Tag Archives: Israeli President Shimon Peres

Kerry meets Israeli leaders to push Mideast peace

Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and senior Israeli and Palestinian officials amid talk of reviving a decade-old Arab plan for Mideast peace.

Kerry spent the morning of Israel‘s Holocaust memorial day visiting Yad Vashem. He was to meet later Monday with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Kerry then has a dinner with Netanyahu; he met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday.

Kerry is trying to end a 4½-year Israeli-Palestinian stalemate.

He hasn’t publicly outlined a new plan.

But Palestinian and Arab officials say he wants to modify the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative that offered peace with Israel for a pullout from territories captured in 1967.

Officials say Kerry seeks Arab-Israeli security commitments and softer language on borders.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

On Third Day of Middle East Trip, President Obama Visits Jewish and Christian Landmarks

By <a href="/author-detail/475">Colleen Curtis</a>

President Obama places a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, March 22, 2013

President Barack Obama pauses after adjusting a wreath placed in the Hall of Remembrance during his visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, March 22, 2013. Standing behind the President, from left, are: Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau; Israeli President Shimon Peres; Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu; and Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate.

(Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

President Obama began the third day of his historic visit to the Middle East with a visit to Mount Herzl, Israel's national cemetery, where he honored the significant contributions of two Jewish heroes, Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism and former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The President laid a stone from the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington on Mr. Rabin’s grave, highlighting the slain leader’s work to bring peace to the region.

Next up was a tour of Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Complex, where President Obama honored the memory of Holocaust victims by laying a wreath and rekindling the eternal flame in the Hall of Remembrance. He also joined Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Netanyahu on a tour that included the Hall of Names, a circular chamber that houses the original testimony documenting every Holocaust victim ever identified, and the art museum where the President heard the story of Charlotte Salomon, a Holocaust victim who was murdered in 1944 in Auschwitz, but whose memory is preserved in the autobiographical artwork she painted while in hiding from the Nazis. The President ended the poignant visit with a walk through the Children’s Memorial, which memorializes the 1.5 million Jewish children who perished during the Holocaust with candles reflected in a series of mirrors.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at The White House

Tree Planted By Obama In Israel May Be Dug Up For Testing: Reports

By The Huffington Post News Editors

A tree planted by President Barack Obama in Israel may soon be removed from the ground, the Guardian reported Wednesday.

The president traveled to Israel as part of a tour of the Middle East, his first visit to the country as president. On Wednesday, Obama met with Israeli President Shimon Peres at his Jerusalem residence, where he planted the magnolia tree.

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More on Benjamin Netanyahu

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Huffington Post

President Obama Tells Israeli People: The U.S Is Proud to Be "Your Strongest Ally and Your Greatest Friend"

By <a href="/author-detail/475">Colleen Curtis</a>

President Obama and Israeli President Peres inspect an honor guard in Tel Aviv, Israel, March 20, 2013

President Barack Obama and Israeli President Shimon Peres inspect an honor guard during the official arrival ceremony at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, March 20, 2013.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

On the first day of his visit to the Middle East, the first foreign trip of his second term, President Obama was in Israel, where he met with President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The visit is historic, marking the first time the President has visited Israel since taking office, and comes as its citizens celebrate the 65th anniversary of a free and independent State of Israel.

President Obama's visit began with an arrival ceremony at the Ben Gurion airport, followed by an inspection of the Iron Dome Battery defense system in Tel Aviv. The Iron Dome is a short range rocket and mortar defense system, which was developed by Israel and produced with U.S. assistance and is part of a multi-tier missile defense developed to counter the rocket threat against Israel’s civilian population. From there, the President flew on to Jerusalem, where he met with Israeli leaders and attended a working dinner with Prime Minister Netanyahu.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at The White House

Pope Francis reaches out to Jews

Like his predecessor, Pope Francis reached out to Rome‘s Jewish community at the very start of his pontificate, pledging to continue to strengthen the increasingly close ties between Catholics and Jews.

Just hours after he was elected the first non-European pope in history, Francis sent a letter to Rome‘s chief rabbi Riccardo di Segni, saying he hoped to “contribute to the progress that relations between Jews and Catholics” have seen since the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council.

Jewish leaders welcomed the election of a pontiff seen as an ally when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires. Israeli President Shimon Peres said Francis would be a “welcome guest in the Holy Land” while Ronald Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, said the new pope “always had an open ear for our concerns.”

“By choosing such an experienced man, someone who is known for his open-mindedness, the cardinals have sent an important signal to the world,” Lauder said. “I am sure that Pope Francis I will continue to be a man of dialogue, a man who is able to build bridges with other faiths.”

Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, as he was known before he became pope, showed as Buenos Aires archbishop an inclination to expand interfaith outreach to Islam and Judaism, and made efforts to further close the nearly 1,000-year estrangement with the Orthodox churches.

He was widely praised for his aid to Buenos Aires‘ Jewish community following the 1994 bombing of a Jewish Center that killed 85 people. Iran has been blamed for the attack, but denied any links. A joint Argentine-Iranian “truth commission” is studying the evidence.

