Barack Obama

Bibi tells Aipac: US and Israel are like a family

By Orlando Radice, March 2, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Aipac conference in Washington today that the US and Israel were “like a family, practically a mishpacha”.

Mr Netanyahu, whose decision to address Congress tomorrow has caused a deep rift between the White house and Jerusalem, told the gathering of 16,000 delegates: “Our alliance is sound, our friendship is strong.”


US denies reports of deal on Iran nuclear programme

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 25, 2015

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address a joint session of the United States Congress next week to warn against an impending deal on Iran's nuclear programme. At the same time, US Secretary of State John Kerry will be in Geneva meeting the Iranians, perhaps putting the finishing touches on that very agreement.


Bibi, the guest in by the back door

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 29, 2015

In some ways, Benjamin Netanyahu's scheduled speech to Congress, bypassing the normal protocol of co-ordinating head of state visits through the White House and State Department, is testimony to the strength of those ties.

What other world leader could imagine organising such a trip with the House Speaker while keeping the President out of the loop?


US signs deal to hold more weapons in Israel

By Sandy Rashty, December 22, 2014

President Barack Obama has signed an agreement that is set to strengthen US-Israel ties.

The United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, which was signed in Washington last Friday, confirms Israel’s status as a “major strategic partner” and America’s “unwavering support” for the country as a Jewish state.


Alan Gross released from Cuban jail

By Rosa Doherty, December 17, 2014

Jewish American citizen Alan Gross has been freed by Cuba after five years in prison as the first step in a thawing of relations between the two nations.

Mr Gross, 65, was released after the US agreed to free three Cubans who had been jailed in Florida for spying. He left Cuba on a US government plane today, according to reports.


Obama’s nominee for defence chief ‘tough on Iran, friendly to Israel’

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 9, 2014

Two years ago, when the United States Senate held its confirmation hearings for President Barack Obama’s nomination for Secretary of Defence, a pitched battle ensued on Chuck Hagel’s suitability for the post, largely due to his previously critical statements on Israel and a perceived “softness” towards Iran.


Peace Now spoils Bibi's US party

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 7, 2014

The venerable Israeli left-wing organisation Peace Now has lost a lot of its steam in recent years.

The failure of the Oslo process and other diplomatic initiatives has led to public apathy over the group's efforts to push for a two-state solution.


Obama's gamble: that Saudis hold firm to prevent Mid East collapse

By John R Bradley, September 5, 2014

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah issued a dire warning at a reception for foreign ambassadors last week. "I ask you to transmit this message to your leaders: fight terrorism with force, reason and speed," he said, claiming that the jihadis will launch attacks throughout Europe and the US within months if left unchecked in Syria and Iraq.


Obama picks rabbi as faith ambassador

By Simon Rocker, July 31, 2014

American President Barack Obama has turned to one of the world's leading Reform rabbis to be his advocate for religious freedom across the world.

Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Centre, the American Reform movement's social action and justice arm, was nominated this week as an ambassador-at-large.


Obama has given Hamas free rein

By Dovid Efune, July 3, 2014

Hours after news broke that the three Israeli teenagers - including an American citizen - had been murdered, Ofir Akunis, Deputy Minister in the Office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told me that the slayings were a "direct result" of the formation of the Palestinian unity government - or "terror government", as he put it.