US government

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."

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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,"

More..

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.

More..

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

More..

Iran nuclear plan tentatively agreed

By Jessica Elgot, October 21, 2009

Iran has agreed a draft proposal from US, Russian and French negotiators in Vienna to export three-quarters of the country’s enriched uranium.

Under the new deal, 75 per cent of Iran’s low enriched urainium will be shipped out of the country and enriched elsewhere. The uranium would be treated enough to be used by Iran for medical research but not enough to make weapons.

The talks in Vienna, which were meant to conclude on Monday have dragged out for almost three days. Now the representatives in Vienna have until Friday to get the deal approved by their respective governments.

More..

NASA man accused of spying for Mossad

By Jessica Elgot, October 20, 2009

An American space scientist has been arrested after he attempted to sell US secrets to an undercover FBI agent, posing as a Mossad representative.

Stewart David Nozette, 52, from Chevy Chase, Maryland, who is Jewish, has worked for the Pentagon and for NASA.

During his career, he developed an experiment which led to the discovery of water on the moon, and worked at the White House on the National Space Council.

More..

US: It was mistake to say we will block Goldstone

By Jessica Elgot, September 24, 2009

The White House has claimed reports that the Goldstone report would be blocked by the US from going to the International Criminal Court, were a mistake.

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said an anonymous official "misspoke" when he told Jewish organisations that the US would not allow the report’s recommendations to go beyond the Human Rights Council.

Mr Vietor said the US policy towards the Goldstone report remained the same as was given in the statement by Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN.

More..

Jews lobby for Iran sanctions

By Hilary Krieger, September 18, 2009

American Jewish organisations are intensifying their calls for the US Congress to enact strict sanctions on Iran, as Tehran continues to make progress on its nuclear programme.

Their activism comes amidst signs that the US might be getting more serious about sanctions. But they might find that the hardest opposition comes from Europeans, whose companies will be hurt by the measures.

Congress proposed sanctions legislation in the spring but did not attempt to enact it in order to give the new US administration time to see if diplomacy could work.

More..