Peace process

William Hague: I have Iran in my sights

April 29, 2010

William Hague is in no doubt about the most urgent issue to face him if he finds himself in the Foreign Office next month.

"It's the Iranian nuclear programme," he says. "We have consistently been the party arguing for tough sanctions and a strong European approach over the last few years, and are very frustrated that this hasn't emerged strongly enough."

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Israel and Palestinian peace talks to start "in two weeks"

By Robyn Rosen, April 28, 2010

Danny Ayalon, Israel's deputy foreign minister, has announced that new peace negotiations with Palestinian leaders could start within a fortnight.

Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is due to fly to Cairo on Monday to discuss the talks, the first since 2008, with Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak.

He told his Likud party in Tuesday that he had heard that Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president “intends to renew the talks. I will be very glad if this will indeed be carried out next week,” he said.

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US may impose own Middle East peace plan

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 15, 2010

Israeli diplomats are coming round to the idea that the White House could try to impose its own peace plan on the Israelis and Palestinians for the first time in four decades.

In addition to reports by well-sourced correspondents in the American media, there have been a number of signals in recent days that the administration is planning to present its own peace plan. The next visit to the region by US representative George Mitchell has been repeatedly postponed, giving rise to the speculation that President Barack Obama has decided to change tack.

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Jewish charities publish social action manifesto

By Martin Bright, March 25, 2010

A group of prominent Jewish charities committed to social justice and climate change has published a joint manifesto for the forthcoming election.

The Jewish Social Action Forum document urges whichever party wins the election to act on poverty, global conflict and refugee issues as well as the environment.

The manifesto begins with a strong commitment to green issues. "The Jewish religion strongly believes in the notion of stewardship - that the world does not belong to us but that it is our responsibility to protect it for future generations."

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Tony Blair: A two-state solution is best for Israel

By Jessica Elgot, March 23, 2010

Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister and envoy to the Middle East Quartet has described his vision for a safer Israel at the Aipac conference in Washington.

He said: “Israel is a democracy. The politicians are in fear of the people, not the people in fear of the politicians.”

Like US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who spoke at the conference yesterday, Mr Blair called the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit "a disgrace" and said that Iran must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.

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American Jews turn against Obama as Israel rift deepens

By Nathan Guttman, March 18, 2010

As the row over new building plans in east Jerusalem evolved from a diplomatic embarrassment to a major crisis between Jerusalem and Washington, the American Jewish approach to the conflict shifted as well.

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Analysis: Netnayahu faces US crisis

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 18, 2010

Binyamin Netanyahu is not a natural gambler. He hates making decisions and will use every opportunity to defer and procrastinate. But this week he was handed a clear ultimatum by the White House: make the choice - us or your coalition.

His response: to continue playing for time.

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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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Jerusalem riots ease as Clinton calls for peace

By Jessica Elgot, March 17, 2010

Jerusalem appeared to have returned to a semblance of calm last night as police reopened the Temple Mount and road closures from the West Bank were lifted, despite yesterday’s violent clashes.

The riots were in protest against the Israeli government’s approval given to 1,600 new homes in East Jerusalem, a move which cause a deep rift between Israel and the US, with US special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, cancelling a visit to Israel.

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Peace talks cancelled over East Jerusalem homes

By Jessica Elgot, March 11, 2010

The Palestinians have called off peace talks with the Israeli government after a decision to approve 1,600 new homes to be built in East Jerusalem, despite an apology from Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Israel’s approval of the houses, which came 24 hours after indirect talks between Israeli and the Palestinians were announced, brokered by US special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell.

The homes are to be built for a strictly-Orthodox community in Ramat Shlomo near the Palestinian village of Shuafat.

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