
Netanyahu Demands a "Better Deal" In the chambers of Congress today, the Prime Minister of Israel challenged the President of the United States . Benjamin Netanyahu denounced ongoing negotiations over Iran's nuclear program and the claim that the only alternative is war. Before denouncing the negotiations, the Prime Minister insisted his speech was not designed to stir partisan differences in the US. He said Israel has been supported by all US Presidents since Harry Truman. He thanked President Obama for supporting Israel in times of needm including the Carmel forest fire, attacks on Israel's embassy in Cairo and missile support against Hamas in Gaza. Applause interrupted Netanyahu again and again, but it was hardly unanimous. Democrat Nancy Pelosi said he insulted "the intelligence of the United States."
Mistrust between the US and Israel Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is running for re-election — at the same time jumping with both feet into American politics. First, he agreed to address the President's nuclear talks with Iran before a joint session of Congress — without telling the White House. The Obama Administration now suspects him of leaking what it calls "misleading" details about the talks with Iran, creating more mistrust. Vice President Biden and other Democrats — including some Jews — will stay away from the speech. Will Israel gain or lose with the American public?
What's at Stake for Israel and Hamas? No Israelis have been killed by rockets from Gaza, while the Palestinian death toll from retaliatory strikes is almost 100. But, despite efforts to broker a ceasefire, there’s no end in sight. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he’s had “good conversations” with world leaders, including President Obama. But he told reporters today “no international pressure will prevent” continued attacks on the Gaza Strip until there’s an end to rocket fire that’s come closer than ever to major Israeli cities.
Obama Blames Both Sides for Stalled Mideast Peace Talks Israel suspended Middle East peace talks yesterday in response to the unity agreement reached between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement and Hamas. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned Palestinians for allying with Hamas. Today President Obama called out both Israel and Palestinians for the breakdown in these latest US brokered talks. Ron Kampeas is Washington Bureau Chief for JTA , an international wire service covering issues of relevance to the Jewish community.
Romney Takes the Presidential Race Across the Pond On his trip to London, Jerusalem and Gdansk, Mitt Romney says he’s touching three “pillars of liberty”—nations which share American values. After infuriating the Brits about Olympic security, he embraced Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol and dismissed Palestinian culture. In Poland, where’s he’s expected to invoke the Cold War, he was greeted by a banner for Ron Paul. But, has Romney revealed any significant foreign policy differences between himself and President Obama? Will his trip change the presidential campaign?
Netanyahu Wows Them on Capitol Hill Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got more than two dozen standing ovations today in his 50-minute address to a joint session of Congress. Several times, he promised compromises with the Palestinians--but always with firm pre-conditions. We hear some conflicting assessments.
Netanyahu Addresses a Joint Session of Congress Today's reception on Capitol Hill was a far cry from last week's tense encounter at the Obama White House. In his 50-minute address to a joint session of Congress, Israel's Prime Minister got more than two dozen standing ovations. Several times, he promised what he called "painful compromises" with the Palestinians, at the same time laying down a set of pre-conditions unlikely to restart negotiations. That seemed to be a reference to last week's apparent conflict with President Obama. We get varied reactions to how he framed some hot-button issues, including Hamas, the right of return, Jerusalem and the 1967 borders.
Clinton Reassures Israel, but Stands Firm on Objections Hillary Clinton addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, today, repeating Obama Administration unhappiness over settlement-building in East Jerusalem. The big news may be that there was no booing. Ron Kampeas is Washington Bureau chief for JTA , a wire service covering Jewish-community issues.
The US and Israel: How Deep Are the Differences? When Vice President Biden was in Israel last week, the Netanyahu government announced new plans for Jewish housing in East Jerusalem. The aftermath included yesterday’s Palestinian “day of rage” and diplomatic outrage from the Obama administration toward Israel.
The US and Israel: How Deep Are the Differences? When Vice President Biden was in Israel last week, the Netanyahu government announced new plans for Jewish housing in East Jerusalem. The city was quiet today after yesterday's "Day of Rage," by Palestinians protesting the announced Israeli construction plans. In public, the US and Israel are exchanging warm words, but tensions are high, and Israel has yet to respond to US demands that the plans be reversed. Did Prime Minister Netanyahu want to sandbag Biden? Was President Obama looking for a way to get tough with Israel? What does it all have to do with peace talks, Iran, American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and US credibility in the Middle East?
Settlements Strain Relations between the US and Israel Barack Obama campaigned as a friend of Israel but, as President, he reportedly told American Jewish leaders that close relations during the Bush years didn't produce much. American Jews appear to support his call for a "freeze" on settlements on the West Bank, but a former Bush Administration diplomat says that's created big problems for Israel's new Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Settlements Strain Relations between the US and Israel During the Bush Administration, the US and Israel worked hand in glove, but President Obama has outraged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Obama demands a "freeze" on settlements in the West Bank and that a Jewish housing development in East Jerusalem not be permitted. Former diplomats say Obama's reneging on promises made by President Bush. Most American Jews still support the President, but even left-wing Israelis want reassurances that the US is still a friend. As the US tries to restart the peace process, we try to sort this all out.
What's Next for the 'Two-State Solution?' Israel's newly elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit the White House on May 18. President Obama has advocated more progress toward a “two-state solution” with the Palestinians. But Netanyahu appears to have other ideas. His supporters insist that Iran's nuclear threat is more important than peace talks. The US, Europe and Arab states contend they are inextricably linked. With the diplomatic maneuvering is hot and heavy, we hear a variety of opinions.
What's Next for the 'Two-State Solution?' Israel's elder statesman Shimon Perez went to the White House this morning to prepare the ground for a meeting of two newly elected leaders. President Obama is focused on a "two-state solution" with the Palestinians, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to have other ideas. His supporters insist that Iran's nuclear threat is more important than peace talks. The US, Europe and Arab states contend they are inextricably linked. With Obama and Netanyahu scheduled to meet in just two weeks, the diplomatic maneuvering is hot and heavy. We hear a variety of opinions.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?