James Besser's blog

Follow the Bouncing Joe: Lieberman and the Democrats

Monday, January 26th, 2009 James Besser in Washington It’s not always easy keeping up with Joe Lieberman, the Democrat-turned-independent-turned-John-McCain-supporter who now wants to sound like ..well, a Democrat. According to media in Connecticut, Lieberman was gushing over President Barack Obama’s inauguration last week, even though he spent months trying to defeat him.

The Pro-Israel Language Muddle

Sunday, January 25th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Update: I just read NY Times reporter Ethan Bronner’s interesting take on the different, seemingly irreconcilable narratives of Israelis and Palestinians, and the difficult of using “neutral” language in reporting on the conflict. Definitely worth a read. Get it here.

Mitchell, Israel and “Even-handedness”

Friday, January 23rd, 2009 James Besser in Washington Here’s a paradox for you: most leaders of major American Jewish groups believe there has to be a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but many are very nervous about the appointment of former Sen. George Mitchell as the Obama administration’s special envoy in the region (Read the Jewish Week story here).  Why?

New Gig for Coleman: Senator-in-Limbo Joins RJC

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 James Besser in Washington UPDATE: a longtime pro-Israel lobbyist saw the blog item on Norm Coleman and called with this analysis: “He’s toast. You don’t take a job like this as a kind of temp.  This is the clearest indication yet he knows he’s not going back to the Senate.

Let the Whispering Begin: Did Obama Diss Jews?

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 James Besser in Washington Only hours after President Barack Obama’s inauguration on Tuesday, the Jewish right was buzzing about a perceived religious slur in his inaugural address. In the ritual nod to religious inclusiveness, Obama said “We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers.”

Obama Inaugurated, Jews Party

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009 James Besser in Washington It was a day of joyous celebration for the many thousands of African Americans who came to Washington to witness the inauguration of President Barack Obama, but Jews weren’t exactly slackers in the celebration department. Inaugural events provided ample opportunity for Jewish machers to see and be seen – and for advocacy groups to display their political connections.

Wanted: Obama administration Jewish Liaison

Monday, January 19th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Who will be appointed Jewish liaison in the incoming Barack Obama administration?

Last-minute pardon speculation and Jonathan Pollard

Monday, January 19th, 2009 James Besser in Washington With just hours left in George W. Bush’s presidency, speculation is at flood tide about possible last-minute pardons and commutations. Yesterday’s Politico took a look at some high-profile cases that could grab Bush’s attention as he packs his bags for Texas (read the story here) .

Inauguration Religious Diversity — Sort Of

Sunday, January 18th, 2009 James Besser in Washington In a nod to religious diversity, three prominent rabbis representing the biggest streams of Judaism wil take part in a Wednesday prayer service in Washington, along with an Islamic official and other clerics.

Polls Show Strong, Nuanced Support for Israel in Gaza Fight

Friday, January 16th, 2009 James Besser in Washington For pro-Israel groups that have been fighting the PR wars since the latest Gaza conflict began in December, the polling news has been mostly good, with indications Americans to blame the Palestinians for the current violence much more than they blame Israel. What is unclear: just how high a priority the issue is with a populace that has its mind on other things, starting with their disappearing 401Ks an disappearing jobs.
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