The hardliners in Iran, who have been clenching their fists already over the past few months, are pushing for a bill to increase Iran's enrichment capacity to 60 percent. They would most likely have the bill approved if the P5+1 agreement fails. Then Iran's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is likely to withdraw his unprecedented support from the talks and from President Hassan Rouhani's reform policies.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated on Wednesday his refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state but said the Palestinians are prepared to return to the negotiating table. "We won't accept a Jewish state and the Islamization of the struggle in the Middle East," Abbas said in a speech before the PLO Central Council in Ramallah. "We are moderate Muslims. We are also against the Jewish state because of the many things it would mean in the future. We are against a temporary [Palestinian] state."
Israeli prime minister received loud applause in Congress and Barack Obama issued a stinging rebuttal saying Netanyahu had said 'nothing new'. Despite a boycott by up to a quarter of House Democrats and eight senators, the Israeli prime minister received loud applause from both sides of the joint meeting of Congress when he pleaded with them to block any lifting of economic sanctions in return.
In 1998, the Israeli PM met in Washington with American evangelicals to push back on the peace process in a move organizer Jerry Falwell bragged "was all planned by Netanyahu as an affront to Mr. Clinton." But this time, Bibi's meddling is different in kind and degree. Turning his back on decades of broad bipartisan support for Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu is coming at the invitation of one political party to sabotage the foreign policy of the sitting president of the United States.
Adir Ben-Nahum, 28, a medical student who said he was generally liberal and left-leaning, described Mr. Netanyahu as brilliant, but unfortunately only at politics. The speech to Congress, he said, was a dangerous political exercise intended to bolster Mr. Netanyahu s standing in the Israeli elections. Continue reading the main story That popular criticism has now been bolstered by prominent voices from Israel s security establishment. A group of nearly 200 former military and intelligence officials called on Mr. Netanyahu to cancel the speech, an unusually public challenge.
The speech that Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, will deliver to Congress on March 3rd aims to scuttle an agreement on nuclear inspections and technology between Iran and the United States. Netanyahu has given America several final chances to dispose of this existential threat. Each time, he announced that Iran would attack Israel within months if the US did not bomb Iran first; more than once, he said that Israel would attack Iran unassisted if Americans were blind to the emergency.
Iran's top nuclear negotiator said Saturday that "scaremongering" by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won't stop the Islamic Republic and world powers from reaching a final nuclear deal. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the world should not allow the hard-line Israeli leader to undermine peace. He was referring to Netanyahu's planned speech at the U.S. Congress next week on the emerging nuclear deal that he considers dangerous.
A former head of Israel's foreign intelligence service Mossad is urging voters to oust Binyamin Netanyahu in the next general election, accusing the prime minister of endangering the country s security with his stance on the Iranian nuclear programme. Meir Dagan, a vocal critic of Netanyahu's Iran policy since stepping down as Mossad chief four years ago, is to be a keynote speaker at a rally in Tel Aviv next weekend, calling on the public to turf the prime minister out of office on 17 March.
Just four days before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu s speech to a joint meeting of Congress, the Obama administration sought on Friday to refute the Israeli leader s expected critique, arguing that he has failed to present a feasible alternative to American proposals for constraining Iran s nuclear program.
US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Thursday strongly challenged the assertion that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's upcoming speech to Congress about nuclear negotiations with Iran would be destructive to US-Israeli relations. "The president's national security advisor says it's destructive for the prime minister of Israel to address the United States Congress. I couldn't disagree more," Boehner said at his weekly news conference.
When President Obama s national security adviser sat down with her Israeli counterpart at the White House last week, she upbraided him over leaks in Jerusalem that the Americans interpreted as an attempt to undermine nuclear negotiations with Iran. The meeting, shielded from the public but fraught with tension, brought home the depth of the frustration between Mr. Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israeli forces shot and killed a 19-year-old Palestinian man when clashes broke out during a military raid on a refugee camp in the Bethlehem area of the West Bank early on Tuesday, the military and local Palestinians said. Palestinian officials identified the dead man as Jihad Jaafari, a resident of the Deheishe refugee camp.
