James Besser's blog

Gaza War: Reinforcing Hamas?

Thursday, January 15th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Okay, we all know by now that Israel was “justified” in mounting a major offensive against Hamas to stop the rocket fire from Gaza.  We’ve sure heard it enough from Jewish groups across the political spectrum that have rallied to Israel’s defense as, predictably, world opinion turns against the Jewish state.

Behind the Pro-Israel Congressional Resolution: Numbers Don’t Tell the Whole Story

Monday, January 12th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Pro-Israel groups are still kvelling about last week’s lopsided passage of a House of Representatives resolution expressing support for Israel in the current Gaza crisis and citing a long history of Palestinian attacks justifying Israel’s heavy military response.

It’s Almost Official: Dennis Ross, Redux

Friday, January 9th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Now that the incoming Barack Obama administration is fleshing out its ranks, talk is hot and heavy about who will handle key Middle East portfolios. And the results are certain to be controversial in a pro-Israel community that is more divided than ever on the best route to peace in the region.

Gaza Crisis Prompts Robo-Call Campaign

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009 James Besser in Washington So you though those annoying robo-calls were over and done with, now that the long political campaign season is over? Guess again.

Gaza Isn’t Mexico: The Hasbara Dilemma

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009 James Besser in Washington I confess to great uncertainty about Israel’s current offensive in Gaza.  That Israeli’ leaders were justified in taking strong action against relentless rocket attacks is not an issue for me. Whether the current massive operation is the best option is something I don’t feel qualified to judge.

The Gaza War: Return to Comfortable Territory for Jewish Groups

Friday, January 2nd, 2009 James Besser in Washington This is a really delicate question, so don’t get me wrong.  But I can’t help thinking American Jewish groups are taking a certain satisfaction that the Gaza offensive and the predictable shift of world opinion against Israel are presenting them a problem they know how to deal with – unlike the financial carnage that is upending the Jewish world and threatening the survival of some venerable institutions.

An Interesting Read: Scowcroft’s Role in the Obama Administration

Friday, January 2nd, 2009 James Besser in Washington During the presidential  campaign, a persistent subtheme in the Jewish community was the role of former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft in the Obama foreign policy team.

Kucinich Wants “Independent” UN Investigation of Israeli Gaza Offensive

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008 James Besser in Washington This just in: Rep. Dennis Kucinich  (D-Ohio) is calling for  an “independent” investigation into “Israel’s war against Gaza,” which he says amounts to “collective punishment.” (Read his statement here)

The Upside of the Bernie Madoff Affair

Sunday, December 28th, 2008 James Besser in Washington It’s hard to find anything positive to say about a record-shattering scammer who may have bilked Jewish charities out of hundreds of millions of dollars and shattered Jewish philanthropy by decimating the bank accounts of countless big givers, but there could  be one salutary impact of Bernard Madoff’s mother of all Ponzi schemes: it may force the Jewish world to confront a radically changed economic climate.

Pollard, Pardons and the Isaac Toussie Controversy

Friday, December 26th, 2008 James Besser in Washington This week’s bizarre presidential pardon story probably didn’t do Jonathan Pollard any good – although there weren’t any hints that President Bush was ever seriously considering commuting the sentence of the Israeli spy, now in his 23rd year in federal prison.
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