Biden Urges Israel to Take Risks for PeaceThe U.S. will back those willing to “take risks for peace,” U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said during the highest-level visit to Israel by an Obama administration official. Biden said he was pleased that Israelis and Palestinians had agreed to resume indirect peace negotiations with U.S. mediation. His two-day visit to Israel seemed clearly aimed at assuaging Israeli concerns that President Obama has been less friendly to Israel than his predecessors, and Biden offered effusive praise.click Israel Matters! 35 to read the complete issue.
Berlusconi Vows Italy's Firm Support for Israel During his visit to Israel in February, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi pledged his country’s firm support for Israel, urging “effective sanctions” against its archfoe Iran and speaking out against a damning UN report on the Gaza war. In a speech before a special session of the Knesset, Berlusconi said Israel “is not only the biggest example of democracy and liberty in the Middle East, but the only example.” Moreover, that “the security of Israel ... is for us Italians an ethical and moral imperative.”click Israel Matters! 34 to read the complete issue.
IDF Military Delegation Cancels UK Trip for Fear of “Lawfare” Arrest An Israeli military delegation recently canceled an official visit to Britain, Israeli officials announced. The Israelis called off the trip because their British army hosts could not guarantee they would not be arrested, the officials said. Neither the Israeli military nor the British government would comment.click Israel Matters! 33 to read the complete issue.
Knesset Proposal: Peace Talks Must Include Jewish Refugee DemandsThe Knesset has passed an initial reading of a proposal stipulating that negotiations on Arab refugees must include demands for compensation of Jewish refugees from Arab countries. Hundreds of thousands of Jews from Arab countries made Aliyah [immigration] to Israel in its early years after being banished and forced to leave behind property andassets worth billions of dollars.click Israel Matters! 32 to read the complete issue.
House of Representatives Condemns “Biased” United Nations Report on Gaza Fighting The US House of Representatives has condemned the UN Goldstone report as unfairly accusing Israel of committing war crimes in its 22-day war against militants in Gaza. By a margin of 344-36, lawmakers approved a non-binding resolution that calls the report “irredeemably biased and unworthy of further consideration or legitimacy.” click Israel Matters! 31 to read the complete issue.
Israel Hits Back at Gaza War Crimes Report Israeli leaders united in condemnation of a “biased” UN report that severely criticized their invasion of Gaza last winter and rejected the central recommendation that Israel should hold an independent investigation into the offensive.click Israel Matters! 30 to read the complete issue.
Israel and Sweden At Odds Over “Blood Libel” Accusation of IDF Organ Thefts
Israel has urged the Swedish government to condemn an article recently published in a Swedish newspaper that accused the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) of harvesting organs from Palestinians wounded or killed by soldiers. (more…)
Israelis Quietly Question U.S. Resolve Against Iran
Israel is encouraged by U.S. vows to curb Iran’s nuclear program, but still questions whether the Obama administration is willing to make good on the pledge “no matter what,” an Israeli official said recently. The timeline and tenor of Washington’s bid to talk Tehran into abandoning atomic projects with bomb-making potential have stirred concern in Israel, which backs the diplomacy but has also hinted at a last-resort, pre-emptive strikes against its foe.
Netanyahu Endorses “Two-State” Solution
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu uttered the words “Palestinian state” in a mid-June speech that mixed tough Zionist statements with talk of peace and conciliation. “I turn to you, our Palestinian neighbors,” he said, “let us start negotiations for peace immediately.
Israel Picks Michael Oren as Ambassador to U.S.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has confirmed the appointment of Michael Oren, a New York-born and Princeton-educated historian and commentator on Middle East affairs, as the country’s new ambassador to the US.