James Besser's blog

AIPAC Conference Will Welcome Politically Troubled Olmert, Clinton

Friday, May 30th, 2008 AIPAC’s ability to lure top politicians to its annual policy conference is widely accepted as a measure of the group’s undiminished clout. By that standard, this week’s conference of the pro-Israel lobby giant — which begins today - suggests that the federal prosecution of two former employees and continuing attacks from the Walt-Mearsheimer axis were mere blips, not major crises.

Lieberman Sticks with Preacher McCain Rejected

Thursday, May 29th, 2008 This week’s Jewish Week asked whether Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent and top John McCain supporter, would keep his promise to speak at pastor John Hagee’s Christian Zionist summit in July, now that the minister’s endorsement has been rejected by McCain. It didn’t take long to get an answer: on Wednesday, Lieberman said he had no plans to reverse his decision. Here’s his statement in full:

Political Insider: McCain Faces Evangelical Dilemma After Hagee-Parsley Repudiation

Sunday, May 25th, 2008 Sen. John McCain’s decision to reject the endorsements of Pastors John Hagee and Rod Parsley (see this week’s Jewish Week story here) could bolster support from centrist swing voters - including some Jews who are inclined to vote Republican but remain concerned about the influence of the religious right on the Republican Party.

Put Relations with Hagee’s Pro-Israel Group on “Hold,” Foxman Says

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

As Sen. John McCain was cutting ties to Pastor John Hagee, the controversial Christian Zionist leader whose endorsement he sought, a top Jewish leader also changed course and called for ties to Hagee’s pro-Israel group to be put on “hold,” the Jewish Week has learned.

Huckabee Headlines Jerusalem Reclamation Dinner

Monday, May 19th, 2008 Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a dropout from the GOP presidential field who said on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” that he’d love to be John McCain’s running mate, will appear at the New York dinner of the Jerusalem Reclamation Project on June 2. The organization, also known as Ateret Cohanim, is devoted to buying formerly Jewish property in and around Jerusalem’s Old City to strengthen Jewish presence there.

Why is Obama So Worried About the Jews?

Thursday, May 15th, 2008 Why is Sen. Barack Obama devoting so much time and energy trying to win over Jewish voters? On the surface, the numbers don’t add up. A majority of Jews are going to vote Democratic in November’s presidential contest no matter what; does the difference between 61 percent (what Obama scored in a recent Gallup Poll and 74 percent (what John Kerry actually won in 2004) really make that much of a difference?

Political Insider: Peace Process Progress? No Way

Thursday, May 15th, 2008 Is the Bush administration worried that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s new troubles will stall their effort to make significant progress in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations before January? Don’t count on it. While most analysts in Washington believe the new corruption investigation means Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are effectively on hold for the foreseeable future, that may not be at odds with administration goals.

South Carolina ‘Christian License Plates’ Irk American Jewish Congress

Friday, May 2nd, 2008 South Carolina, the state some Christians want to see secede from the Union to become a political Garden of Eden for evangelicals, has run afoul of the American Jewish Congress. This week the group weighed in with Gov. Mark Sanford, urging him to veto a bill creating state license plates that say “I believe,” along with the image of a cross.
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