Documented quotes from Netanyahu that dates back to 1992 and has consistently warned that Iran is within a couple of years of a nuclear weapon. The reason is simple, Over several decades he's been quite successful keeping the world's attention focused with his left hand (Iran/Iraq) so no one is paying attention to his right hand (land theft in Palestine).
But there's a deeper reason for the current U.S.-Israeli standoff. It has to do with the significance each man ascribes to Iran. For all their personal estrangement, the two leaders aren t going to DEFCON 1 over the Palestinians. Obama didn't express his distaste for Netanyahu by supporting the latest Palestinian statehood bid at the UN or by condemning Israel's behavior in last summer s Gaza War. Bibi hasn t annexed E1. The reason Obama and Netanyahu are letting their true emotions show over Iran is because Iran matters to each in a way the Palestinians do not. That's because each believes the way he handles Iran will help define how history sees him.
The wrongful death civil damages trial could have massive diplomatic and financial implications for the PA, as it teeters, according to some dangerously, near collapse and as it tries to rally international support for its push for the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israeli soldiers and officials for alleged war crimes related to the summer Gaza war.
The Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization were found liable on Monday by a jury in Manhattan for their role in knowingly supporting six terrorist attacks in Israel between 2002 and 2004 in which Americans were killed and injured. The jury in Federal District Court in Manhattan awarded $218.5 million in damages, a number that is automatically tripled to $655.5 million under the special terrorism law under which the case was brought.
Binyamin Netanyahu's dramatic declaration to world leaders in 2012 that Iran was about a year away from making a nuclear bomb was contradicted by his own secret service, according to a top-secret Mossad document. It is part of a cache of hundreds of dossiers, files and cables from the world's major intelligence services - one of the biggest spy leaks in recent times. Brandishing a cartoon of a bomb with a red line to illustrate his point, the Israeli prime minister warned the UN in New York that Iran would be able to build nuclear weapons the following year and called for action to halt the process.
After anonymous sources in Jerusalem leaked to Israeli reporters in recent weeks the ostensible terms of the deal being hammered out, various spokespeople for the Obama administration contended that the Netanyahu government was misrepresenting the specifics for narrow political ends. They sneered that Israel didn't actually know what the terms were. And they made the acknowledgement - the astounding acknowledgement for a United States whose key regional ally is directly and relentlessly threatened with destruction by Iran - that the Obama administration is consequently no longer sharing with Jerusalem all sensitive details of the Iran talks.
Iran is seeking to open a "third front" against Israel using Hezbollah fighters on the Syrian Golan Heights, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday. Netanyahu said Tehran's attempts to entrench itself along Israel's borders was one of the biggest emerging security threats facing the Jewish state.
The Kerry-Zarif meeting takes place against the backdrop of growing tension between Israel and the United States over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu s planned speech before Congress on 3 March. Kerry warned in London Saturday that "there are still significant gaps, there is still a distance to travel."
Arab governments are privately expressing their concern to Washington about the emerging terms of a potential deal aimed at curbing Iran s nuclear program, according to Arab and U.S. officials involved in the deliberations. The direction of U.S. diplomacy with Tehran has added fuel to fears in some Arab states of a nuclear-arms race in the region, as well as reviving talk about possibly extending a U.S. nuclear umbrella to Middle East allies to counter any Iranian threat.
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday expressed concern about the viability of the Palestinian Authority if it does not soon receive tax revenue which has been withheld by Israel.
In an interview, Israeli prime minister candidate Isaac Herzog says the country's people are "fed up" with Benjamin Netanyahu's "politics of fear." If elected, he says he wants to "reignite" the peace process and is prepared to negotiate with the Palestinians.
