Benjamin Netanyahu

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.

More..

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.

More..

Analysis: A one and three-quarter state solution may be Bibi’s best offer

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 14, 2009

The White House has all but spelt it out. If Binyamin Netanyahu doesn’t commit himself to a two-state solution in his meeting with Barack Obama on Monday, he may as well save the airfare. Bibi is an astute enough observer of American politics to understand that this time, no amount of lobbying by congressional allies or senior Jewish Democrats is going to change the administration’s policy. He is going to have to find a way to deliver the goods.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

The rhetoric and the reality

By Leon Symons in Geneva and Anshel Pfeffer, April 23, 2009

Two contrasting aspects of the Middle East conflict were brought home this week in Geneva and Israel.

In Geveva, there was the circus of the UN’s conference on racism; and in Israel, the revelation to the JC that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will agree to the principle of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Jewish groups in Geneva were in uproar over the response among UN officials to the antisemitic opening-day speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. None of the UN hierarchy joined the walk-out, and UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi

More..

Israel remembers the 6 million

April 21, 2009

Most of Israel came to a standstill earlier today to remember the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust.

Traffic came to a halt and people stood in silence as air raid sirens rang out for two minutes. Many bars and restaurants didn’t open.

President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu attended the opening of a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem on Monday night. They pledged that there would never be a second Holocaust.

Mr Peres said the appearance at the Durban 2 conference of Iranian Presdient Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was "a deplorable disgrace".

More..

Netanyahu pledges to face down Iran

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 2, 2009

Stabilising the Israeli economy, dealing with the Iranian threat and establishing a dialogue with the Obama administration will be the first priorities of Binyamin Netanyahu’s new government, which was sworn in on Tuesday night.

With 30 ministers and eight deputy ministers, Mr Netanyahu’s Cabinet is the largest government in Israel’s history, and is based on a coalition of six parties and 74 members of the Knesset.

More..

Netanyahu pact splits Likud

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 26, 2009

The only obstacle still standing in the way of Binyamin Netanyahu forming a government next week is a possible revolt within his own party.

Likud members are angry with Mr Netanyahu for allocating most of the senior cabinet positions to the other parties in his coalition. “We are going to give him a rough ride when he presents the coalition agreements to the Likud Central Committee next week,” said one disgruntled MK. “Netanyahu has given everything away to the coalition partners and Likud, the ruling party, has to make do with leftovers.”

More..

Top job for Lieberman as Bibi is forced right

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 12, 2009

The key appointments in Israel’s new government, being sworn in on March 18, will be Avigdor Lieberman as Foreign Minister and Moshe Yaalon as Defence Minister.

Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu has failed to convince the leaders of Kadima and Labour, the mainstream parties in the Knesset, to join his coalition. His new government, therefore, will be based on a narrow, right-wing coalition, leaving Mr Netanyahu no choice but to accede to most of his partners’ demands.

More..