Obama: No 'grand peace plan' during Israel trip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Julie Pace - March 8, 2013 - 12:00am


President Barack Obama is playing down expectations for a Mideast peace breakthrough during his upcoming trip to Israel, telling American Jewish leaders that he won't be carrying a "grand peace plan" when he arrives in the region later this month.


Obama meets US Jewish leaders ahead of Israel trip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 8, 2013 - 12:00am


US President Barack Obama hosted leaders of major American Jewish organizations at the White House on Thursday as he sought to smooth the way for his first presidential visit to Israel later this month. The meeting was a chance for Obama to preview his agenda for the trip, including the Iran nuclear standoff, Syria's civil war and Israel-Palestinian issues, and to reiterate his "unshakable support" for Israel, an administration official said.


US defers activist's award amid anti-Semitic tweets
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger - March 8, 2013 - 12:00am


The US State Department is holding off on presenting a prestigious award to Egyptian activist Samira Ibrahim after anti-US and anti- Semitic tweets from her Twitter account were uncovered. “After careful consideration, we’ve decided we should defer presenting this award to Ms. Ibrahim this year so that we have a chance to look further into these statements,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters Thursday.


Obama to Jews: Peace is essential but prospects are bleak
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - March 7, 2013 - 12:00am


President Obama believes prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace are “bleak,” but he still will urge both sides to avoid unilateral actions that might further damage a process he hopes will be back on track within a year. That was the message Obama delivered Thursday in a meeting with about 25 Jewish community figures at the White House to discuss his planned trip to Israel later this month. Obama was especially engaged, participants said, when it came to discussing how he might best convey to the Israeli people his enthusiasm for Israel and its Jewish history.


Carl Levin won’t run again
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
March 7, 2013 - 12:00am


Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), a veteran Jewish lawmaker who had major influence on defense policy, will not seek reelection. Levin, 78, was quoted Thursday by The Associated Press as saying that his decision was "extremely difficult" but that he wanted to serve out the remainder of his term, which ends in 2014, without "distraction." Levin heads the Senate's Armed Services Committee, and in that capacity has been influential in defense policy, helping to maintain record levels of defense assistance for Israel.


AIPAC is an awe-inspiring organization, but the right-wing tilt is in its DNA
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chemi Shalev - (Opinion) March 6, 2013 - 12:00am


Regardless of one’s political convictions - whether you believe Israel is warmonger or peace seeker, aggressor or defender, victim or victimizer, hero or villain, sinner or saint – the Annual AIPAC Policy Conference is a sight to be seen, a pageant to behold, a formidable spectacle that cannot be ignored.


Kerry's Impromptu Meeting With Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by Andrea Stone - March 5, 2013 - 12:00am


John Kerry’s unscheduled meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Monday during his first official trip abroad was anything but a rogue moment for the new secretary of State.


Israeli PM calls for "credible military threat" against Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
March 5, 2013 - 12:00am


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday called for "a clear and credible military threat" against Iran, saying the Islamic republic is getting closer to building a nuclear bomb. The hawkish Israeli leader, told a pro-Israel lobby group in Washington via satellite link from Jerusalem that diplomacy and sanctions have not worked to stop Iran from pressing ahead with its controversial nuclear program.


US bipartisan bill to make Israel 'strategic ally'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
March 5, 2013 - 12:00am


A Republican and a Democrat in the US House of Representatives introduced legislation that would make Israel a "major strategic ally," a one of a kind designation. The bill, introduced Monday by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), was timed for the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference, and 13,000 activists are expected to lobby for it and for Iran-related bills on Tuesday.


Things you can't see from DC
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Giora Eiland - (Opinion) March 4, 2013 - 12:00am


US President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry are expected to visit the region together in late March to try and promote an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. It is amazing to see how American policy has not changed in 20 years. Each administration creates expectations regarding a solution to the conflict without reassessing it and asking the basic question: Why have the peace efforts failed so far?  



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