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Feb 28, 2014

Main Israel lobby seeks to regain footing as Netanyahu visits U.S

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – For years, Israeli leaders visiting Washington have been boosted by America’s main pro-Israel lobby, its influence on U.S. Middle East policy long accepted as a matter of conventional wisdom.

But when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses an annual convention of Israel’s U.S. supporters next week, he will find the group trying to show it has not lost its touch after the White House blocked its push for Congress to impose new Iran sanctions.

Feb 17, 2014

Netanyahu says Israeli high-tech stronger than boycotters

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced confidence on Monday that world demand for Israeli high technology will enable his country to outflank pro-Palestinian groups advocating its economic boycott.

“I think it’s important that the boycotters must be exposed for what they are – they’re classical anti-Semites in modern garb. And I think we have to fight them,” Netanyahu said in a speech to a conference of U.S. Jewish leaders.

Feb 13, 2014

Criticism of Israel by German politician angers Israeli minister

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – An Israeli cabinet minister said on Thursday that Germans should beware of criticising his country, alluding to Germany’s Nazi past and pouring fuel on a dispute with a visiting politician.

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and other members of his far-right Jewish Home party walked out of a speech to Israel’s legislature on Wednesday by European Parliament President Martin Schulz, a German, after he cited allegations that Israel was denying Palestinians a fair allocation of water.

Feb 12, 2014

Euro parliament chief creates waves in Israel

JERUSALEM, Feb 12 (Reuters) – The visiting president of the
European parliament landed in hot water in Israel on Wednesday,
drawing a public rebuke from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
over an address to the Israeli legislature.

Martin Schulz, a German who spoke to the Knesset in his
native language, sparked a walk-out by several far-right
lawmakers when he cited what he described as unverified data
alleging Israel was denying Palestinians a fair share of water
in the occupied West Bank.

Feb 2, 2014

Israeli minister attacks Kerry over boycott warnings

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is holding a gun to Israel’s head in peace talks with the Palestinians by warning it could face international isolation if negotiations failed, a senior cabinet minister said on Sunday.

The remarks by Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, who is close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, followed recent accusations by Israel’s defense minister that Kerry was being “messianic” in his pursuit of a peace deal.

Jan 29, 2014

Israeli ruling coalition wobbles as U.S. peace proposal looms

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A pending U.S. framework proposal to propel stumbling Israeli-Palestinian peace talks forward chipped away on Wednesday at a troubled alliance between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and an ultranationalist ally in his governing coalition.

No date has been announced for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to unveil his blueprint, but new skirmishing between the prime minister and far-right partner Naftali Bennett suggested crunch time was near.

Jan 14, 2014

Israeli defense chief calls Kerry messianic, drawing U.S. ire

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s hawkish defense minister drew rare U.S. condemnation on Tuesday over reports he had denounced U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s quest for Israeli-Palestinian peace as messianic and obsessive.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, already at odds with Washington over settlement building on land Palestinians, scrambled to try to avoid a damaging crisis with his country’s closest ally over defense chief Moshe Yaalon’s remarks.

Jan 12, 2014

Israelis pay last respects to warrior-statesman Sharon

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s body lay in state on Sunday outside parliament in Jerusalem, where thousands of Israelis waited to bid farewell to the maverick warrior-statesman who reshaped the Middle East.

Sharon died at the age of 85 on Saturday after eight years in a coma caused by a stroke he suffered at the pinnacle of his political power. He will be buried on Monday in a military funeral on his farm in southern Israel.

Jan 11, 2014

In war or withdrawal, Sharon marched to his own drum

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A maverick in war and politics, Israel’s Ariel Sharon reshaped the Middle East in a career marked by adventurism and disgrace, dramatic reversals and stunning rebounds.

Loathed by many Arabs and a divisive figure within Israel, Sharon left his mark on the region as perhaps no other through military invasion, Jewish settlement building on captured land and a shock decision to pull out of Gaza.

Jan 7, 2014

Israel casts doubt on April target for Palestinian deal

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s defence minister said on Tuesday wide gaps remain in peace talks with the Palestinians after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s latest visit and he cast doubt on the chances of reaching a final accord by an April target.

Negotiations on Palestinian statehood resumed in July after a three-year halt, with a nine-month target set for a permanent peace agreement, amid deep scepticism that a deal could be achieved to end the generations-old conflict.

    • About Jeffrey

      "Heller joined Reuters from United Press International in Tel Aviv in 1984 and transferred to London in 1987. He returned to the Middle East in 1992 as a senior sub-editor on the Middle East and Africa desk before taking up a post as correspondent, Jerusalem a year later. He is currently editor-in-charge in the Jerusalem bureau."
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