US government

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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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UK peace talks give new hope

By Stephen Pollard and Jenni Frazer, August 27, 2009

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s three-day visit to London ended on an optimistic note after four hours of talks with President Obama’s special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell.

A framework for resumed peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians is expected to be announced “between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur”, according to Israeli sources. This will almost certainly be at the UN General Assembly session in New York. Before that, Israeli officials are expected to hold further talks with Mr Mitchell next week.

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Jewish tributes to Ted Kennedy

By Jessica Elgot, August 26, 2009

Jewish and Israeli leaders have paid tribute to US Senator Ted Kennedy, who died of brain cancer at the age of 77.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is currently in the UK called Senator Kennedy an "American patriot" said that he was "a great friend of Israel".

Israeli President Shimon Peres expressed deep sorrow at the death of Senator Kennedy
He said: "Kennedy was a clear friend of Israel the whole way, and in every place that he could help us, he did help.

“He was a particularly respected leader with an interest in helping society.

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Anger over US medal for Israel critic

By Nathan Guttman, August 6, 2009

In the current contentious relationship between the Obama administration and Israel, even symbolic gestures are being taken as signs that the bond between the two countries is deteriorating.

Such is the case with Mary Robinson’s selection as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honour.

The former president of Ireland and UN High Commissioner on Human Rights is among the 16 US and international figures who will receive the medal at an August 12 White House ceremony.

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British diplomats involved in US-Israel tension

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 22, 2009

British diplomats played a major part in the recent spat between Israel and the United States over Jewish building in east Jerusalem.

Last week, during a routine meeting with Israel’s new ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, the Americans expressed objection to plans to convert the Shepherd Hotel in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah into 20 flats for Jewish families.

The building is owned by American-Jewish millionaire Irving Moskovich.

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Can Dennis Ross bring Israel and US closer?

By Nathan Guttman, July 2, 2009

Veteran peace negotiator Dennis Ross is back in the US government’s Middle East portfolio in a move many interpret as a shift to the right for the administration.

After serving as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s top adviser on Iran, Mr Ross is moving to the National Security Council (NSC), where he will be special adviser to the president on the Middle East, including Iraq, Iran and the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Mr Ross is considered to have close ties with Israeli officials. He previously chaired the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute.

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