WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The post-shooting debate over political civility is cooling down, but passions are still raging over Sarah Palin’s claim that critics were guilty of perpetuating a “blood libel” against her.
Palin’s initial use of the term, in a Jan. 12 video message, drew sharp rebukes from liberal, Jewish groups and even some conservatives. Since then, however, several Jewish notables, including Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and former New York Mayor Ed Koch have defended Palin’s use of the term.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- It was a well-crafted message preaching unity -- and mined with a “blood libel” that blew it all apart.
Sarah Palin’s video message Wednesday, her first substantial commentary since Saturday’s shooting in Tucson that critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and killed six others, at first appeared to succeed in reconciling two American precepts that have seemed irreconcilable in recent days: a common purpose and a rough-and-tumble political culture.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- An analysis of Internet musings by Jared Lee Loughner dismisses speculation that he may have targeted U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords because she is Jewish.
"In the end, the writings so far revealed seem to indicate no particular leanings about race, and it is difficult to come away from the postings with such a conclusion," according to the analysis published Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League.
The ADL analysis also said that the writings do not "point to a particular ideology or belief system."
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama spoke with the rabbi of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords during a series of calls to friends and families of victims of the weekend shooting in Tucson.
A White House official said Rabbi Stephanie Aaron of Tucson's Congregation Chaverim was among the Tucson-area officials, victims and families Obama reached Monday in the wake of the Jan. 8 attack that left Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, critically injured and six dead.
(JTA) -- President Obama has received a letter from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, requesting clemency for convicted spy-for-Israel Jonathan Pollard.
"I think it is important to underscore that Mr. Pollard was convicted of some of the most serious crimes that anybody can be charged (with)," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters Wednesday
“We have received the letter and will review it,” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said.
Neither spokesman said how long the review process would take and what steps were involved.
Aaron David Miller, the longtime U.S. peace processor who now hangs his hat at the Wilson Center, thinks he knows what's wrong with the Obama administration's faltering Middle East efforts: a lack of “adult supervision.”
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What was the most ignored story of 2010?
Only a handful of mainstream newspapers covered the Palestinian claims to the Western Wall and Rachel’s Tomb; or that Palestinian rockets were still landing in Israel; or the 1930s level of anti-Semitism in the official Palestinian media; or the Palestinian claims that Haifa and Sderot are occupied territory; let alone not covering the transcendent beauty of daily religious life and Jewish culture in Israel.