“We hope that his word and his example contribute to the achievement of harmony brotherhood and peace among all peoples,” the Italian Rabbinical Assembly said, pledging to do its part to foster dialogue between Jews and Catholics “with mutual respect for their respective identities.”

Francis’ predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, worked toward reconciliation between Catholics and Jews during their papacies.

Benedict’s first official act as pope was a letter to Rome‘s Jewish community and he became the second pope in history, after John Paul, to enter a synagogue. However, he met harsh criticism when he lifted the excommunication of a bishop who turned out to be a Holocaust-denier.

Lauder said the World Jewish Congress, …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Palestinians reject soccer game against Barcelona

Palestinians won’t be teaming with Israelis in a soccer match against Barcelona designed to promote peace.

Palestinian Football Association President Jibril Rajoub met with Barcelona President Sandro Rosell on Friday and says there are “lots of obstacles.”

Rajoub calls it “a good idea, a dream to become true if the occupation ends.”

Rosell made the proposal Thursday with Israeli President Shimon Peres. Rosell says Barcelona aims “to strengthen the bridges of peace and dialogue” between Israelis and Palestinians. Peres says soccer “brings down barriers.”

Gaza fans were angered in 2012 when Barcelona gave freed Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit a ticket. Schalit was held captive for five years by Hamas, which rules Gaza.

Palestinian leaders have attended Barcelona games in Spain.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Barcelona to play game with Israelis, Palestinians

Barcelona is trying to organize a soccer match against a combined team of Palestinians and Israelis to promote peace.

Club President Sandro Rosell began putting the plan in motion with Israeli President Shimon Peres on Thursday. He is to discuss the game with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank on Friday.

The venue and date weren’t disclosed, but Israeli media reported the exhibition game will take place July 31, possibly at Ramat Gan Stadium near Tel Aviv.

Rosell says Barcelona aims “to strengthen the bridges of peace and dialogue” between Israelis and Palestinians. Peres says soccer “brings down barriers.”

Barcelona’s fans in Gaza were angered last year when the team gave freed Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit a complimentary ticket. Schalit was held captive for five years by the militant Hamas, which rules Gaza.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Pope Benedict XVI considered a friend in Israel

When Joseph Ratzinger became pope in 2005, many in Israel wondered whether the German-born Cardinal with the Nazi past would prove a worthy successor to the popular Pope John Paul II, whose pluralistic path helped sooth centuries of fraught relations between Jews and Christians.

Eight years later, following his surprise resignation Monday, Israeli leaders lauded Pope Benedict XVI as a friend who helped promote dialogue and coexistence.

“I greatly appreciate him for his immense activity to interfaith connection that has contributed greatly to the reduction of anti-Semitism in the world,” said Yona Metzger, one of Israel‘s two chief rabbis. “I pray that his legacy is preserved and that the trends he led will continue since the relations between the rabbinate and the church during his term were the best ever.”

Israeli President Shimon Peres, a Nobel peace laureate, said he was “saddened” to hear of Benedict’s departure, and praised the outgoing pope for strengthening ties between the Vatican and the Jewish state.

“Under his leadership the Vatican has been a clear voice against racism and anti-Semitism and a clear voice for peace. Relations between Israel and the Vatican are the best they have ever been and the positive dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people is a testament to his belief in dialogue and cooperation,” Peres said.

Benedict, who was forced to join the Hitler Youth as a child in Nazi Germany and then served in the German army before deserting near the end of the war, made improving relations with Jews a priority of his pontificate. He visited the Auschwitz Nazi death camp in Poland and Israel‘s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. In a 2011 book, he made a sweeping exoneration of the Jewish people for the death of Jesus Christ, contradicting interpretations that had been used for centuries to justify the persecution of Jews.

But he also had a series of missteps that angered Israel and Jewish groups, most notably when in 2009 he lifted the excommunication of a traditionalist British bishop who had denied the extent of the Holocaust. Jews were also incensed at Benedict’s constant promotion toward sainthood of Pope Pius XII, the World War II-era pope accused by some of having failed to sufficiently denounce the Holocaust.

His 2009 visit to Israel drew a lukewarm response from officials at Yad Vashem, who found Benedict’s speech lacking. Israeli officials considered it a glossing over of the Nazi genocide since the pope never mentioned the …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Netanyahu asked to form next Israeli government

Israel’s president has asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form the next government, and Netanyahu says he wants to advance peace talks with the Palestinians.

Israeli President Shimon Peres formally asked Netanyahu to build a governing coalition, after a majority of newly elected lawmakers recommended Netanyahu lead the country.

Netanyahu now has six weeks to form a coalition government. If he succeeds, he will begin his third term as Israeli premier. Netanyahu says he wants a broad governing coalition, but it will be difficult for him to form a coalition with both secular and religious parties.

Netanyahu says the government‘s next priorities should be to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon, to deal with weapons stockpiles in the region and to make peace with the Palestinians.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News