December 10, 2012 | 1:47 am
Peter Beinart explains in the Daily Beast why the White House is adopting what one adminstration official calls 'benign neglect'.
What America won’t do, however, unless events on the ground dramatically change, is appoint a big-name envoy (some have suggested Bill Clinton) to relaunch direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The reason: such negotiations would let Netanyahu off the hook. Senior administration officials believe the Israeli leader has no interest in the wrenching compromises necessary to birth a viable Palestinian state. Instead, they believe, he wants the façade of a peace process because it insulates him from international pressure. By refusing to make that charade possible, Obama officials believe, they are forcing Netanyahu to own his rejectionism, and letting an angry world take it from there.
Israel holds $300 million in restitution unclaimed by the heirs of Holocaust victims, writes Nathan Guttman in the Forward, and many could live in North America.
In 2012 so far, 220 American individuals and families have filed requests for information, compared to 107 in 2011. Not all of those who found initial indications that that their family held assets will be verified as legal heirs, since the process of inquiry is extensive. But for heirs in Israel, in America and around the world, the process has led to the restitution of property whose worth has ranged from stocks worth several thousand dollars to apartment buildings, farmland and even several buildings in Tel Aviv valued at over $1 million.
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