Barack Obama

Analysis: This is the least Netanyahu can do to keep Obama happy

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 27, 2009

If this works, Barack Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu will be competing to take the credit for coming up with the idea first. If it works.

While everyone was waiting for a major bust-up between the Israeli government and the White House over Mr Netanyahu’s reluctance to commit to a two-state solution, both leaders seemed to agree to lay their differences aside, for now, and to focus on a more immediate and much smaller objective: removing the settler outposts.

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Netanyahu meets Obama: Israelis do not want rift

By Shmuel Rosner, May 21, 2009

Ariel Sharon learned two important lessons between his failed tenure as defence minister in the early ‘80s, and his much more successful term as prime minister, starting in 2000. First, maintain eye contact with Israel’s centre, and make sure that even the liberal left doesn’t really hate you. Second, make sure to work closely with the US government. These two cannot guarantee personal success, but they are key to having relative political calm.

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Netanyahu meets Obama: Smiles, but tension ahead

By David Landau, May 21, 2009

Benjamin Netanyahu flew home from Washington with a significant and unpredicted achievement: President Obama, with the Israeli leader by his side in the White House, set a deadline for his new policy of dialogue with Iran. By the end of the year, the President said, “we should have a fairly good sense as to whether they are moving in the right direction”.

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Bibi makes his US debut

By Nathan Guttman, May 14, 2009

President Barack Obama will hold his first meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next week as part of a round of discussions with Middle East leaders which is expected to lead to a new American policy on the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Differences between Jerusalem and Washington have recently emerged both on the future of the peace process and on the Iranian nuclear threat.

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Lieberman: Cyprus the blueprint for peace

By Stephen Pollard, May 14, 2009

Israel’s controversial Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, appears to have persuaded Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to adopt a peace plan which the leader of Yisrael Beiteinu views as an alternative to the two-state solution as it is usually defined.

Mr Lieberman, who has been visiting European capitals, revealed the outlines of his plan at a reception in London on Tuesday, on the eve of his meeting with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband. He also discussed the plan, which he has floated before, in Italy last week.

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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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