Barack Obama

Analysis: By kicking Bibi, Obama hopes to save Abbas

By Shmuel Rosner, November 12, 2009

The Obama administration felt it had no choice but to humiliate Mr Netanyahu. It was a small price to pay if the gesture re-awakened the peace process. A small price to pay if the gesture convinced Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas not to make his resignation final. A small price to pay with a prime minister the Obama team never really liked, and probably will never like.

They look at Mr Netanyahu and see their own failure. They look at him and see the broken promise of the rekindled peace process. They meet him and they have to be nice — because being cold gained them nothing.

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Netanyahu 'agrees to settlement freeze' in tense talks with Obama

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 12, 2009

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu tried to put on a brave face following the demonstrably low-key fashion in which he was received on Monday at the White House. However, Israeli officials have admitted that the nature of the meeting was “a reprimand” to the prime minister and that Mr Netanyahu conceded on a number of issues, including the settlement freeze and the release of Palestinian prisoners.

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Ahmadinejad: Obama, choose Iran or Israel

By Jessica Elgot, November 11, 2009

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said the US must choose between supporting Israel or Iran if any real change of policy is to take place.

Mr Ahmadinejad said it was time for US President Barack Obama to live up to his slogan: “Change”.

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Netanyahu and Obama hold secret talks

By Jessica Elgot, November 10, 2009

Israeli President Binyamin Netanyahu has told US President Barack Obama that he is “extremely serious” about advancing peace talks with the Palestinians and the Arab world.

The two held a private meeting in Washington where they discussed Israeli security and the nuclear threat from Iran.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak, Israeli ambassador Michael Oren, National Security Council head Uzi Arad and the Israeli envoy Yitzhak Molcho were all present at points throughout the meeting.

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An unsettled alliance

By Anshel Pfeffer and Ben Lynfield, November 5, 2009

Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will travel to Washington next week for a meeting with President Obama in a much friendlier atmosphere than their past two meetings.

The improvement in relations between the White House and Jerusalem came as the Obama Administration took more Israel-friendly positions on the issue of settlements and the Goldstone Report.

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So Obama, change isn’t easy

By Tim Marshall, November 5, 2009

Fifty-two weeks is a long time in politics, but not long enough to turn around the supertankers of American foreign policy. That is especially true when, after taking power, you realise that changing policy can lead you into a course strewn with mines, waiting to blow your tankers out of the water.

Fifty-two weeks ago President Obama’s election victory speech promised that: “Change has come to America”. That is a moot point. What is harder to argue is that America has brought change to the world.

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Guardian omits Rabin, Peres, Begin from Nobel list

By Jessica Elgot, October 9, 2009

Complaints to The Guardian newspaper over an incomplete list of Nobel peace prize winners have led to a hasty amendment on the paper's website.

The incomplete list was up for four hours, despite comments below the list which pointed out the omissions of Yitzak Rabin, Menachem Begin and Shimon Peres.

Immediately following the announcement of President Barack Obama's win of the 2009 Nobel peace prize, Guardian news editor Simon Rogers posted what he claimed was "every peace prize winner ever", stating that the information came from the website Nobelprize.org

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Obama's Nobel: new peace hopes for Middle East?

By Jessica Elgot, October 9, 2009

Israeli politicians have responded the US president Barack Obama’s Nobel peace prize win, asking him to stand firm on his commitments to achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East.

The announcement of the prize was made while Israeli president Binyamin Netanyahu was in Washington for more talks with Mr Obama’s special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell.

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Obama rises above blind Jewish bias

By Richard Wolffe, October 1, 2009

We were together in a synagogue hall in Boca Raton, Florida — a presidential candidate on a bar stool, a semi-polite audience seated in rows in front of him, and the world’s media straining to hear every word.

It took less than 10 minutes before Barack Obama faced the inevitable attack, phrased as a question: could he name any “close personal friends” who were “solemnly pro-Israel and anti-terrorist”?

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Analysis: The president blames everyone but himself

By Shmuel Rosner, September 24, 2009

So now we know that both the Israelis and Palestinians are to blame.

“It’s time to show the flexibility, common sense and compromise which is necessary to achieve our goals,” President Obama preached to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas this week.

His great achievement of the evening: the handshake. More than a decade-and-a-half after Yitzhak Rabin, reluctantly, shook the hands of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at the White House, Mr Netanyahu and Mr Abbas were also shaking hands for the first time.

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