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Mar 4, 2014

At White House, Israel’s Netanyahu pushes back against Obama diplomacy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bluntly told Barack Obama on Monday that he would never compromise on Israel’s security even as the U.S. president sought to reassure him on Iran nuclear diplomacy and pressure him on Middle East peace talks.

In a White House meeting overshadowed by the Ukraine crisis, the two leaders avoided any direct clash during a brief press appearance but were unable to paper over differences on a pair of sensitive diplomatic drives that have stoked tensions between them.

Mar 3, 2014

Amid Ukraine crisis, Obama to meet Netanyahu on Mideast peace, Iran

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Even as he grapples with the Ukraine crisis, President Barack Obama will take time on Monday for potentially testy talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seeking to nudge him forward in Middle East peace efforts and ease his suspicions about diplomacy with Iran.

With time running out for a framework Israeli-Palestinian deal to salvage a troubled U.S.-brokered peace process, Obama and Netanyahu sparred in public comments in the run-up to a meeting that comes at a critical juncture for the president’s second-term foreign policy agenda.

Mar 3, 2014

Amid Ukraine crisis, Obama to meet Netanyahu on Mideast peace

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama takes a break from the Ukraine crisis to hold potentially difficult talks on Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on U.S. efforts to keep Middle East peace negotiations alive.

With time running out for a framework Israeli-Palestinian deal to salvage a troubled U.S.-brokered peace process, Obama and Netanyahu sparred in public comments in the run-up to a meeting that will also focus on Iran’s nuclear program.

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.

    • 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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