Is U.S. Israel’s Ally “When It Matters”?

Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, says the U.S. will no longer automatically exercise its veto in the UN Security Council to protect Israel.

In testimony before the Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, Power specifically declined to rule out support for resolutions on Palestinian statehood or the “peace process.” “We will look to see what will advance Israel’s security and what will advance peace in the region… Our objective as an administration is what can we do to defuse tensions, what will it take to get those negotiations back on track.”

When Committee members expressed skepticism, she replied, “We will continue to work extremely closely with Israel in New York. As you know well we have a record of standing when it matters with Israel.” Continue reading

The U.S. Has Been Speaking To Hamas Through Back Channels For More Than Six Months

U.S. officials and members of Hamas have been meeting in Jordan, Egypt, and Qatar, sources say.

The meetings were held between U.S. intermediaries and Hamas’ leadership, which lives outside the Gaza Strip in third-party countries ranging from Egypt to Qatar and Jordan. Topics included the ceasefire agreement with Israel and the recently formed unity government between Hamas and Fatah. Continue reading