Jeffrey's Feed
Mar 14, 2013

Analysis: Obama tries new tack with Israel, reaching out to wary public

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – After nearly four years of often testy relations with Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Barack Obama is about to try a different tack – going over the head of Israel’s prime minister and appealing directly to the Israeli people.

Obama’s first presidential visit to Israel next week, while certainly including meetings with Netanyahu, will focus heavily on resetting his relationship with the country’s wary public as he seeks to reassure them he is committed to their security and has their interests at heart.

Mar 4, 2013
via FaithWorld

Israeli parties oppose ultra-Orthodox, frustrate Netanyahu’s coalition-building


(Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem March 3, 2013. REUTERS/Gali Tibbon)

A surprise alliance between far-right and centrist Israeli political stars who reject privileges for ultra-orthodox Jews is frustrating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to form a new government.

Mar 3, 2013

Upstart parties frustrate Netanyahu’s coalition-building

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A surprise alliance between far-right and centrist Israeli political stars who reject privileges for ultra-orthodox Jews is frustrating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to form a new government.

More than a month after Israel’s election, Netanyahu is still without a new coalition, his hopes of enlisting traditionally loyal ultra-Orthodox cabinet partners challenged by a pact between newcomers Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett.

Feb 25, 2013

Israel concerned new Palestinian uprising could erupt

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s homeland security minister voiced concern on Monday that a surge of violent Palestinian protests in the occupied West Bank could erupt into a new Intifada (uprising) if confrontations turned deadly.

A Palestinian’s death in an Israeli jail on Saturday and a hunger strike by four other prisoners have raised tension in the West Bank, where stone-throwers have clashed repeatedly with Israeli soldiers in recent days.

Feb 24, 2013

Israel demands Palestinian Authority curb protests

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel on Sunday demanded the Palestinian Authority stem a surge of anti-Israeli protests ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to the region next month.

A senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gave no indication the Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the occupied West Bank, would issue any call for calm, and blamed Israel for the spike in unrest.

Feb 20, 2013

Analysis: Israel’s Livni faces rough road in peace push with Palestinians

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Tzipi Livni’s coalition pact with right-winger Benjamin Netanyahu speaks volumes about the obstacles ahead for the moderate former Israeli foreign minister in her new task of pursuing peace with the Palestinians.

Expectations of a new peacemaking initiative have been raised by a planned visit to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan next month by U.S. President Barack Obama, who has clashed with Netanyahu over the prime minister’s policy of expanding settlements on occupied land Palestinians want for a state.

Feb 13, 2013

Israel struggles to keep cloak of secrecy over spy story

JERUSALEM, Feb 13 (Reuters) – The mysterious death of an
Australian prisoner in Israel has put the spotlight on a
military-run censorship system that is finding it harder to
black out secret information often only a mouse click away on
the Internet.

The case involves a man reported by Australia’s ABC channel
on Tuesday to have been a member of Israel’s Mossad spy agency.
According to the report, he committed suicide in prison in 2010
in an isolated top-security wing originally built for the
assassin of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Feb 10, 2013

Netanyahu to discuss Iran, Syria, Palestinians with Obama

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the civil war in Syria and stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts will top the agenda of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.

“It is a very important visit that will emphasize the strong alliance between Israel and the United States,” Netanyahu, who has had a testy relationship with Obama, told his cabinet.

Feb 7, 2013

Israel’s Netanyahu tackles tricky coalition-building

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Thursday with Yair Lapid, the surprise runner-up in an election last month, to try to draw him into a broad government that could bridge Israel’s religious divide.

In the January 22 ballot, centrist candidate Lapid’s rallying cry, “equal sharing of the burden”, touched a nerve among voters angered by military exemptions granted to ultra-Orthodox students and state stipends for large, religious families.

Jan 28, 2013

Israel reviews contraceptive use for Ethiopian immigrants

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s Health Ministry has ordered doctors to review how they prescribe a birth control drug, after accusations it was being used to control the population of Ethiopian immigrants.

Suspicions that Ethiopian women had been coerced into receiving Depo-Provera arose in Israeli media a few years ago and most recently in a TV documentary linking the community’s falling birthrate to over-prescription of the injectable contraceptive.

    • 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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