Barack Obama

What Shimon Peres told Barak Obama

By Nathan Guttman and Anshel Pfeffer, May 7, 2009

Israel’s new right-wing government made its debut in the American capital his week, with President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu trying to convince the Obama administration that they are committed to the peace process.

Mr Peres, who met with President Obama at the White House on Tuesday and gave the keynote speech at the annual policy conference of the pro-Israel lobby group, Aipac, assured his audience that Mr Netanyahu’s government will not renege on its roadmap commitments.

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Obama and Netanyahu clash over Hamas

By Anshel Pfeffer and Nathan Guttman, April 30, 2009

A row has broken out on the eve of Israeli President Shimon Peres’ visit to Washington next week over a move by President Obama to allow US aid to reach the Palestinian Authority even if it is run by a government which includes members of Hamas.

Sources within the Israeli government have described the clause, in the US administration’s emergency spending request to Congress, as an extremely negative development which will give a lead to other western governments and encourage them to transfer funds to Hamas-controlled agencies.

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Obama sends ‘let’s talk’ message

By Nathan Guttman, March 26, 2009

True to his campaign promise to reach out diplomatically to Iran, US president Barack Obama issued a public appeal to the Iranian leadership on the occasion of the Iranian holiday of Nowruz.

President Obama’s overture to Tehran marks the beginning of the US effort to engage with Iran, a strategy viewed with skepticism by Israel. The President’s public call for rapprochement comes days after senior administration officials were urged by Israel’s chief of staff not to shelve the military option against Iran.

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Analysis: Keeping track of Obama’s promises

By Shmuel Rosner, January 22, 2009

The Obama Promise Tracker is an electronic tool with which to follow all the promises the new President has made – 895 by its inventor Todd Smith’s count.

Of these 895 promises, made between February 10 2007 — the day he announced his candidacy — and November 4 — the day he was announced President-elect — 14 are tagged under “Foreign Policy, Israel”.

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Analysis: Barak proves man for the moment

By Daniella Peled - Foreign Editor, December 31, 2008

A week is a long time in Israeli politics, too. Labour leader and defence minister Ehud Barak has long been a non-entity, languishing in the polls, his party an irrelevance.

But Barak seems to have pulled off an astonishing reversal. The operation in Gaza positions him as a man to lead in a crisis — and puts him in stark contrast to his predecessor as both Labour leader and Defence Minister Amir Peretz, whose performance in the Second Lebanon War was laughable.

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Team Obama talks tough on Iran

By Nathan Guttman, December 4, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama has won praise from Jewish and pro-Israel groups for his foreign policy and security team.

Among the nominations announced on Monday, of particular interest was that of New York Senator Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.

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Obama and Israel to boycott ‘Durban II’

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 27, 2008

Advisers to President-elect Barack Obama have assured Jewish leaders that the United States will not take part in the so-called Durban II conference, the JC has learned.

The now-notorious 2001 Durban Conference became a forum for extreme anti-Israel sentiment and antisemitism.

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Obama mulls future team

By Nathan Guttman, November 11, 2008

With the American economy heading toward recession, president-elect Barack Obama intends to name his future economic team before announcing the make up of his top foreign policy and national security posts.

Mr Obama's first pick as president-elect was of Rham Emanuel, a Jewish congressman from Illinois, to serve as his Chief of Staff. Mr Emanuel, son of a former Israeli who understands Hebrew and volunteered inthe IDF during the first Gulf War, is considered a close friend of Israel and the community.

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Israel embraces Obama

By Nathan Guttman, November 6, 2008

The historic election of Democrat Barack Obama as US President has been warmly welcomed by Israeli leaders across the political spectrum.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert described Mr Obama's sweeping victory as "historic and impressive" adding: "America has again proven itself an example to world democracies."

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Palestinians ‘optimistic’ over Obama

By Ben Lynfield, November 6, 2008

Palestinian leaders are hoping Barack Obama's campaign emphasis on change will translate in office into a shift away from what they view as reflexive American support for Israel.

"I don't know if there is going to be pressure on Israel but he may have a different approach, one of engaging the Israelis, of persuading them," former Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Ziyad Abu Amer said.

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