President Obama, please also do some self reflection on American foreign policy especially towards Israel. Thank you for telling Israel to do this. Even if this is an inch towards progress towards peace then thank God.
U.S. President Barack Obama met with 15 American Jewish leaders at the White House for the first time on Monday. The president and the Jewish officials huddled for talks aimed at clearing the air following allegations that his administration was taking a tough line with Israel over settlement activity.
At the meeting, Obama told the leaders that he wants to help Israel overcome its demographic problem by reaching an agreement on a two-state solution, but that in order to do so, Israel would need “to engage in serious self-reflection.”
On the Iranian nuclear issue, Obama told the leaders that “the door to dialogue is open. If the Iranians do not walk through it, however, we will have to see how we proceed. But it would be a mistake to talk now about what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do it.”
With the state Legislature still embroiled in a fight over how to close a $26-billion budget deficit, the California government is expected to issue nearly $3 billion worth of interest-bearing IOUs this month.
Starting today, major banks such as Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Union Bank of California will stop accepting the IOUs, also called registered warrants. Hoping to pressure the state to settle on a budget, the banks rejected state Treasurer Bill Lockyer’s requests to continue redeeming the IOUs for their full value in cash.
The administration’s request for $2.55 billion in security assistance for Israel in 2009 represents the first year of a 10-year U.S.-Israel security agreement to help the Jewish state face increasing threats.
US troops have withdrawn from towns and cities in Iraq, six years after the invasion, having formally handed over security duties to new Iraqi forces. A public holiday – National Sovereignty Day – has been declared, and the capital, Baghdad, threw a giant party to mark the eve of the changeover. Hours before the Monday night deadline, four US soldiers were killed in combat. US-led combat operations are due to end by September 2010, with all troops gone from Iraq by the end of 2011.
It is fitting that today’s deadline for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq’s cities coincides with a meeting in Baghdad to auction off some of the country’s largest oil fields to companies such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and British Petroleum. It is a reminder of the real motives for the 2003 invasion and in whose interests over one million Iraqis and 4,634 American and other Western troops have been killed. The Iraq war was, and continues to be, an imperialist war waged by the American ruling elite for control of oil and geo-strategic advantage.
Hummus can be very dangerous to Israelis. They are afraid of its killer taste.
A West Bank checkpoint managed by a private security company is not allowing Palestinians to pass through with large water bottles and some food items, Haaretz has learned.
The security company also dictates the quantity of items allowed: Five pitas, one container of hummus and canned tuna, one small bottle or can of beverage, one or two slices of cheese, a few spoonfuls of sugar, and 5 to 10 olives. Workers are also not allowed to carry cooking utensils and work tools.
Diplomatic tensions have sparked recently between Israel and Brazil over none other than a soccer match, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday.
The Brazilian government decided to extend a gesture to the Palestinian people and hold a friendly game between two of its leading soccer teams – Sao Paulo’s Corinthians and Rio de Janeiro’s Flamingo – in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
With famed player Ronaldo as the Corinthians’ striker and Falmingo being one of the world’s top soccer teams, many Israelis would undoubtedly love to attend the game, but the Brazilians have made it clear that they are not interested in playing in Israel – only in the Palestinian Authority.
Giora Bachar, the Israeli ambassador to Brasilia inquired about the reports in the local media with the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, which confirmed them.
Bachar filed an official protest with the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, but his report to Jerusalem did indicate that the initiative has yet to find a sponsor.
“I intend to make the Brazilians understand that if a similar game is not held in Israel, we will see it as an act of ostracism,” he said. “It would be better off if they held two games, or better still – a joint game for the Israelis and Palestinians.”
Much has been written about Muslim responses to Obama’s Cairo speech and how it has resonated across the Muslim world. Many have commented on the new President’s skillful handling of the political issues that have so deeply affected US-Muslim relations. However, an underappreciated but equally important dimension of his speech involves its widespread religious appeal. As the Gallup world poll of some 35 Muslim countries has documented, vast majorities of Muslims see religion as an important component in their lives and a critical element in the future progress of their societies. Muslims who are not particularly religiously observant nevertheless identify with their Islamic heritage. Therefore, although the majority of those polled said they admired many things about the West, and in particular about America (its technology, work ethic, freedoms, democracy), Muslims’ major grievance against the West is what they identify as the denigration of Islam and Muslims, as well as the extent to which Arabs and Muslims are seen by the West as inferior and not of equal value.
يلقي الرئيس أوباما خطابا في القاهرة، عاصمة جمهورية مصر العربية، يوضح فيه التزامه الشخصي بالعمل مع العالم الإسلامي على أساس المصالح المشتركة والاحترام المتبادل، كما يناقش الرئيس في خطابه الطريق الذي تستطيع من خلاله الولايات المتحدة والمجتمعات الإسلامية في مختلف أرجاء العالم سد الفجوة في بعض الأمور التي جرى خلاف بشأنها. 4 يونيو 2009