Outgoing senator says his new book will give perspective on joys and limitations of Shabbat for public figures; in interview, reflects on mistakes, triumphs and current events.
Assistant Managing Editor
Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who will not seek a fifth term in 2012, hasn't announced his future plans. But as a prolific author and prominent observant Jew, Lieberman says he wants to do "a little bit of missionary work," promoting Sabbath observance as a divine gift and lifting the mystique about what an observant Jew can and cannot do, especially while holding public responsibilities, within the confines of the day of rest.
What's most striking to me about recent events in the Middle East is how just about all the experts – the administration deep thinkers, their Republican critics, the academics and the foreign policy talking heads – failed to predict the seismic forces that are reshaping the region in ways we can't begin to fathom.
This isn't a matter of partisan politics. The Obama administration is clearly clueless about a region in turmoil, but I haven't heard anything resembling acumen from the Republicans, either.
Over the holiday I had several interesting calls and emails about the prospects for a major new U.S. Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative.
A friend who's left of center emailed to say that the Obama administration, seeing no alternative, is about to launch a major new peace push that will include U.S. bridging proposals, a paper outlining elements of previous negotiations and a significant amount of pressure on both sides.
That's really good news for Israel, this activist trilled.
Passover being a holiday marking affliction and freedom, it wouldn't be complete without Washington seders focusing on economic and social justice issues.
On Wednesday, the Jewish Funds for Justice and the Progressive Jewish Alliance will hold a “Food and Social Justice Seder” at the Department of Agriculture in downtown Washington, hosted by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
A blockbuster story at the Washington Post this morning: turns out the U.S. government has “secretly financed Syrian political opposition groups and related projects, including a satellite TV channel that beams anti-government programming into the country, according to previously undisclosed diplomatic cables.”
Israel's chief Ashkenazi rabbi is calling on President Obama to released convicted spy Jonathan Pollard. With all respect to Rabbi Yonah Metzger, his compassion for Pollard is appropriate but his political sophistication is a little lacking.
According to Israel Radio, Metzger tied Pollard's release to Obama's reelection hopes next year.
Over at his Spiritual Politics blog, Professor Mark Silk looks at the unannounced candidacy of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
“Amidst all the hand-wringing about the state of the Republican presidential field, one potential candidate seems to be sailing blithely along--undeclared, familiar, discounted, and atop the polls,” Silk writes. “It's Mike Huckabee, of course.”