James Besser's blog

Good Blog Reading on Israeli election

Monday, February 16th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Just catching up with the blogs after a few days away from the keyboard, and found some good reading waiting  for me. Lots of interesting commentary on last week’s Israeli election, which settled nothing except for the fact there will now be weeks, maybe months, of jockeying, horse trading and mind-bending spin.

American Jews sing praises of Israeli elections, Israelis sing the blues

Thursday, February 12th, 2009 Sometimes you just have to laugh at the gap between Israeli and American Jews, especially when it jumps up and slaps you upside the head. Take this press release from the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) on Tuesday’s muddled Israeli election.

Israel’s Election, Mitchell’s Headache

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Can’t you just imagine the hangover George Mtichell woke up with this morning?

White House Reaches Out to Hadassah, Economic Recovery bill passes senate

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 James Besser in Washington When President Barack Obama went before a Ft. Myers, Fla. audience to pump for grassroots support for his economic recovery plans, the White House made sure there was a substantial delegation from Hadassah in the room.

Israel Goes to the Polls - And Everyone Will Be Unhappy

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Israelis are going to the polls in higher-than-expected numbers today, and official Washington might be worried about the outcome – if it wasn’t so completely preoccupied with a collapsing economy at home and the increasingly bitter, partisan effort to stop the slide.

The Lieberman Factor Worrying Pro-Israel Leaders Here

Sunday, February 8th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Question: what are pro-Israel leaders here doing in preparation for Tuesday’s elections in Israel? Answer: Worrying. At least that’s what’s happening behind closed doors even as most Jewish leaders publicly insist there will be no change in U.S.-Israel relations no matter who becomes prime minister and gets to figure out how to cobble together a new government.

Are Jewish Groups living in economic la-la land?

Friday, February 6th, 2009 James Besser in Washington It just me, or is there a kind of surrealistic atmosphere surrounding Jewish activism in the early days of the Obama administration? The issues are mostly the same as always, but the context has changed dramatically. And it’s not at all clear our leaders understand the potential extent of that shift.

Obama Announces New Faith Based Office, Many Questions Unanswered

Thursday, February 5th, 2009 James Besser in Washington President Barack Obama unveiled his revamped faith based initiative today, but the rollout left a lot of questions for Jewish groups that have been bitter adversaries on questions surrounding  government funding for religious health and social service providers.

Gillibrand and Kosher Chicken

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Politicos are still puzzling over last week’s appointment of Kirsten Gillibrand to Hillary Clinton’s seat in the U.S. Senate and  Gov. David Paterson’s missteps in announcing his choice – a “mishandled circus,” according to CUNY political scientist Douglas Muzzio.. But one thing you can take to the bank: Gillibrand, who will face voters statewide in 2010, is going to be eating a lot of kosher chicken in the months ahead.

Mitchell Off to the Mideast, Jewish Groups Conspicuously Silent

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Former Sen. George Mitchell is getting a running start; only days after his appointment as special envoy to the Middle East, he is heading to the region for an eight-day getting-to-know-you session with leaders of several countries and with the men and woman vying to become Israel’s next leader after next month’s  elections.
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