A solid majority of Americans say that the Republican leadership erred in inviting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress without informing the White House, a poll commissioned by CNN indicated on Wednesday. According to the survey, 63 percent disagreed with the move, while 33 percent believe it was proper, CNN reported.
One of the more memorable statements made by the poetess of poverty from the prime minister s residence, Sara Netanyahu, in the viral video clip in which she mourned her bitter fate over a wreath of dried pomegranates, was, "It's related to how we try to save money." But the most outrageous of all may be how poorly-paid workers who went shopping for the wealthiest prime minister we've ever had weren't reimbursed for the money they paid out of their own pockets. And I wouldn t envy anyone who tried to get his money back from the missus (since the master is at work ).
The Obama administration on Wednesday accused the Israeli government of misleading the public over the Iran nuclear negotiations, using unusually blunt and terse language that once again highlighted the rift between the two sides. In briefings with reporters, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki and White House spokesman Josh Earnest suggested Israeli officials were not being truthful about how the United States is handling the secretive talks
With the Obama administration racing to negotiate the outlines of a nuclear deal with Iran by the end of March, aides to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel have charged in recent days that they are being deliberately left in the dark about the details of the talks. The Americans have said that is untrue, but even one of Washington's closest negotiating partners reports being warned about being too open with the Israelis, "because whatever we say may be used in a selective way."
After three terms and nine years with him as their prime minister, Israelis know a lot about Benjamin Netanyahu and his first lady, Sara. Now they also know how much the couple spend on hair and makeup, maid service and swimming pool water. The Israeli state comptroller released an eagerly awaited report condemning the Netanyahus for "excessive spending" at both the prime minister's official residence at 2 Balfour St. in Jerusalem and the couple s private beachfront villa in Caesarea.
House Speaker John Boehner committed a crime when he invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of Congress, and now he is freely admitting that he not only did so behind President Obama s back, he did so to sabotage delicate peace talks with Iran.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said on Sunday that his government was encouraging a "mass immigration" of Jews from Europe, reopening a contentious debate about Israel s role at a challenging time for European Jews and a month before Israel s national elections. Speaking the morning after a Jewish guard was fatally shot outside a synagogue in Copenhagen in one of two attacks there, the remarks echoed a similar call by the prime minister inviting France's Jews to move to Israel after last month s attacks in Paris. Critics said then that the expression of such sentiments so soon after the Paris shootings was insensitive and divisive.
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the leader of the Union for Reform Judaism, the largest and most liberal Jewish denomination in North America, said the speech was "ill-advised", and called on the prime minister to back out. He was joined by two more centrist voices: Seymour Reich, former chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, who said the planned speech had become "a circus". At the same time, rightwing groups like the Republican Jewish Coalition (backed by billionaire Sheldon Adelson) and the Emergency Committee for Israel said Democratic lawmakers thinking about boycotting the speech were handing a victory to Israel's enemies and promised to "educate voters" about their disloyalty.
With every minute that races by, the best prism through which to view the current Iran crisis looks more and more like Munich in 1938. One of the things to remember about the European appeasement of the Nazi Reich is that the Czechs had no seat at the table.
The Canadian law professor who resigned this month as head of a United Nations inquiry into last summer s Gaza conflict said his appointment had been troubled from the outset by intense pressure from Israel s government, which accused him of a pro-Palestinian bias. The professor, William Schabas, also said in an interview in Paris last Thursday that he had been subjected to a stream of vulgar and violent emails and several death threats that appeared to have emanated from a range of locations, including from Canada and the United States.
Netanyahu has been saying the same things about Iran that he incorrectly said about Iraq in 2002 as he sold the Iraq war to the U.S. Congress. Republicans are trying to place Netanyahu in charge of U.S. foreign policy with Iran, which is the foreign policy equivalent of making Bush the president again. In 2012, Juan Cole went back to 2002 to point out that Netanyahu was saying the same inaccurate fear-mongering stuff about Iran that he said about Iraq.
