Reason for optimism in post-Mubarak era, says Schumer, at congressional breakfast; Tehran nuclear ambitions worry N.Y. delegation.
Assistant Managing Editor
The uncertain future of Israel’s powerful neighbor dominated the speeches at Sunday’s annual congressional breakfast sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council, held less than 48 hours after the demise of Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade reign over Egypt.
A Jewish community that relies on federal, state and local government programs to help fund a wide range of health and social services is about to feel the repercussions of a budget fight in Washington that will almost certainly result in severe cuts; the only question is, how severe.
Yesterday President Obama presented his $3.7 trillion budget outline that includes substantial cuts in a number of programs long favored by Democrats. Education and health would get more under the Obama plan; anti-poverty programs would get clobbered.
On the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's birth, and the 25th anniversary of Natan Sharansky crossing the Gleinicke Bridge to freedom in West Berlin, it's important to remember some of the people who made that crossing possible.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The next Egyptian government should recognize its peace with Israel, the White House said.
"It's important that the next government of Egypt recognize the accords that have been signed with Israel," spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a news conference after President Obama congratulated Egyptians after Hosni Mubarak left the presidency.
Obama in his statement said the United States would provide assistance toward transitioning Egypt to democracy, "if asked" and said "nothing less than genuine democracy will carry the day."
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Egyptian ambassador to the United States says President Hosni Mubarak has relinquished his powers to Omar Suleiman, the vice president.
"President Mubarak transfered the powers of his presidency to his vice president," Sameh Shoukry told CNN in a phone call he said he made to clarify its reporting of Mubarak's speech Thursday night. "We can say the president is the de jure president and the vice president is the de facto president."
I've been writing off and on that the Obama administration inherited a situation in Egypt that was bound to go bad, but today's Jackson Diehl column in the Washington Post suggests there's a lot more culpability at the Obama White House than I assumed.
Watching the chaos in Egypt and the confusion at the White House, it seems to me that decades of shortsighted U.S. policy – touting democracy while propping up undemocratic strongmen like Hosni Mubarak, and somehow believing nobody is noticing the gap between our words and deeds - have left policymakers here in an impossible situation.
If we press for the immediate departure of Mubarak, we create a vacuum which forces we fear – not without reason – may effectively exploit.