US government

On this day: Lyndon Johnson wins the US presidency

By Jennifer Lipman, November 3, 2010

Lyndon Johnson had already been president for nearly a year when he was actually voted in, taking on the role in the wake of the assassination of President Kennedy. But the election of 1964, the results of which were announced on November 3, put him in office with a landslide of 61 per cent of the vote.

Remembered for escalating American troop levels in Vietnam, and also for “the Great Society”, his expansive programme of domestic legislation, he remained in the White House until 1968 when he chose not to stand for reelection.

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JFK speechwriter Sorenson dies

By Jennifer Lipman, November 1, 2010

Theodore Sorensen, John F Kennedy’s speechwriter, has died at the age of 82.

Mr Sorenson, whose mother Annis Chaikin was of Russian Jewish descent, died in New York following a stroke.
He joined the future president’s senatorial staff in 1953, when he was 25 and just out of law school.

He worked with President Kennedy during the 1960 presidential election and was one of the main figures in what came to be known as Camelot.

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Rahm Emanuel to meet Netanyahu in Israel

By Jessica Elgot, May 26, 2010

President Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will meet Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu today and President Shimon Peres tomorrow.

Mr Emanuel, who is in Israel for his son Zach’s barmitzvah, is expected to have an informal chat with both men about the current proximity talks with the Palestinians and to discuss general US-Israel bilateral relations.

The barmitzvah ceremony will be held in Jerusalem, but it is not clear if it will take place at the Western Wall.

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BBC's Bowen: Problems in US-Israel relations 'enjoyable'

By Jessica Elgot, May 14, 2010

The BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen has said that a report where he described the tension in US-Israeli relations as “enjoyable” was down to an editing glitch.

In his piece ‘Analysis: Bleak climate for Mid-East talks’ for the BBC News website, Mr Bowen wrote: “It has been an unusual and enjoyable new experience to be able to look on as the Israelis argued with their most important ally.”

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Wiesel: Outrage at Jerusalem letter

By Jessica Elgot, May 13, 2010

Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel has sparked outrage in Jerusalem for an open letter he wrote to US President Barack Obama urging him not to ‘politicise’ Jerusalem.

The American-based academic and Holocaust survivor wrote to President Obama: “For me, the Jew that I am, Jerusalem is above politics.

"It belongs to the Jewish people and is much more than a city, it is what binds one Jew to another in a way that remains hard to explain.

“The first song I heard was my mother's lullaby about and for Jerusalem. Its sadness and its joy are part of our collective memory."

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Netanyahu meets Obama in Washington

By Jessica Elgot, March 24, 2010

US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have met for lengthy, private talks in the White House.

Mr Netanyahu, along with Defence Minister Ehud Barak, met Mr Obamafor a 90 minute discussion in the Oval Office.

But debate was reportedly so heated, that after the talks were due to conclude, both sides went their separate ways to seek advice from aides and after a short break Mr Netanyahu requested a further 35 minute meeting with the President.

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Clinton: Israel situation 'unsustainable'

By Jessica Elgot, March 22, 2010

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called the current situation in Israel “unsustainable” but guaranteed the Obama administration’s “rock solid” commitment to Israel.

In a speech prepared to deliver to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) in Washington, which was released early by her office, Mrs Clinton will say: “Guaranteeing Israel's security is more than a policy position for me. It is a personal commitment that will never waver.

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Biden hails new Israel, Palestinian peace talks

By Jessica Elgot, March 9, 2010

US Vice-President Joe Biden has hailed the new, indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians as a “moment of real opportunity”.

Mr Biden, who met Israel’s President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem today, praised the proposed four months of talks, which have been brokered by US Middle East special envoy George Mitchell.

Mr Biden said: “I hope it is a vehicle, a vehicle by which we can begin to allay that layer of mistrust that has built up in the last several years,"

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House of Representatives condemn Goldstone

By Jessica Elgot, November 4, 2009

The US House of Representatives has condemned the UN Goldstone Report by an overwhelming majority, calling the report “one-sided and distorted”.

The representatives voted 344 to 36 to endorse a symbolic resolution to condemn the report which was highly critical of Israel’s conduct during the Gaza offensive early this year. Twenty-two of the delegates declined to vote.

The report will be discussed at the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly today in New York.

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Clinton to meet Netanyahu in Israel

By Jessica Elgot, October 28, 2009

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Israel this weekend, in her first official visit since the Israeli elections.

On Sunday, she will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Middle East envoy George Mitchell, Defence Minister Ehud Barak and President Shimon Peres.

Mr Mitchell will arrive in Jerusalem on Thursday to prepare for Mrs Clinton’s visit.

After Mrs Clinton leaves Israel, she will fly to Morocco for a meeting with Arab foreign ministers

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