JERUSALEM/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – High-level discussions are underway on increasing involvement of Arab powers to reinvigorate a four-member group overseen by Britain’s Tony Blair that has been seeking to mediate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 2002.
Rather than formally expanding the Middle East Quartet’s membership, the idea is to have more frequent top-level meetings with at least Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt to ensure the region is more closely engaged at a time of tumultuous change, senior diplomats based in the Middle East and Europe said.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted an invitation to address the U.S. Congress two weeks before an Israeli election, there appeared to be little downside. As the appointment draws near, the potential pitfalls are growing.
The primary objective was to warn U.S. lawmakers about the risks of a deal on Iran’s nuclear program and keep alive the possibility of further sanctions on Tehran, frustrating President Barack Obama’s long-running policy of negotiation with the Islamic Republic.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – For someone who was educated in the United States, speaks fluent American-accented English and worked as a management consultant in Boston, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sure knows how to rub his closest ally up the wrong way.
In surprisingly critical and unvarnished comments on Wednesday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest accused Israel of distorting details of the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programme in order to scupper the talks.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The head of Israel’s election commission acted on Monday to limit any pre-election boost Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may get from a March 3 speech to the U.S. Congress, in which he will warn of the threat from Iran’s nuclear programme.
The speech has caused controversy in Israel and the United States, where Democrats and the White House are angry that the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, invited Netanyahu to speak at a sensitive time in the nuclear negotiations between Iran and six big powers including Washington, and only two weeks before Israel’s closely fought March 17 election.
JERUSALEM, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu backed down in a fight over Israel’s most prestigious
arts and sciences award on Friday, saying he would not meddle in
the prize days after removing several of its judges for not
reflecting “Israeli society”.
Netanyahu’s office said he would respect the advice of the
attorney-general, who warned against involvement in the
appointment of prize judges at a time of heightened political
tension before next month’s election.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli officials are considering amending the format of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned address to the U.S. Congress next month to try to calm some of the partisan furor the Iran-focused speech has provoked.
Netanyahu is due to address a joint session of Congress about Iran’s nuclear program on March 3, just two weeks before Israeli elections, following an invitation from John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the house.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A new exhibition of ancient clay tablets discovered in modern-day Iraq is shedding light for the first time on the daily life of Jews exiled to Babylon some 2,500 years ago.
The exhibition is based on more than 100 cuneiform tablets, each no bigger than an adult’s palm, that detail transactions and contracts between Judeans driven from, or convinced to move from, Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar around 600 BC.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – At a busy supermarket in Jerusalem a smartly dressed woman, recently arrived in Israel, was stopping shoppers to ask if anyone spoke French. Having found a candidate, her first question was: “Where’s the cheese counter?”
For Jews coming to “the Jewish state” from all corners reached by the diaspora, the move may bring relief, but it also raises challenges: a new language and culture, unfamiliar social codes and the difficulty of finding a job — let alone a cheese counter, something uncommon in Israel.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to accept an invitation to address the U.S. Congress just days before Israel’s parliamentary election offers him invaluable pre-vote publicity, but may also have shaken the balance of U.S.-Israel ties.
John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, issued the invitation without consulting the White House, a breach of protocol since it is normally up to a head of state to invite a foreign leader.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The militant group Islamic State released an online video on Tuesday purporting to show two Japanese captives and threatening to kill them unless it received $200 million in ransom.
A black-clad figure with a knife, standing in a barren landscape along with two kneeling men wearing orange clothing, said the Japanese public had 72 hours to pressure their government to stop its “foolish” support for the U.S.-led coalition waging a military campaign against Islamic State.