Secretary of State John Kerry appointed a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk, to shepherd Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that begin Monday evening in Washington.
On the second day of his visit to the Middle East, President Barack Obama was greeted by the president of the Palestinian Authority, and rockets were fired by militants into a southern Israeli town.
Putting aside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declaration that he will go it alone in the defense of Israel if he has too, the normal tensions with President Barack Obama seemed to have been wiped away.
As President Barack Obama continued preparations for his first trip to Israel as commander in chief, there was a shift in tactics Monday.
Earlier Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in the region, renewing America’s commitment to Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at her side.
He wanted to get the world’s attention and he did it with a simple diagram that could be shown in elementary schools, only to the Israeli prime minister there was nothing elementary about the stakes at hand — stopping Iran from getting the bomb.
There was a dramatic and defiant move at the United Nations on Friday. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sidestepped two decades of failed negotiations and surged ahead with demands for Palestinian statehood.
President Obama said in public what he is also saying in private — that a Palestinian state can only be achieved by the Israelis and Palestinians going to the bargaining table and tackling the hard questions that face them.
The Israeli proposal would allow the Palestinians to establish a state within existing borders in Gaza and the West Bank and deal with all the tough stuff later.
On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared he’ll travel here, to fight a Palestinian bid for United Nations membership as President Barack Obama tried to defuse a difficult situation.
With former mayor Ed Koch saying he cannot vote to re-elect Obama unless the president changes his recent stands on Israel, Bloomberg was asked whether it was a litmus test for him as well.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the Mideast peace process in his speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday.