Meir Panim’s Tiberias Free Restaurant not only provides warm meals, but the opportunity to socialize as well.
JERUSALEM – After attending a somber ceremony at Yad Vashem on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry began shuttling between Ramallah and Jerusalem in an effort to jumpstart the long stagnant Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Israeli media sources report that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu provided Kerry with a list of potential Israeli concessions, including the release of some Palestinian prisoners, the freeing of Palestinian Authority (PA) tax revenues and custom duties, and the ceding of a swath of Judea and Samaria under Israeli control (Area C) to the PA. In return, the PA must agree to restart direct negotiations with Israel.
Netanyahu reiterated his government’s policy of not freezing any settlement construction at this time as part of a resumption of negotiations. PA President Mahmoud Abbas has demanded that a complete settlement freeze must be implemented for the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.
During his trip Kerry will also meet with representatives of the Arab League, who are expected to insist that Israel agree to their Arab Peace Initiative that calls for a total Israeli withdrawal from areas captured in the 1967 Six-Day War. While Netanyahu has praised parts of the initiative, which includes the mandatory establishment by all Arab nations of full diplomatic relations with Israel upon the signing of a formal peace agreement, he has said that Israel will not return to the pre-1967 borders and that Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal capital.
Abbas has reportedly asked Kerry to have Netanyahu supply maps showing Israel’s proposed final borders. Netanyahu’s Palestinian interlocutor, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, supplied Abbas with detailed final borders during her stint as then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s foreign minister. Those maps, rejected by Abbas, purportedly included the return of at least 95 percent of Judea and Samaria.
Netanyahu is refusing to show Abbas any border plans until he returns to the negotiating table and a plan is worked out regarding how Hamas should be dealt with.
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JERUSALEM – As the Iranians move closer to acquiring a nuclear bomb, an unprecedented meeting and a startling admission have buttressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s assertions that President Obama’s Iran policy is alienating America’s Mideast allies.
JERUSALEM – For the first time since Israel’s founding in 1948, a high-ranking member of the Saudi royal family has publicly acknowledged that a country other than Israel is “the real danger” in the Middle East.
JERUSALEM – The public dispute between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Secretary of State John Kerry extends beyond the issue of Iranian nuclear compliance. Sources report that Netanyahu and Kerry have had several heated arguments behind closed doors about the course of America’s Middle East foreign policy as it relates to Iran, the peace process with the Palestinians, Hizbullah, Syria, and Hamas.
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JERUSALEM – As the U.S., EU and UN restart negotiations with Iran to find a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Israel’s political and military policymakers heightened their rhetoric and increased their military preparedness this week. This strategy is meant to convince the world that Israel is prepared for any eventuality.
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