The presidency of moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani has opened a window of opportunity in Iran's delicate nuclear diplomacy with the West but Tehran-watchers say that window could close as each side waits for the other to make the first move.
According to Jewish tradition, prophecy cased with the end of the Biblical era, , but it doesn’t take a prophet to predict that Israel will not be attacking Iranian nuclear installations, at least not for a while.
The window for Iran to resolve its differences with the West through diplomacy is shrinking, President Obama said.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, welcomed President Obama's emphasis on diplomacy to resolve tensions over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.
News on the Iran front is getting more and more complicated. I am not referring to the situation at Iran's nuclear facilities but to the one here in Washington, where Congress, deep into election-year fundraising and thinking about the March AIPAC policy conference, is crafting yet another sanctions bill.
All options are on the table for Iran, but a diplomatic solution to the impasse over its nuclear weapons program is still a possibility, President Obama said in his State of the Union speech.
In the second week of the war in Gaza, with Israeli ground troops poised to intensify their actions against Hamas militants, weapons stores and rocket-launching sites, diplomatic efforts to end the fighting gathered pace.
Does the mini-war underway between Israel and Hamas in and around the Gaza Strip present President-elect Barack Obama's incoming administration with a crisis or an opportunity?
Why should any supporter of an embattled Israel want to risk the future of the Jewish State on a president known for the temperamental, quixotic and unpredictable whims that guide his decision making?
I was with Obama in Israel and in Europe, and I saw how he focused on the urgency of the Iranian threat. I saw how he used his discussions in Israel to remind the European leaders that Israelis are justified in seeing Iran with nuclear weapons as an existential threat -- and that for Israel's sake and our own we must put far more pressure on Iran if we are to stop it from going nuclear.
The Bush/Cheney doctrine, of course, was never about being loved. Instead, they said they wanted America to be respected, which turned out to be code for being feared.
Levey's experiences are so amusing, the uninitiated might think he made them up. As anyone who has spent considerable time in Israel knows, though, he didn't need to. Levey's cast of characters merely exemplifies the saying, "Jews are just like other people -- only more so."
Since none of them is offering any evidence to back up their optimism, here is my Top 10 list of signs of progress to look for in your cup of Mideast tea leaves to help you judge whether this peace process is serious:
For the first time since the Annapolis peace parley last November, the United States is leaning heavily on Israel to move ahead in peacemaking with the Palestinians.
Sixty years is long enough for a nation to fight to retain its independence. Our Arab partners, including Egypt and Jordon, need to join with the United States to pressure Hamas and other terrorist groups to cease and desist.
President Bush's historic visit to Israel and the Middle East can only delay the inevitable disappointment.
Why? It follows the enormous anticipation of the Annapolis conference in late 2007 -- a conference the overwhelming majority of Israelis believe failed. Since then, the expectations of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, as expressed in Annapolis, that an agreement can be ready in 2008, have proven to be naive and utterly unrealistic.
Yaakov Dayan, the new Israeli consul general for the Southwestern states, has just moved into his high-rise office on Wilshire Boulevard.
The walls are bare and pockmarked with nail holes, but leaning against a chair are the first two pictures to go up. One is a head drawing of David Ben-Gurion, surrounded by the signatures of the state's founding fathers and mothers, affixed to Israel's 1948 Declaration of Independence.
Tom Lantos, chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee, made headlines last April when he reiterated his desire to travel to Iran for informal talks with Iranian officials. And yet one month later the Democratic congressman from San Mateo introduced a tough Iran divestment bill with Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) that the House overwhelmingly passed last week.
George W. Bush has one last chance to leave behind a great legacy in the Middle East, and I want to help him. He has a year and a half left to support and encourage agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and to midwife and recognize the state of Palestine.
President George W. Bush kicked off the week by reaffirming his vision of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but it was widely seen as an attempt to divert attention from his debacle in Iraq rather than a commitment to sustained diplomacy.
It is time to renew our commitment to liberalization and democratization -- it is what the Islamists fear most. Congress should pass comprehensive legislation conditioning relations between the United States and nonliberal democracies on progress toward liberalization. This is not imperialism. It is support for decent values and democracies abroad.
The Jewish community is just as concerned as ever about the menace of a nuclear Iran, but it is starting to temper its red-hot rhetoric on the issue. The reason: a growing sense that calling Iran the new Nazi Germany, its madman leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Hitler reborn, is hurting the community-wide effort to ratchet up the diplomatic and economic pressure on the Tehran regime.
When Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, stepped to the podium at a Knesset dinner during her visit to Israel earlier this month, she made history in more ways than one.
To paint the Pelosi trip as anything less than helpful to American and Israeli interests, and to depict Pelosi and those who accompanied her as anything less than firm and diplomatic in representing American interests, is foolish.
Sokatch is the founding executive director of Los Angeles-based Progressive Jewish Alliance (PJA), a nondenominational group dedicated, in his words, to "connecting Jews to the critical social justice issues facing our city, such as criminal and economic justice and interfaith dialogue."
Moreover, now that Hamas is recognized as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, Hamas' official stance toward Israel has given Western observers a crisp and reliable thermometer to gauge the Palestinian vision of peace, many times more reliable than the ambiguous polls and speeches we have been reading about in the past.
This summer, as Israel was under fire, the Jews of the world spoke together and stood together. It is well known that as Jews we band together in times of hardship. Never was that more true than during this past summer. Jews in Israel and around the world understood the stakes and made standing with Israel their first priority.
On May 30, the United States Postal Service issued a series of new stamps honoring six career State Department diplomats who earned the gratitude of this nation for taking "risks to advance humanitarianism...[and] peace," even if their actions put themselves "in harm's way."
After 75 years, humanitarianism prevailed over rejectionism. Last Thursday, in the early morning hours, delegates to the 29th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, assembled in Geneva from 192 states and 183 relief societies, voted by overwhelming majority to recognize the Magen David emblem and admit Israel's relief society.
Fighting between small groups of Hamas and Fatah members on the streets of Gaza shows signs of intensifying. Both sides have mobilized large forces in Gaza and the West Bank, and some Palestinian observers are predicting civil war.
They say the people with the highest Q ratings on television are those who are most themselves in front of the camera. That explains the success Meir has had as the face of Israel on CNN, BBC, even al-Jazeera.
Quiet diplomacy rarely makes headlines, but one example of the art received public recognition this month when France bestowed one of its highest honors on Rabbi Gary Greenebaum.
Last week, President Bush said it plainer than ever before: Palestinian democracy, not just an end to terrorism, is the essential precondition for any new U.S. peace efforts in the region.
I am a sabra, a native Israeli. I am also an American. I grew up with the Israeli and American flags crisscrossing my wall. They symbolized freedom to me.
There is much skepticism about what will transpire in the coming weeks and months, with fears that Israel will be forced to make too many concessions or that Palestinians will get a state without first cracking down on terrorism.
The Bush administration starts a new round of Mideast diplomacy with a strong hand, thanks to its successful military action in Iraq and weak opposition at home.
Ask any rabbi or community relations professional; in Jewish communities across the nation, there is support for the Bush administration's Iraq policy laced with healthy doses of skepticism and outright opposition -- the whole range of reactions of a worried nation.
"Shattered Dreams" a "Frontline" documentary on PBS, illustrates the "even-handed," "well-balanced" style beloved of Boston's WGBH (produced in association with France 2, Abu Dhabi Television and Tel-Ad Israel). It is guaranteed to deeply aggravate partisans on all sides -- Israelis, Palestinians and friends (and enemies) of Bill. That aggravation will assure the producers that they got this story of diplomacy gone awry right.
Ariel Sharon counts President Bush as a personal friend and a supporter of Israel, but signs indicate that Israel and the United States may be on a collision course over Middle East diplomacy.
If there is a collision in the offing, it may become apparent soon, because the Israeli prime minister and Bush will be meeting next week at theWhite House.
Monday's surprise announcement of the June 10 meeting comes as the Bush administration faces growing international pressure to produce a timetable and a detailed set of proposals for getting Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table and ending their conflict.
The Bush administration, determined to scale back U.S. Mideast involvement, is being drawn into the seething center of the conflict as Israeli-Palestinian confrontations rage.
But President George W. Bush and his foreign policy team, anxious to avoid the overinvolvement of their predecessors, are carefully calibrating their Mideast policies and pronouncements. The goal, according to sources here, is to make better use of the bully pulpit in Washington, while steering clear of day-to-day mediation.
Amid the bizarre string of foreign-policy fiascos in which Israelfound itself mired as it greeted the new year, surely none was quiteso bizarre as the case of runaway teenager Samuel Sheinbein ofMaryland.