Barack Obama

Obama: Egypt Transition ‘Must Begin Now’

01/31/2011 - 19:00
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Transition in Egypt "must begin now," President Obama said.

Obama spoke Tuesday about two hours after after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said he would not run in presidential elections scheduled for September, and would prepare for a peaceful handing over of power to his successor.

It was not clear from Obama's statement whether this was sufficient, or if he wanted Mubarak to step down sooner. Opposition groups have said that Mubarak must step down now.

Egypt, democracy and Richard Cohen

 I've read a lot of ominous words about the chaos in Egypt and the anti-Mubarak demonstrations that now look like they will end the 30-year reign of this democrat-in-name-only. But nothing comes close in grimness to Richard Cohen's column in today's Washington Post.

Lose-lose politics and policy on Egypt

 I have some sympathy for an Obama administration that seems paralyzed by indecision as Egyptians rise up in the streets against their corrupt, repressive regime; President Obama is paying the long-deferred price for decades of hypocritical policy.

But this administration is no more innocent than its predecessors; it, too, chose to proclaim the authoritarian Hosni Mubarak a critical ally in the Middle East, and mostly swallow concerns about his anti-democratic nature and his sorry human rights record in the interests of foreign policy realism.

In State of the Union, Obama Misses Some Jewish Domestic Priorities, Ignores Israel

01/25/2011 - 19:00
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Civility? Check. Clean energy? Check. Health care? Check. Immigration? Check. Education? You bet.

Isolating Iran? That’s in there.

Poverty, guns, reproductive rights? Israel? Ummm …

President Obama’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night was as notable for what it excluded as what made it in.

Debate Rages on Over Palin’s ‘Blood Libel’ Claim

01/17/2011 - 19:00
JTA

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.

Jewish Groups Join Faith Call for Civility

01/12/2011 - 19:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish faith leaders joined a call for soul searching in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Palin’s ‘Blood Libel’ Remark Overwhelms Message

01/12/2011 - 19:00
JTA

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.

Giffords Wasn’t Shot Because of Her Judaism, ADL Says

01/10/2011 - 19:00

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."

Obama Calls Giffords’ Rabbi

01/10/2011 - 19:00
JTA

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.

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