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Obama Transition Team Meets the Jews

Friday, December 19th, 2008 James Besser in Washington After his November 4 election, there was widespread speculation about which Jewish and pro-Israel groups would have access to Barack Obama’s White House – and which would be frozen out.

What’s Keeping Obama Up At Night

Friday, December 12th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Speaking during a recent JCPA conference call about the new administration’s foreign policy team, I was struck by this gap between perception and reality: while so many Israel-focused Jews seem to believe a major element of Barack Obama’s transition is figuring out how to change U.S. policy on Israel and the Palestinians, the reality is that the issue is probably far down on the team’s long list of immediate priorities

OU Defends Bush White House in Hanukkah Bush Scandal

Thursday, November 27th, 2008 James Besser in Washington The Orthodox Union has jumped to the defense of a lame-duck administration  whose holiday snafu is the object of a lot of snarky humor.

Pardons and Commutations, but None for Pollard

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 James Besser in Washington President George W. Bush, who must be busy packing cartons at the White House and selecting a mover, also found time this week to issue a few presidential pardons and commutations.  But those hoping convicted spy Jonathan Pollard would be among them were quickly disappointed. The list of recipients includes a cocaine distributor, a bank embezzler and someone convicted of improperly using food stamps, but no spies.

The Jewish Right and the Obama Administration

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008 James Besser in Washington In the current issue, the Jewish Week examined the reaction of a worried Jewish left (read the story here) to a Barack Obama administration that some fear may be shaping up as too centrist for their taste.  But what about the Jewish right?

Bush, Olmert Set for Commiseration Session

Friday, November 21st, 2008 James Besser in Washington Has there every been so melancholy a meeting between an Israeli prime minister and an American president as the one that will take place here in Washington next week?

Emanuel Senior Speaks, Junior Apologizes

Friday, November 14th, 2008 James Besser in Washington When Rep. Rahm Emanuel was named chief of staff to President elect Barack Obama, some predicted the volatile, outspoken lawmaker, former Bill Clinton aide and dead fish message sender would get himself in trouble with some kind of outrageous outburst.

Dean Leaving DNC Post After Successful Jewish Outreach Effort

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Howard Dean is calling it quits as chair of the Democratic National Committee after an election that restored his party to the White House, increased its majorities in both Houses of Congress – and solidified a Jewish vote that analysts once believed was getting soft around the edges.

Emanuel Appointment and Obama Administration Mideast Policy

Monday, November 10th, 2008 So what, exactly, does it mean that Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the son of an Israeli who served in the Irgun, has been named White House chief of staff under President-elect Barack Obama? It means a lot, in terms of White House management and policy; the hard-charging, experienced, hyper-aggressive Emanuel will undoubtedly  keep the incoming administration organized, deal effectively with Congress and serve as an effective gatekeeper to a new president who will be besieged by those seeking influence and jobs.

A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Close

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

If you believe the 7th graders in my daughter’s yeshiva class, we’re all doomed.

 

There is about to be a nuclear war, it seems. Iran is going to take over the world, or perhaps it will be Iraq. Israel? Forget about it.

 

This might be an amusing reaction to the election of Barack Obama if not for the reality that many of these pre-adolescents, if not most, are getting this stuff from their parents.

 

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