James Besser's blog

Irving Moscowitz and the Jerusalem conundrum

 Why am I not surprised?

On a day when State Department officials are expressing concern about the demolition of the Shepherd Hotel in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem, Politico's Laura Rozen reports that the developer of the project, the always-controversial Irving Moscowitz is a “top campaign contributor to Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.).”

And Ros-Lehtinen is not just any “R-Fla.”; she's the new head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

More on the Giffords shooting and the climate of rage

As bloggers and commentators assess blame for the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, it's pretty clear almost everybody is filtering what little we really know about the alleged shooter through their own politics and ideology.

You don't need a Ph. D in psychology to know Jared Loughner is a deeply troubled, possibly crazy young man. Was he driven to that point by ideology – or did he latch on to scattered ideologies because of his mental collapse? I'm more inclined to believe the latter, although we still don't have a complete picture.

Giffords shooting: Figures it was Arizona

My first reaction on hearing of the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz) in a Tuscon Safeway parking lot: it figures it was Arizona.

In a country where political rage and incitement pose as entertainment and the gun lobby successfully boosts a radical, mostly insane view that the rights of gun owners trump all other rights, Arizona is a place where this sickness rages with particular virulence.

AJC, NIF share a concern: Israeli democracy

I can't recall many times when the American Jewish Committee and the New Israel Fund have been on the same page on a critical issue involving Israel, but it happened this week.

Digging the debt hole a little deeper

Looking at the opening moves by the Republican House leadership as they exercise their new majority, you have to wonder how serious they are about deficit reduction.

Under the leadership of Speaker John Boehner, they approved rules requiring that all new spending increases must be offset by cuts in other programs.

Aaron David Miller: give Clinton - Hillary, that is - the Middle East peacemaking job

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.”

The Israel-Syria track: opportunity or distraction?

 I had a call today from a pro-peace process activist who expressed cautious excitement about what he termed “new hope for progress” on the Israeli-Syrian front (see this week's Jewish Week editorial here).

Netanyahu's Pollard letter: Israel's actions 'unacceptable'

Ha'aretz is running the full text of Benjamin Netanyahu's letter to president Obama requesting executive clemency for convicted spy Jonathan Pollard – the first such formal request from an Israel Prime Minister.

More on Jeff Goldberg and Israeli democracy

I'm hearing a lot of reaction to Jeff Goldberg's ultra-provocative Atlantic blog on “What if Israel ceases to be a democracy” - the inevitable result of Goldberg's stature as one of the most outspoken, well-informed bloggers on the pro-Israel scene and a true centrist

Is the Jewish church-state focus fading?

In thinking about the top Jewish stories of 2010, it occurred to me there wasn't a single major church-state battle on the list. That's a big change from, say, a decade ago.

Almost two years into the administration of President Barack Obama the faith based initiatives created by his predecessor are mostly still in place, and groups like Americans United for Separation of Church and State are howling mad.

Syndicate content