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Israel Policy Forum Welcomes Netanyahu — By Supporting Obama

Friday, May 15th, 2009 Take a look at today’s Israel Policy Forum (IPF) ad in the New York Times if you want to see how some Jewish pro-peace process groups are adopting a bolder strategy. Do you see Benjamin Netanyahu’s name anywhere in the ad?  I didn’t think so. It’s traditional for Jewish groups to welcome prime ministers with friendly ads even if they couple that with some pokes at Israeli policy.

DC Vouchers: Obama straddles, Jewish groups not thrilled

Monday, May 11th, 2009 If you thought the issue of school vouchers for parents whose kids attend private and parochial schools would fade away now that the Democrats control both the White House and Congress, guess again. Last week President Obama announced a proposal that would allow a controversial Washington, DC voucher program that has divided Jewish groups to keep its funding for now but not provide money for new students.

Obama, the Orthodox Union and the National Day of Prayer

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 President Obama is getting pounded by the religious right for not holding a “National Day of Prayer” event at the White House tomorrow, but he is getting support from a key Orthodox group. In his Institute for Public Affairs Blog, OU public policy director Nathan Diament reviews the history of the event, which began in 1952 and which “has been marked in various ways by all presidents since then.” Diament goes on to say this:

Notes from the AIPAC Policy Conference

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 Is the legendary AIPAC “roll call” getting old? In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the story: at every year’s policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee,  leaders of the group read out the names of all the congressional, administration and diplomatic officials attending.  Reporters keep count, hometown delegations cheer for their representatives and the message has the subtlety of a good sock in the jaw: this is a lobby with real clout.

Big surprise: Jewish Ds and Rs disagree on Obama “100 days”

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 Here’s a stunner: Jewish Democrats think President Barack Obama has done a great job during his first 100 days in office and Jewish Republicans disagree. Some Jews on the left say the new administration has become too centrist for their liking, but centrist Jewish groups that focus heavily on domestic matters couldn’t be happier.

Update: Sabato on Obama’s Jewish vote

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 A recent Political Insider item on University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato’s new book, “The Year of Obama: How Barack Obama Won the White House,” produced a flurry of email. Why, readers asked, does Sabato put the Jewish vote for Obama at 83 percent while earlier newspaper accounts had it at 78 percent?

Election 2008: Jews part of dramatic political realignment

Sunday, April 26th, 2009 University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato, possibly the most quoted political scientist on Planet Earth and maybe beyond,  has published a new book on the 2008 election, which he sees as one of a rare species:  transformational elections that change the landscape of American politics for years to come.

Jewish groups mostly AWOL in defending Napolitano

Friday, April 24th, 2009 James Besser in Washington I’m sort of wondering why so many Jewish groups have been AWOL as the Obama administration defends itself from furious attacks from conservatives upset because the Department of Homeland Security is worried about far-right extremism, along with extremism from other segments.

Meeting season for Jewish groups starts

Friday, April 17th, 2009 The cherry blossoms have come and gone, which means it must be spring meeting season for Jewish groups. Next week it’s the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, which has a star-studded program for its annual “Consultation on Conscience.” As usual, the focus will be on domestic and social social justice issues, with a strong focus this year on the impact of the global economic downturn and its economic implications.
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