Tagged Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

Reform, AIPAC stake out opposing positions on penalizing Palestinians

Reform leader Rabbi Rick Jacobs, shown speaking at the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly in Jerusalem in November 2012, co-authored a letter to President Obama on eschewing action against the Palestinians that would damage efforts to renew peace talks. (Robert A. Cumins/JFNA)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Two major Jewish groups are at odds over the prospect of penalties for the Palestinians in the wake of their enhanced U.N. status. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee in recent weeks has backed two congressional bids to at least shut down the Palestine Liberation Organization… Read more »

Israelis, Palestinians fighting fear, not each other

Brighton, UK – During the violence between Gaza and Southern Israel last month, I was shocked that some of my friends were posting images on Facebook that supported the disproportionate force Israel used against Gazans. When I asked why, they all believed that Palestinians wanted to wipe out Israel.… Read more »

In Obama’s second term, will Israel-Palestinian issues cause sparks or be on back burner?

President Obama talks on the phone with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas aboard Air Force One, July 9, 2010. (Pete Souza/White House).

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Is history about to repeat itself? President Obama’s first three years in office saw some serious tussling with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the peace process and settlements. Now, with Obama beginning his second term and Netanyahu looking pretty certain to win next month’s Israeli… Read more »

As Obama takes second term, Israelis wonder what the future holds

Haredi Orthodox Jews watching the victory speech of President Obama at the American Center in Jerusalem, Nov. 7, 2012. (Miriam Alster/Flash90/JTA)

TEL AVIV (JTA) – Most Israelis were asleep as the polls closed in America and voters waited for the results, but on one rooftop in central Tel Aviv a party with loud classic rock music and flashing lights was going strong. It was the pro-Obama election-watching party of Israel’s… Read more »

Romney’s peace pessimism draws muted response from Jewish groups

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaking at a rally in Nashua, N.H., Sept. 7, 2012. (Marc Nozell via Creative Commons)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Mitt Romney’s pessimistic take on Israeli-Palestinian peace prospects drew some media attention but not much noise from centrist Jewish groups. Only groups on the right and the left ends of the communal spectrum issued statements in response to the revelations this week of Romney’s remarks, respectively… Read more »

On Capitol Hill, a look back at Oslo and forward on peace process

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, left, shaking hands with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, with U.S. President Bill Clinton in the center at the Oslo Accords signing ceremony, Sept. 13, 1993. (Vince Musi / The White House)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Conflicting voices for and against renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks came to Capitol Hill as leading pro- and anti-voices gathered to recall the nearly 20 years since the dramatic signing of the Oslo Accords. The Oslo document, signed in Washington on Sept. 13, 1993, began the most… Read more »

In outreach to Orthodox Jews, Obama repeats commitment to Israel

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama is spreading the word, one Jewish constituency at a time: He has Israel’s back. Obama defended his record on Israel and on religious freedoms on Tuesday during a White House meeting with Orthodox leaders. Challenged by one of those leaders on the efficacy of his… Read more »

Was Barak’s call for unilateral action with the Palestinians a trial balloon?

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak during an Independence party meeting at the Knesset, May 21, 2012. (Uri Lenz/FLASH90/JTA)

(JTA) — Was Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s recent suggestion that Israel take “unilateral action” to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a hint at a policy under discussion or just an off-the-cuff remark? And how will the response of others — such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — shape the… Read more »

Israelis and Palestinians go to Amman in nod to others

Representatives of the Middle East Quartet -- the United States, the European Union and Russia -- meet in New york, Sept. 23, 2011. The Quartet joined with Jordan in reconvening Israeli-Palestinian talks this week in Amman.. Left to right, U.N. Quartet Envoy Tony Blair, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the European Union's Catherine Ashton. (State Department)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met this week in Amman for face-to-face talks about how to restart talks. But observers say the two sides showed up Tuesday after more than a year of torpor not so much to talk to one another as to send messages and… Read more »

Despite 30 years of setbacks to peace, Israel is still a miraculous place

Stuart and Nancy Mellan with Murray Greenfield (center), an American seaman who smuggled Jews out of Europe into Palestine in 1947, at Atlit, the British detention camp where Greenfield was held with Jewish refugees.

My first trip to Israel was in 1982 (it still seems a bit surreal when I think of it) when I went with the federation national leadership into Lebanon to witness the Israeli military action that resulted in Lebanon’s liberation from the Palestinian Liberation Organization. On that remarkable journey… Read more »

Congress looks to punish Palestinians, but cuts to security aid pose dilemma

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee seen here answering questions from reporters on Sept. 13, 2011, is withholding funding from the Palestinians because of the Palestinian Authority's statehood push in the United Nartions. (Courtesy Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — If the Palestinians don’t pull back from their statehood push, congressional cuts in aid are inevitable, U.S. lawmakers say. Just how comprehensive such cuts will be, however, could end up depending on Israel’s stance on the issue. Lawmakers, lobbyists and congressional staffers told JTA that hundreds… Read more »

Next move is up to the Palestinians

WASHINGTON (JTA) — After the mutual accusations of ethnic cleansing and the sarcastic posturing, the ball is back in the Palestinians’ court. The upshot of last week’s Lollapalooza of speechmaking at the United Nations is that the Obama administration has succeeded in persuading the international community to back the… Read more »

At UA Hillel ‘Talk Israel’ tent, peace pegged to negotiations

Nicole Siegel, a University of Arizona sophomore from Columbia, Md., wears a t-shirt displaying the names of 20 campuses taking part in Hillel’s “Talk Israel: Join the Conversation” initiative. (Sheila Wilensky)

The University of Arizona Mall is often peppered with tents promoting various causes, but on Sept. 21 the discussion inside the UA Hillel Foundation’s “Talk Israel: Join the Conversation” tent was reminiscent of college teach-ins during the 1960s. Around 30 students and faculty were standing around or sitting on… Read more »

Obama’s U.N. speech — another “get real” moment

President Obama, meeting with his Brazilian counterpart, Dilma Roussef, at the United Nations, is canvassing world leaders to oppose a bid by the Palestinians for statehood recognition, Sept. 20, 2011. (Office of Brazilian president)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Was it a speech to help launch his campaign for re-election, or an address to bury hopes for immediate Palestinian statehood recognition? Both assessments marked the immediate reaction to President Obama’s speech Wednesday at the United Nations General Assembly, and there was ammunition for both arguments.… Read more »

Primer on Palestinian statehood bid

Israeli soldiers scuffle with Palestinians during a demonstration near the West Bank village of Beit Omar, Aug. 13. Some analysts warn that a U.N. vote on the Palestinian statehood could set off a new wave of Mideast violence. ( Najeh Hashlamoun/Flash 90)

On Sept. 20, when the annual session of the U.N. General Assembly opens, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to ask U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to present a Palestinian request for statehood recognition to the U.N. Security Council. The long-anticipated request will kick off a chain of events… Read more »

Palestinians still seek Israel’s end

Regarding the letters to the editor of July 1 about Israel’s disregard for human rights, I found them to be sad, naíve, totally untrue and with a complete lack of history about the Holy Land. Before the legal partition of 1948, the small Jewish population was subject to pogroms,… Read more »