Barack Obama

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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Analysis: Why Obama suddenly loves Netanyahu

By Nathan Guttman, April 29, 2010

Last month, the Obama administration chose to go to an extreme when criticising Israel over its settlement activity. Now it is going to the opposite extreme in showing its love for the Jewish state.

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Analysis: On Iran, at least, Bibi and Obama agree

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 15, 2010

Commentators have been competing with each other to come up with the best superlative to describe the apparent crisis in Israel-American relations, but it has gone almost unnoticed that on one very significant issue, President Barack Obama seems to be closer now to Israel's position that the Bush administration.

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Bibi back in US for security talks

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 7, 2010

Only three weeks after the traumatic meeting in the Oval Office, Binyamin Netanyahu will be returning to Washington next week and participating in President Barack Obama's nuclear security summit.

The two leaders are not expected to meet privately as the Israeli government has yet to respond to the administration’s demands regarding the peace process.

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Obama is setting a precedent for Israel

By Jonathan Tobin, April 1, 2010

President Obama's foreign policy team came into office in 2009 determined to distance themselves from Israel. This was due in part to their inclination to change everything that the Bush administration did as well as their belief that a more "even handed" approach really could jump start the peace process.

This determination to cool things down with Israel was strengthened once Binyamin Netanyahu's right-wing coalition won in the elections held only a month after Mr Obama's inauguration.

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Israeli cabinet mulls Obama's proposals for Jerusalem

By Jessica Elgot, March 29, 2010

US President Barack Obama aims to halt construction completely in east Jerusalem, including the strictly Orthodox neighbourhood of Ramat Shlomo, as part of 10 demands made during his Washington meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel media has reported.

Other demands include ending the demolition of Palestinian neighbourhoods and the re-starting of indirect talks with the Palestinians to decide on future borders.

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Netanyahu: I would always have built in East Jerusalem

By Jessica Elgot, March 26, 2010

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied claims on Friday that right-wing members of his coalition were pushing him into building in east Jerusalem – because, he said, he would have initiated such building himself.

Mr Netanyahu’s coalition has been the subject of speculation since he returned empty-handed from an apparently disastrous meeting in Washington with US President Barack Obama.

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Netanyahu meets Obama in Washington

By Jessica Elgot, March 24, 2010

US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have met for lengthy, private talks in the White House.

Mr Netanyahu, along with Defence Minister Ehud Barak, met Mr Obamafor a 90 minute discussion in the Oval Office.

But debate was reportedly so heated, that after the talks were due to conclude, both sides went their separate ways to seek advice from aides and after a short break Mr Netanyahu requested a further 35 minute meeting with the President.

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Obama reaffirms Israel 'special bond'

By Jessica Elgot, March 18, 2010

US President Barack Obama has spoken of the “special bond” the US has with Israel, keen to smooth over the mounting diplomatic crisis between the countries.

Tensions have been high since the Israeli Interior Ministry announced the building of 1,600 new homes in Ramat Shlomo, east Jerusalem, just 24 hours after US Vice President Joe Biden visited the country in an attempt to start peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

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