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Tag: Obama Administration

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  • Voters split on Iran cash payment as WH rejects criticism

    By Jacob Kornbluh, Jewish Insider

    August 22, 2016 | 2:18 pm

    The White House on Monday rejected renewed criticism of the Iran cash payment, insisting that the release of the $400 million contingent on Iran releasing the hostages was not a ransom payment.

    “I have never made the case that this was somehow a coincidence,” White House Press...

  • Critics of the Iran nuclear pact wanted US prisoners to be part of the deal

    August 19, 2016 | 11:02 am

    You know the old joke about the definition of chutzpah? Well, critics of the nuclear deal with Iran are offering up a new punchline.

    First they vilify President Obama for agreeing to a deal that neglected U.S. prisoners being held by Iran.

    Then they cry ransom once the...

  • Trump hits Clinton over White House admission that Iran cash linked to prisoner release

    By Jacob Kornbluh, Jewish Insider

    August 18, 2016 | 3:39 pm

    Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Republican Jewish Coalition found some common ground on Thursday, tying Hillary Clinton to the Obama administration’s payment to Iran and handling of the prisoner release.

    On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S....

  • Obama’s final religious freedom report slams Muslim countries’ blasphemy laws

    August 12, 2016 | 8:43 am

    The Obama administration’s final report on religious freedoms focused on oppressive blasphemy laws and societal norms in Muslim countries.

    The report for 2015, posted Wednesday on the State Department’s website, begins with a harrowing account of the stoning death last year of...

  • Terrorism in Israel: U.S. actions speak louder than words

    August 3, 2016 | 9:12 am

    In late June of this year, I returned from an enlightening journey to Israel after embarking on a trip sponsored by Birthright Israel, a program that sends thousands of Jewish teens and young adults to tour Israel. I traveled with my sister, Lauren, and we were amazed by the Jewish...

  • US opposes settlements and outsiders imposing solutions, national security chief says

    June 7, 2016 | 10:51 am

    The Obama administration will continue to object to Israeli and Palestinian unilateral actions, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said, while also resisting outside attempts to impose a solution.

    Rice told the American Jewish Committee’s annual Washington, D.C., conference on...

  • Obama sending mixed messages on Iran, charges ex-sanctions officer

    May 16, 2016 | 8:23 am

    A banker who once enforced U.S. sanctions on entities dealing with Iran said the Obama administration is sending mixed messages on whether it will penalize those who do business with the Islamic Republic.

    “Washington is pushing non-U.S. banks to do what it is still illegal for...

  • Rice denies Obama administration misled public on Iran deal

    By Jacob Kornbluh, Jewish Insider

    May 16, 2016 | 8:15 am

    U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice on Sunday pushed back against the notion that the Obama administration misled the U.S. public and manipulated the media in selling the Iran nuclear deal as concluded from the New York Times Magazine’s profile of Deputy National Security...

  • Dermer: Spat over Iran deal proved strength of U.S.-Israel alliance

    By Jacob Kornbluh, Jewish Insider

    May 13, 2016 | 8:12 am

    Disagreements with the Obama administration over the past few years attest to the strength of the relationship between the U.S. and Israel, Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer said during a speech celebrating Israel’s 68th Independence Day in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

    “There is no...

  • Exclusive: Meet the new White House Jewish liaison

    By Jacob Kornbluh, Jewish Insider

    May 12, 2016 | 11:34 am

    The Obama Administration is set to name a new liaison to the Jewish community later on Thursday, Jewish Insider has learned. Chanan Weissman will make the transition from the State Department to the White House, becoming the first Modern Orthodox Jew to assume this position for a...

  • Obama takes Supreme Court fight to Republican senators’ home turf

    May 2, 2016 | 3:57 pm

    President Barack Obama on Monday took the political battle over his pick for a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court to the home states of seven Republican senators up for re-election in November.

    Obama conducted interviews with local television anchors where he argued that...

  • Obama’s Jewish liaison says goodbye

    March 29, 2016 | 2:46 pm

    You get to listen to Jews yelling at you. You get to listen to mandarins tell you why they won’t listen to Jews. You get to emcee a cappella competitions.

    Who wouldn’t want to be White House Jewish liaison?

    Matt Nosanchuk lasted nearly three years in a post — officially titled...

  • White House denies it will go public with outline for Israeli-Palestinian talks

    March 8, 2016 | 1:19 pm

    The White House denied a report that it was contemplating jump-starting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks by advancing its own solution.

    “There has been no change to our policy or strategy with regard to this issue,” a White House official told JTA, responding to a Wall Street...

  • Jewish groups join call for swift Senate consideration of Obama Supremes nominee

    February 19, 2016 | 1:07 pm

    An array of Jewish groups joined a call on Senate leaders to consider whomever President Barack Obama nominates to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

    Thirteen of the 31 groups signing the letter sent Friday to Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Chuck...

  • Advocates brief White House on barriers for the Jewish disabled

    February 19, 2016 | 12:25 pm

    Jewish advocates for the disabled briefed Obama administration officials on barriers to Jewish life for those with disabilities.

