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Mike Huckabee loves Israel, but will Jewish voters love him?

The Jewish political world is buzzing ...well, it's a pretty quiet buzz, more like a murmur ... about the New Yorker profile of former Arkansas governor, Fox news commentator and 2012 GOP presidential Wannabee Mike Huckabee.

Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren - U.S. and Israel drifting apart?

What to make out of yesterday's report in Ha'aretz that Amb. Michael Oren, meeting with Israeli diplomats in Jerusalem, said the U.S. and Israel are in a “tectonic rift” and drifting apart?

David Weprin’s Excellent Adventure

06/23/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

The number of people who attended last month’s Israel Day Concert, the annual right-wing rally in support of Israel’s settlement movement, and a joint event, two weeks later, between Jews and Muslims, would almost certainly be zero if it weren’t for one person — state Assemblyman David Weprin.

David Weprin: Hard-right Jewish crowd one day, Muslim-Jewish coexistence crowd another.

Jews Brace For Next Phase In Iran Battle

New sanctions surge could lead to new dilemmas for groups that have banked on issue.

06/23/2010
Washington Correspondent

Recent breakthroughs in the U.S.-led effort to squeeze Iran could change the political calculus for American Jewish groups that have benefited hugely from their decades-old focus on Iran — and which have largely succeeded in making Iran’s threat to both U.S. and Israeli interests a top policy for Congress and  the White House.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Dreams Confront Reality On Pilot Israel Campus Trip

College students, recent grads hopeful and fearful about taking Israel plunge.

06/23/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

They came from all over the United States and Canada — college and graduate students, ready to embark on a whirlwind tour of Israel.

This wasn’t a Birthright trip, though. The 33 students who participated in the Jewish Agency’s Campus Aliyah Fellowship pilot trip had all been to Israel before. Now, they came with practical goals — and big dreams.

Syosset, L.I., native Brooke Katz shows off her Israeli passport. Jewish Agency

Chabad Schools, Gets Schooled in Diplomacy at D.C. Confab

06/23/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Chabad emissaries usually associate Washington with their emphasis on education, but this year they got a taste of foreign policy suasion while handing out some, too.

Hundreds of emissaries from across the United States and the world descended on the U.S. capital for two days last week for a conference organized by American Friends of Lubavitch.

R&R For The Heart And Soul: Chabad-Style NY Welcome For Wounded Israeli Veterans

06/22/2010
Staff Writer

A year and a half after the left side of his body was torn head-to-toe by shrapnel in the Gaza war, 23-year-old Ron Lichi was enjoying a relaxing tour of the Empire State Building, the White House and the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s gravesite, among other American tourist destinations.

Israeli soldiers wounded in Gaza war visit the Statue of Liberty, top, and meet with Chabad leaders here. Bentzi Sasson

Reaction Mixed to Israeli Announcement on Easing of Gaza Blockade

06/22/2010
JTA

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel's decision to loosen its blockade on Gaza is drawing both praise and criticism.

Israel's security Cabinet on Sunday voted to ease land-based civilian imports to the Gaza Strip; the naval blockade will remain in place.

The move garnered praise from the White House, which released a statement Sunday saying it welcomed the new policy toward Gaza.

U.S. and Israel Agree on Key Issues—For Now

06/15/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) – The relationship between the Obama administration, the Netanyahu government and the pro-Israel community is ensconced on all fronts in “agree, for now” mode.

On isolating Iran, everyone agrees -- and is pleased -- that the new set of U.N. sanctions will make it easier for the United States to enhance its own unilateral sanctions.

Differences are looming, however, on whether the U.S. sanctions should carve out exemptions for countries that helped push through the U.N. sanctions.

Gaza Flotilla Commission Sets Sail

06/15/2010
Editorial

Over the weekend Israel’s cabinet approved creation of a commission to investigate the controversial, ill-fated Israeli interdiction of a Gaza-bound humanitarian-cum-propaganda flotilla.

That’s a good first step, particularly because two of the five members are distinguished foreign observers. But it is naive to believe this will settle the matter for a world predisposed to see Israel as a kind of universal villain. And no finding by the commission will dampen international criticism of Israel’s (and Egypt’s) Gaza blockade.

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