Barack Obama

Rahm Emanuel tipped to leave White House

By Jennifer Lipman, June 21, 2010

President Barack Obama’s controversial and high-profile chief of staff, who is Jewish, could be leaving his job within a year to run for office in Chicago.

Rahm Emanuel, who was also a senior aide to Bill Clinton, has been tipped by Washington sources to leave the White House after November's mid-term elections.

Friends of the 50-year-old have said personality differences with President Obama and a desire to spend more time with his family are behind his probable exit.

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Bibi to meet Barack Obama at White House

By Jennifer Lipman, June 21, 2010

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has arranged to meet President Barack Obama in Washington next month.

Following Israel’s announcement that it will ease the blockade of Gaza, the two leaders are to meet at the White House on July 6 to explore “additional steps” for the region.

A meeting had been scheduled for June 1 but was postponed in the wake of the clashes on the Gaza-bound flotilla.

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Rabbi who filmed reporter threatened

By Jennifer Lipman, June 9, 2010

The rabbi whose video led to the resignation of a veteran Washington reporter has been facing death threats.

Rabbi David Nesenoff filmed Helen Thomas commenting that all Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” at a White House Jewish Heritage event in May. She also said Jews in Israel should "go back home to Poland, Germany, America and everywhere else."

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Obama: right decision for Helen Thomas to resign

By Jennifer Lipman, June 8, 2010

President Barack Obama has said it was the right decision for White House reporter Helen Thomas to resign after she called for all Jews to "get the hell out of Palestine".

He said in a television interview that Helen Thomas’ remarks were “offensive”.

The veteran reporter, who has worked in Washington since the Kennedy administration, announced her resignation after footage emerged of her saying Jews in Israel should "go back home to Poland, Germany, America and everywhere else”.

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White House reporter quits job

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2010

The veteran White House journalist who caused a political storm after calling for all Jews to "get the hell out of Palestine" has announced her retirement.

Helen Thomas, a Hearst Newspapers journalist and the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, had faced calls for her resignation from several senior political commentators and has now said she will leave her job immediately.

It comes after video footage emerged of Ms Thomas, 89, saying Jews in Israel should "go back home to Poland, Germany, America and everywhere else."

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Obama welcomes heritage festival

By Hilary Krieger, May 27, 2010

For the first time since its inception four years ago, Jewish American Heritage Month has received a full-blown White House reception, hosted this week by US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

The event was due to feature some of the biggest names in US Jewry, from sports and literary icons to leading scholars and businessmen - not to mention Jewish members of Congress, major Democratic political players and key Obama fundraisers.

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Obama Chief of Staff to meet Netanyahu and Peres

By Jessica Elgot, May 26, 2010

President Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will meet Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu today and President Shimon Peres tomorrow.

Emmanuel, who is in Israel for his son Zach’s barmitzvah, is expected to have an informal chat with both men about the current proximity talks with the Palestinians and to discuss general US-Israel bilateral relations.

The barmitzvah ceremony will be held in Jerusalem, but it is not clear if it will take place at the Western Wall.

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Jewish woman is nominee for Supreme Court

By Jessica Elgot, May 11, 2010

US President Barack Obama has nominated his solicitor-general Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court.

Ms Kagan’s appointment would be the first time three women will serve as part of the nine judges who form the Supreme Court, and the fourth woman to serve in the country’s history.

Her appointment would also mean she is the third Jewish member of the Supreme Court, joining six Catholic members. Fellow female judge Ruth Ginsberg is also Jewish, as is Stephen Breyer.

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Tikkun Obama

By Simon Rocker, May 6, 2010

Once tikkun olam was an obscure mystical idea known only to Kabbalists, now it's the official culture of American Jewry.

In a White House proclamation announcing Jewish Heritage Month this month, Barack Obama saluted Jewish Americans who "today… carry on their culture's tradition of tikkun olam - 'to repair the world' - through good deeds and service". 

He signed it "in the year" 2010 rather than the usual formula, "in the year of our Lord".

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Mitchell arrives in Israel to start peace talks

By Jessica Elgot, May 4, 2010

US Special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell has arrived in Israel ready to start new indirect peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israeli media have reported that the talks are gearing up to start as soon as Wednesday.

But the Palestinian Authority has refused to participate in the talks until it has the backing of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, which will not meet until Sunday.

Talks, mediated by Mr Mitchell, were agreed last month but the PA cancelled after an Israeli announcement that new homes had been approved in Ramat Shlomo, east Jerusalem.

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