The campaign for divestment from companies that assist and profit from Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights took a big step forward in California this weekend. The board of the University of California Students Association (UCSA) passed two resolutions at its 8 February meeting in Los Angeles urging university governors to divest from companies including Boeing, Caterpillar and Hewlett-Packard that make weapons and systems Israel uses to commit violations of Palestinian rights.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will do everything it can to prevent world powers from reaching a "bad and dangerous deal" with Iran over its disputed nuclear program.
More than 400 rabbis from Israel, Britain and around the world have called on Benjamin Netanyahu to stop the demolition of Palestinian homes. It came after Mr Netanyahu announced the destruction of more than 400 Palestinian homes in the Israel-controlled part of the West Bank known as Area C.
One of the few things most world leaders, and doubtless much of world opinion, can agree on is that they'd like to see the back of Binyamin Netanyahu. The iciness of the relationship between Israel's prime minister and Barack Obama turned to permafrost long ago, but even Bibi's fellow rightists find him unbearable. Israel has gone from one of the world's most equal societies to one of the most unequal in a generation, the gap between the super-rich and the rest widening each year. I met professional couples in excellent jobs who can t afford to buy a home without parental help. The end of the Bibi era would be a clear boost for those desperate for change in the apparently never-ending Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The EU is acting illegally by funding unauthorised Palestinian building in areas placed under Israeli control by international law, say an NGO, international lawyers and MEPs. More than 400 EU-funded Palestinian homes have been erected in Area C of the West Bank. Shadi Othman, a spokesman for the EU in the West Bank and Gaza. Speaking on the telephone from the West Bank, accepted that the construction was taking place. 'We support the Palestinian presence in Area C. Palestinian presence should not be limited Areas A and B. Area C is part of the occupied Palestinian territory which eventually will be Palestinian land. 'Palestinians have a right to live there, build schools there, have economic development.
A 14-year-old schoolgirl jailed for trying to attack Israeli soldiers has become a symbol for hundreds of Palestinian children tried in Israeli military courts each year. The two-month sentence for Malak al-Khatib, who was accused of stone-throwing and possession of a knife, has unleashed a wave of solidarity and support among Palestinians.
With Israeli elections set for March 17, 2015, current polls show a dead heat between PM Netanyahu's Likud Party, and the center/left party the "Zionist Camp." Headlines - rightfully - are blaring about the foreign intervention of funders including the State Department, a slew of extreme left-wing foundations, including the Ford Foundation, and celebrities including Joel Fields, the creator of the hit-TV Show The Americans, working on the campaign which is supposedly focused on electing anyone - "just not Bibi."
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu's acceptance of an invitation to speak to the US Congress on 3 March, two weeks before the Israeli election and without any consultation with the White House, is aimed at advancing both Netanyahu's re-election and the proposed new set of sanctions against Iran in the US Congress. Regardless of the argument that the sanctions legislation is meant to strengthen the US negotiating hand, the real purpose of the proponents of sanctions has always been to ensure that no nuclear agreement can be reached.
Top brass who have questioned Obama's strategies don't want a foreign leader influencing US decision-making. "There's always been a lot of support for Israel in the military, but that's significantly eroded over the last few years. This caps it. It s one thing for Americans to criticize their president and another entirely for a foreign leader to do it. Netanyahu doesn't get it." says a senior pentagon officer
A lawyer for the Department of Prisoner Affairs released a report on Saturday on the mistreatment of Palestinian minors by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) after she visited Palestinian minors in Israeli custody. The report came after Child Rights International Network (CRIN) published in its first 2015 report that some 700 Palestinian children per year are arrested and face "ill-treatment" by the IOF.
Criticism in the Democratic Party over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's planned Congress address is refusing to die down. Despite marathon phone calls between Netanyahu and senior Democrats in an effort to convince them to tone down their objections to the speech, the underlying message relayed by the Democratic representatives in the House and the Senate is that Netanyahu ought to cancel it.
