Browsing Posts tagged Barack Obama

Last night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke out to reaffirm his desire to continue direct negotiations saying, “I call on [Palestinian Authority] President Abbas to continue the good and sincere talks that we have just started, in order to reach an historic peace agreement between our two peoples.”

During the day, and in recent days, Prime Minister Netanyahu has been in close contact with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and other senior US administration officials, as well as with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordanian king Abdullah, and has updated them on the efforts to ensure both the continuation of the talks and their success.

Prime Minister Netanyahu made it clear, in his talks, that Israel is ready to hold continuous contacts in the coming days in order to find a way to continue the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Prime Minister Netanyahu added: “I hope that President Abbas will stay in the talks and, with me, continue on the road towards peace, which we started only three weeks ago after many in the world realized that my intentions to achieve peace are serious and genuine, and that I honor my commitments.  During my Government’s term in office, Israel has gone a significant way towards helping the Palestinians by easing restrictions, which has advanced their quality of life, both in Judea and Samaria, and in the Gaza Strip.  I say to President Abbas: For the future of both our peoples, let us focus on what is really important.  Let us proceed in accelerated, sincere and continuous talks in order to bring about an historic peace framework agreement within one year.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed his great appreciation for US President Barack Obama’s, Secretary of State Clinton’s, and  Senator George Mitchell’s major efforts towards resuming the peace talks and ensuring their continuation.

Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomes the invitation of the United States to begin direct negotiations without preconditions. The Prime Minister has been calling for direct negotiations for the past year and a half.

While Israel called for a moratorium on construction in the West Bank last winter as a sign of good faith in order to restart negotiations, it has taken months of shuttle diplomacy by US envoy George Mitchell to convince Palestinian leadership to return to negotiations.

Said Netanyahu, “Reaching an agreement is a difficult challenge but is possible. We are coming to the talks with a genuine desire to reach a peace agreement between the two peoples that will protect Israel’s national security interests, foremost of which is security.”

Please stay tuned for further updates.

Expectations surrounding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s fourth White House meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, are running high. The previous conversations between the prime minister and President Barack Obama, though privately friendly and constructive, generated press speculations of tensions in the United States — Israel relationship. The chief source of friction, it was reported, centered on the peace process and the best way to restart talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. continue reading…

Yom Ha’atzmaut- 2010, Ambassador Michael B. Oren

One freezing dawn during Israel’s War of Independence, fifty youths in their late teens and early twenties, bearing pickaxes and shovels, climbed a rocky hill in the Galilee, barely a mile from the Lebanese border. They were about to establish a kibbutz, one of the communal settlements fostered by the Zionist movement to reclaim and cultivate the hardscrabble Israeli countryside. Similar scenes were being enacted throughout the newly created state—in the Negev, on the Sharon Plain, and in the Jerusalem Hills.

But this one was different: These fifty young people were all Americans. They came from across the United States—from Los-Angeles, Brooklyn, and Chicago. More than a few were hardened combat veterans of World War II. Many had sacrificed a comfortable college experience for sunup to sundown agricultural work and long nights of guard duty.

They came because they believed. They believed in the ideals and values they had learned as Americans and that had instilled in them a sense of responsibility for Jewish freedom everywhere. “The world in which we played hopscotch and baseball and grew to maturity was dominated by Franklin Roosevelt and Adolf Hitler,” one of the youths wrote, “The one represented Protection and Welfare… and the other… a horror… in which every Jew was a potential blood offering.”
They came, like the American pioneers centuries before, to build a state and secure its frontiers. After training at an agricultural camp in New Jersey, they departed by boat and arrived in Israel to another kibbutz founded by Americans, Ein Hashofet—the Spring of the Judge, named for Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis.

Brandeis, who was also the president of the American Zionist Federation, had said that every Jew, in order to be a patriotic American, must be a Zionist. And these fifty young American Jews were, indeed, patriots, the embodiment of the principles that lay at the foundation of the U.S.-Israel alliance.

They climbed the hill and broke ground for the first of a huddle of drafty shack— their new homes. And they called their kibbutz after an ancient Jewish town that had existed on that very site. They called it Sasa. Today, sixty-two years after Sasa’s founding, the kibbutz is a thriving community with a beef herd and fruit orchards.
But Sasa has changed. Along with the agricultural work started by its founders, the kibbutz today produces technical and home care products and is host to one of Israel’s most successful plastics factories. Furthermore, in recent years, Sasa has been working closely with American military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan to provide made-in-Israel armor for U.S. vehicles. That armor which helps protect these vehicles from the hazards of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), has saved untold American lives.

And so, the children and grandchildren of Sasa’s founders uphold their commitment not only to Israel but to Israel’s historic alliance with the United States.

Israel, too, has changed—from a struggling agrarian society to a high tech powerhouse with more start-ups per capita, more patents, and scientific papers, and more Nobel Prizes per capita than any other country in the world. A nation that trails only the United States in the number of companies represented on the NASDAQ exchange.

Yet one aspect of Israel will never change and that is its values: the respect for democracy and the rule of law, the commitment to civic and personal freedom, and the yearning for peace. These are the values that we in Israel share with the people of the United States and that form the core of our unshakeable alliance.
We share the vision of a secure and recognized Jewish state of Israel living side by side with a stable and non-violent Palestinian state, and the Government of Israel is deeply committed to working with President Obama to realize that vision. Together with the United States, Israel will strive to create a Middle East—indeed, a world—free of the threats of terrorism and its extremist supporters, a world in which Israelis can live and interact peacefully with all peoples.

As one of Sasa’s founders wrote that first freezing day sixty-two years ago, “The kibbutz that we build will be dedicated not only to the renaissance of our own people, but to… the future of mankind, including our Arab neighbors.”