    The two-hour event Thursday was organized by the White House and held at the neighboring Eisenhower Executive Office Building as part of Jewish...

  • White House says it does not support ‘territories’ component of anti-BDS legislation

    February 12, 2016 | 9:50 am

    The Obama administration said it does not support the portion of a new trade law that requires actions against entities that boycott goods manufactured in the West Bank.

    “As with any bipartisan compromise legislation, there are provisions in this bill that we do not support,...

  • Is Marco Rubio really outraged about US spying on Israel?

    January 8, 2016 | 1:22 pm

    Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has made seemingly contradictory statements about the seriousness of reported U.S. spying on Israel.

    Democrats have been eager to point out the apparent discrepancy.

    In the aftermath of the Wall Street Journal ...

  • Obama administration rejects likening Israel’s NGO law to US lobbying registry

    January 6, 2016 | 2:12 pm

    The Obama administration has rejected the comparison between an Israeli bill requiring registration of foreign-funded NGOs and U.S. laws registering foreign interest lobbyists.

    State Department spokesman John Kirby, asked by JTA on Wednesday about Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s...

  • Obama administration: Still a ‘big no’ on supporting settlement building

    November 25, 2015 | 12:36 pm

    The Obama administration is standing by its “big no” when it comes to supporting any new settlement building in Israel, a spokesman said.

    “I can be very clear that we’re not changing – again, we’re not changing – the decades-old U.S. policy regarding settlements,” Mark Toner, a...

  • Democratic candidates pledge robust ISIS fight, implicitly chiding Obama

    November 16, 2015 | 2:06 pm

    The three Democratic presidential candidates pledged during their debate to lead the United States in the fight to crush the Islamic State terrorist group, with each suggesting that the Obama administration has come up short.

    The candidates in the debate from Iowa broadcast...

  • Is Oren’s call for ‘no surprises’ in U.S.-Israel ties possible?

    June 16, 2015 | 2:52 pm

    Israel’s former ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, caused a stir this week by publicly accusing President Barack Obama of abandoning the two core principles that undergird the U.S.-Israel relationship: no public disagreements and no surprises.

    But should there be no public...

  • Michael Oren: Obama abandoned ‘two core principles’ of U.S.-Israel alliance

    June 16, 2015 | 1:46 pm

    Israel’s former ambassador to Washington accused President Barack Obama of abandoning “core principles” of the U.S.-Israel relationship.

    Michael Oren in an Op-Ed appearing Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal said Obama abandoned the principle of keeping disagreements private and ...

  • National security adviser: U.S. expects next Israeli gov’t to recommit to two states

    April 30, 2015 | 10:50 am


    The Obama administration expects a commitment to the two-state solution from the next Israeli government and from the Palestinian Authority, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said.

    “President Obama has made clear that we need to take a hard look at our approach to the...

  • Obama administration ‘deeply concerned’ about Netanyahu Arab comments

    March 19, 2015 | 9:52 am

    The Obama administration is “deeply concerned” about Likud Party rhetoric marginalizing Arab Israelis during the recent elections.

    “There has been a lot of coverage in the media about some of the rhetoric that emerged yesterday that was propagated by the Likud Party to encourage...

  • Will Netanyahu’s campaign rhetoric cause further estrangement with Washington?

    March 19, 2015 | 8:54 am

    The Obama administration’s first response to news that Benjamin Netanyahu had been reelected as prime minister of Israel appeared to be avoidance.

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Wednesday that the president would wait until Netanyahu had been formally...

  • Never Forget: Iran is the Problem, not Boteach

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    March 1, 2015 | 8:02 pm

    In a Jewish world desperate for unity, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach succeeded in uniting a broad array of Jewish groups, including Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, secular and religious, right leaning, and left leaning, centrist and apolitical — to condemn his full-page ad attack against...

  • For Netanyahu, urgency trumps niceties when it comes to Iran, anti-Jewish attacks

    February 18, 2015 | 9:16 am

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be running for office in Israel, but this week he had plenty of strong messages for Jews in the United States and Europe.

    Speaking Monday in Jerusalem to leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations,...

  • Little Rock diary: Chickenshits and the midterms

    By Shmuel Rosner

    October 30, 2014 | 4:19 am


    Taking off from the Bush airport in Houston and landing at the Clinton airport in Little Rock gives one some historical perspective with which to think about the upcoming American elections and their impact on US-Israel relations. Assuming – an easy assumption – that American...

  • Kerry open to conversation with Iran on ISIS

    September 16, 2014 | 9:31 am

    The Obama administration is ready to communicate with Iran in the bid to stop ISIS, Secretary of State John Kerry said.

    “We’re not coordinating with Iran, but as I said, we’re open to have a conversation at some point in time if there’s a way to find something constructive,”...

  • Obama administration presses for $225M addition to Iron Dome funding

    July 23, 2014 | 4:03 pm

    The Obama administration asked Congress to fast-track Israel’s request for an additional $225 million for the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

    The administration cited Israeli needs arising from the Gaza war in pressing for the extra funding.

    “The Government of Israel has...

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