On Feb. 12, 2008, Imad Mughniyah, Hezbollah s international operations chief, walked on a quiet nighttime street in Damascus after dinner at a nearby restaurant. Not far away, a team of CIA spotters in the Syrian capital was tracking his movements. As Mughniyah approached a parked SUV, a bomb planted in a spare tire on the back of the vehicle exploded, sending a burst of shrapnel across a tight radius. He was killed instantly.
Israel on Friday published bids for the construction of 450 new housing units in West Bank settlements, a move denounced by the Palestinians and by Israeli critics who described it as a political gesture by the rightist government ahead of elections in March. The current housing minister is Uri Ariel of the pro-settlement Jewish Home party. Most of the world considers the settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank to be a violation of international law. The Palestinians intend to establish a state on the lands that Israel seized from Jordan in the 1967 war. The Obama administration has described the settlements as "illegitimate."
A B'Tselem report to be published early Wednesday blasts the country's civilian leadership, and specifically Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his cabinet, as culpable for hundreds of Palestinian civilians being killed in their residences during last summer's Gaza war. Neither the IDF, nor the Foreign Ministry nor the Prime Minister s Office responded, but NGO Monitor called the document part of a "chorus of false Gaza war allegations."
A little-publicized report released during the final weeks of Israel s summer offensive on the Gaza Strip last year accuses Israel of targeting water and wastewater infrastructure during the 51-day assault, despite having been provided the coordinates of all water and wastewater facilities.
The commander of Unit 8200, named as Brigadier-General "A", barred the 43 reserve soldiers who wrote to prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and top army chiefs in September, saying they could no longer serve in the unit, the radio said. Coming a few weeks after Israel's 50-day war against Islamist militants in the Gaza Strip, the letter was seen as an unprecedented rebuke of Netanyahu s security policies but the military dismissed it as a publicity stunt by a small fringe.
By RSVPing to Boehner's invitation, Netanyahu is choosing sides and embracing the folks whom most American Jews oppose. He is butting into US politics and enabling the never-ending Republican campaign to undercut a president widely supported by American Jews. After all, Israel, which receives about $3 billion in US aid annually, needs the United States more than vice versa. Yet Netanyahu has decided to snub American Jews and to insult the leader they strongly back.
Hadasa Hershkovichi fled to Israel in search of a home after the Nazis murdered her entire family. Hershkovichi is one of 190,000 Holocaust survivors residing in Israel today. She is also one of the 50,000 estimated to live below the poverty line, according to the Association for Immediate Help for Holocaust Survivors. Israel classifies a person as poor if they survive on around $600 or less a month.
On Thursday, Israel's intelligence agency reportedly threw cold water on a plan by a bipartisan group of congressional officeholders to impose new sanctions on Iran if the regime fails to abide by agreements reached during nuclear negotiations or walks away from the process. The report was a bombshell. It would indicate that Mossad, the organization on the front lines of Israel's covert war against Iran and the terrorist organizations sponsored by the regime, is more supportive of President Barack Obama s approach to nuclear negotiations than the line favored by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Relations between Barack Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu neared a new low on Thursday as the White House revealed the president would not meet the Israeli prime minister when he visits Republican leaders of Congress in March. The White House decision arrived as strains with the Israeli government burst into the open following an invitation from Republican House speaker John Boehner, who asked Netanyahu to discuss their shared concerns over Obama s nuclear talks with Iran before a combined session of Congress.
A Palestinian man stabbed and wounded up to a dozen Israelis on Wednesday as he rampaged through a bus in central Tel Aviv during the morning rush, the police said. He then fled on foot, but was shot and wounded by security forces. At least three of the victims were reportedly hospitalized in serious condition. The assailant, a man in his early 20s from the West Bank city of Tulkarm, was arrested, the police said.
Israel has been stealing nuclear secrets and covertly making bombs since the 1950s. And western governments, including Britain and the US, turn a blind eye. But how can we expect Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions if the Israelis won't come clean?
