A White House meeting on Wednesday between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saw the two leaders emphasizing mutual cooperation across a range of issues, with Netanyahu also outlining how new regional realities have aligned Jerusalem with traditional U.S. allies long considered hostile to the Jewish state.
The two leaders spoke to reporters for several minutes, before adjourning for a meeting that lasted almost a full hour past the pre-allotted one hour time. Referring to the Prime Minister by his nickname, the President told journalists that "I think I’ve met with Bibi more than any world leader during my tenure as president," before partially cataloging extensive U.S.-Israeli security and diplomatic cooperation. Netanyahu for his part thanked the President
for the latter's "efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapon" and highlighted
Jerusalem's shared commitment with Washington to securing a diplomatic solution that would see a viable Palestinian state created alongside a secure Jewish one. Behind the mutual plauditory gestures were substantive shifts in how the Middle East is geopolitically configured. Washington's Israeli and Arab allies - Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and most of the Gulf states - have in recent years found themselves aligned opposite blocs of Iran-led Shiite extremists and Sunni jihadists underwritten in part by Turkey and Qatar. Netanyahu pressed that specific point,
telling Obama that he seeks to more openly consolidate ties between Jerusalem and various Arab states. The Israeli leader has been heavily emphasizing such scenarios, telling audiences in mid-September
and during his Monday afternoon UNGA speech
that issues ranging from Iranian expansionism to the spread of ISIS were driving Israeli-Arab cooperation in domains far removed from the Palestinian theater. There are reasons to believe that the White House shares Netanyahu's assessment at least in part. Obama had just a few days before told
the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that Arab nations had to stop using Israeli-Palestinian tensions "as an excuse to distract people from problems at home."
A 27-year-old Israeli social entrepreneur has been named a ‘Next Generation Leader‘ by TIME magazine for her role in building communities of kindness. Adi Altschuler, the Israel manager of Google for Education, is one of six young people from around the world to be honored by the magazine. “It is not enough, or even necessary, for a leader to be exceptionally good at his or her chosen discipline. What a leader must be exceptionally good at, however, is inspiring others to believe in a shared vision. That’s hard to do, especially when a young scientist, entrepreneur or activist has had only a short time to form a plan and build a team,” TIME magazine writes in its introduction to how it chose “these leaders of tomorrow who are working hard to change their worlds today.” Altschuler’s write up in the magazine talks about her role in founding Krembo Wings youth movement for children with special needs (which today has 35 branches across Israel with over 3,000 volunteers), her role as mentor for other social entrepreneurs, a new organization she recently founded that encourages Israelis to think differently about the impact of the Holocaust, and about her day job as the Israel manager of Google for Education, a Google department that trains tens of thousands of Israeli teachers in new ways of teaching and integrating technology in classrooms “to make learning magical again.” TIME’s other inspirational young persons in its first class of ‘next generation leaders’ include Indian architect Alok Shetty (28) for his pioneering work in designing affordable flood-proof homes for the poor; Chinese scientist Zhao Bowen (22) who is working on improving medical testing; Tunisian women’s rights activist Ikram Ben Said (34); British self-made online music video mogul Jamal Edwards (24); and Nigerian Ola Orekunrin (28), the founder and managing director of Flying Doctors Nigeria, the first emergency air ambulance service in the country. (via Israel21c)