Shimon Peres

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Israel Suffers First Casualty Since Assault Began

Palestinian death toll has now hit 194

(Newser) - An Israeli man was hit with a mortar and killed near the Gaza border today, making him the first Israeli to die in a lopsided conflict that has seen nearly 200 Palestinians killed. The man was delivering food to soldiers when the mortar struck, a police spokesman tells the AP... More »

Pope Prays at West Bank Barrier

Israeli, Palestinian presidents accept invitation to Vatican

(Newser) - The pope's Holy Land visit has been full of surprises. In an unplanned move today, Pope Francis stopped to pray at the concrete wall dividing Bethlehem and Jerusalem—a wall which, to Palestinans, symbolizes oppression by Israel, Reuters notes. Graffiti where he prayed read, "Free Palestine." The... More »

As Sharon Lies in State, Israel Bids a Tricky Farewell

Public, political rivals pay respects ahead of funeral tomorrow

(Newser) - Israelis are filing through the Knesset Plaza today to pay their respects to Ariel Sharon, who died yesterday after being in a coma since 2005, as the former prime minister's coffin lies in state today ahead of a military funeral tomorrow. "My heart is broken. Israel lost the... More »

Netanyahu Scrambles as Election Tie Rocks Israel

Center-left Yesh Atid party pulls off a shocker

(Newser) - Contrary to predictions , Israel's parliamentary election appears to have ended in what the AP calls a "stunning deadlock," with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing coalition and the center-left bloc tied at 60 seats apiece with nearly all the votes in. Netanyahu is now scrambling to... More »

Bob Dylan Gets Medal of Freedom

Madeleine Albright, John Glenn also among honorees

(Newser) - President Obama bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Bob Dylan, Madeleine Albright, and a host of other luminaries today at the White House. The Los Angeles Times notes that 1962 seemed to be a pivotal year for this year's honorees: It's when Dylan's first album came... More »

Bob Dylan to Get Presidential Medal of Freedom

Pat Summitt, Toni Morrison also among this year's honorees

(Newser) - Bob Dylan will get the nation's highest civilian honor later this spring, reports Bloomberg . Dylan, 70, will be one of 13 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He's already got scores of Grammys, an Oscar, and a Pulitzer, and the Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog can'... More »

Obama Assures AIPAC: 'I Have Israel's Back'

On Iran, president warns of 'loose talk' about war

(Newser) - President Obama followed a speech by Israeli President Shimon Peres at AIPAC today with a blunt assessment about Israel: “There should not be a shred of doubt by now: when the chips are down, I have Israel’s back." He reminded the audience of recent US aid to... More »

Israel's Peres: Iran 'Will Be Stopped'

Shimon Peres tells AIPAC that Tehran is 'an evil, morally corrupt regime'

(Newser) - Israeli President Shimon Peres took the stage at AIPAC today with Iran squarely in his crosshairs: Speaking just before President Obama, CNN reports that Peres said that while "peace is always our first option ... if we are forced to fight, trust me, we shall prevail." Peres minced no... More »

Peres Calls British Anti-Semites

Nazi-Battling UK Furious

(Newser) - Shimon Peres is furiously backpedaling after accusing the UK of anti-Semitism, a comment that enraged the British public, who still deeply identify as the country that "stood alone against Nazi Germany during the Second World War," the Telegraph reports. The Israeli president "never accused the British people... More »

Memos: Israel Offered to Sell Nuclear Weapons to South Africa

Shimon Peres angrily denies reports

(Newser) - Israel offered to sell South Africa's apartheid government nuclear weapons, according to recently declassified documents, reports the Guardian —a claim Israeli President Shimon Peres categorically denies. In minutes of top secret 1975 meetings, Peres, then defense minister, offered to sell nuclear-capable Jericho missiles to South African Defense Minister PW... More »

Obama to Moderate Abbas-Netanyahu Meeting: Peres

Israeli prez says settlement issue isn't settled, yet

(Newser) - President Obama will play moderator to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a meeting at the UN before the end of next month, Israeli President Shimon Peres tells Fox News. “I think they will meet by the end of September,” he says. "... More »

Israeli Prez on Iranian Prez: 'We'll Strike Him'

Peres: "We'll strike" Amadinejad if Obama's anti-nuclear efforts fail

(Newser) - Israel's new government continued its saber-rattling with Iran today, threatening to strike the country if President Obama's diplomatic overtures fail, the Jerusalem Post reports. Echoing the hardline rhetoric of new Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres issued a warning to Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "We'll strike him" ... More »

Israeli Prez Follows Obama in Appeal to Iranians

Praises Shah

(Newser) - Following President Obama's video message to Iran, Shimon Peres issued an audio address today, urging Iranians to reject the rule of their “oppressive and fanatical regime” and “reclaim their worthy place among the nations of the enlightened world.” The Israeli president's message, delivered partly in Farsi, was... More »

Netanyahu to Form Israeli Government

LIvni averse to power-sharing propositions

(Newser) - Right-of-center Benjamin Netanyahu has been asked to form Israel’s new government, despite President Shimon Peres’s initial hopes that  Netanyahu would share power with centrist Tzipi Livni, who was the top vote-getter in the election last week. Livni said she would prefer to head the opposition, the BBC reports.... More »

Netanyahu: I'm the Next PM; Livni: Nope, I'll Be PM

(Newser) - Benjamin Netanyahu says the voters have spoken and it's clear that he'll be Israel's next prime minister, the Jerusalem Post reports. Rival Tzipi Livni says the same thing. "I've spoken to party leaders, and we have agreed to begin negotiations on a new government tomorrow," says Netanyahu. Exit... More »

Turkey PM Storms Off After Clash With Peres on Gaza

(Newser) - Turkey's prime minister stormed off a stage in Davos today during a heated exchange with Israeli President Shimon Peres over Gaza, the New York Times reports. “When it comes to killing, you know well how to kill," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Peres before walking off, promising never to... More »

Obama Camp Spills Some Details on Foreign Trip

Israel, in particular, presents tricky schedule for Democrat

(Newser) - Barack Obama’s team released a few details about their candidate's trip abroad today, but the time frame remains tightly under wraps. Israel in particular presents a maze of meetings for the Democrat, who’ll see not only president Shimon Peres, but scandal-plagued prime minister Ehud Olmert and three potential... More »

Hezbollah Returns Bodies of 2 Israeli Soldiers

Corpses of servicemen who sparked 2006 war back home

(Newser) - Hezbollah handed over the corpses of two slain Israeli soldiers in an exchange at the Lebanon-Israel border this morning, Reuters reports. The soldiers' capture sparked the 2006 war that killed 1,200 in Lebanon and 159 Israelis. Once the remains are identified, Israel will free five Lebanese prisoners, including one... More »

Cop's Suicide Interrupts Sarkozy's Israel Send-Off

Airport incident spurs assassination fears

(Newser) - An elite Israeli border policeman shot himself in the head today in the middle of a departure ceremony for Nicolas Sarkozy. Security officers, worried about a possible assassination attempt, rushed Sarkozy and wife Carla Bruni onto their plane, while others spirited away Ehud Olmert and Shimon Peres, who were there... More »

Israeli Court to Rule on Gaza Blockade

Egypt border remains open, but humanitarian concerns grow

(Newser) - Israel's highest court will conduct an emergency hearing Sunday on suits filed by Palestinian organizations over the blockade that has cut Israeli shipments of fuel and gas to Hamas-controlled Gaza. The border to Egypt remains open, reports Haaretz, after militants in the Gaza Strip blasted open the fence and thousands... More »

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