The United Nations on Thursday called on Israel to unlock millions of dollars in taxes owed to the Palestinian Authority that were withheld after it decided to join the International Criminal Court. A senior UN official told the UN Security Council that the freeze of about $127 million imposed on January 3 was in violation of the Oslo peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
Israel this week launched a campaign to thwart the UN Commission of Inquiry on Gaza, directing its diplomats to ensure that a majority of the 47 countries on the UN body that established the commission do not endorse its report. The commission, headed by William Schabas, is due to present its findings to the UN Human Rights Council on March 23, just six days after the elections. A vote on the findings will be held a few days later.
A classified Israeli foreign ministry document, leaked to the daily Yediot Ahronot, warns that 2015 will see Israel s standing on the world stage steadily deteriorating. It predicts "worsening drift in Europe toward Palestinian positions, more parliaments recognizing the State of Palestine, fear of sanctions and labeling merchandise [to separate settlement products from tariff-free Israel-proper products] and no certainty that the United States will continue after Israel s March elections to protect Israel with its veto."
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo affirmed his country s commitment to supporting reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, lifting the siege and accelerating the rebuilding process. The Spanish top diplomat told a press conference held on Tuesday in Gaza City, "We are working on lifting the siege on the Strip to enable its people to live in dignity.
Absence sought as part of attempt to keep Israeli-Palestinian conflict out of European show of unity; After Netanyahu insisted on coming, French made it clear Abbas would be invited as well. Audibert explained that Hollande wanted the event to focus on demonstrating solidarity with France, and to avoid anything liable to divert attention to other controversial issues, like Jewish-Muslim relations or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The cartoonist Mohammad Saba aneh was arrested at the Allenby Bridge checkpoint in Israel and sentenced by the Israeli Salem Military Court in April of 2013 for "contact with a hostile organization." But Saba aneh and his supporters say that this was all backlash against his political cartoons, by the State that he was so critical of.
The global movement to boycott the Israeli economy is having no discernible impact even though Israel s export-dependent economy is vulnerable, the Knesset Research and Information Center said in a report released on Wednesday. The report noted that the boycott comprised several components, including the long-standing boycott by the Arab League and efforts by the European Union to dent the customs exemptions and other benefits of the free-trade agreement with Israel to the West Bank settlements.
As a winter storm continued to pound the Middle East, thousands of Gaza residents whose homes were destroyed or damaged in last summer s war with Israel struggled with the harsh weather for a third day, and a 4-month-old baby from the southern part of the territory died on Friday from complications caused by the bitter cold, Palestinian health officials and relatives said.
Hamas officials on Thursday accused the Palestinian Authority government of turning its back on the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and called for rescinding the last reconciliation agreement between the two parties.
Former defense minister said PM is leading Israel down a slippery slope; Netanyahu in response: 'The leftists are still trying to peddle to the public the dream of the new Middle East that has turned into a nightmare a long time ago.'
Republican US Senator Rand Paul introduced Wednesday a bill that would immediately halt American aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA), US media reported. The Associated Press (AP) reported that the bill would cut aid until the PA withdraws its bid to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) to pursue war-crimes charges against Israel.
A BuzzFeed piece by Sheera Frankel notes that 90 percent of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu s campaign funding comes from United States donors and, astoundingly, more than half of the money supporting his current campaign was given by just three American families:
Israeli leaders on Sunday threatened to take tougher action against the Palestinians over their decision to join the International Criminal Court, a day after freezing the transfer of more than $100 million in tax funds. Last week's Palestinian decision to seek membership in the international court has infuriated Israel. The Palestinians have said they intend on using their new membership in the Hague-based tribunal to press war crimes cases against Israel.
Despite the collapse of Israeli-Palestinian peace prospects, the Obama administration continues the fiction that any Palestinian appeal to the UN somehow threatens those non-existent talks, while Republicans vow to sync U.S. policies even more in line with Israeli demands, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.