The State of Israel celebrates its sixty-first birthday this coming week. I find myself wondering whether there exists another country in the world that has to apologize for its existence in order to celebrate, as Israel does.
The Islamist rhetoric blaming Jews for the Sept. 11 attacks on America has gotten bad enough that President George W. Bush and other national and international political leaders need to counter the anti-Semites and quell the growing anxiety of Jewish citizens, says the national director of the Anti-Defamation League.
“President Bush should publicly put his arms around the Jewish community,” Abraham Foxman said. “Some leaders don’t think it’s serious, but as Jews we take it very seriously.”
“Illegal” settlements on the West Bank face a challenge by the Obama administration, as is tries to increase its influence in the Arab and Muslim worlds.
As newly minted U.S. Mideast Envoy George Mitchell begins his first swing through a seething region, pro-Israel forces are waiting for early signals about how the Obama administration will deal with Jewish settlements and settlement outposts on the West Bank.
And while the new administration is likely to put off any sweeping new peace initiatives, it may have little choice but to address the perennially explosive issue quickly and decisively as part of President Barack Obama’s goal of restoring U.S. credibility in the Arab and Muslim worlds.
The Obama administration’s willingness to expand its involvement in the United Nations has not attracted strong criticism from pro-Israel groups, despite the longstanding belief that the international body is decidedly anti-Israel.
In recent days, Washington has signaled a new effort to try to effect change from within the UN and its agencies, and Jewish leaders here, though somewhat skeptical, seem prepared to give the administration some latitude.
Anti-Israel remarks by Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadenijad are seen as rejection of closer ties with moderate Western governments
Monday’s anti-Israel tirade by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the Durban II conference on racism could undermine Obama administration diplomatic outreach, several Jewish leaders who attended the controversial conference in Geneva said this week.
Richard Schifter is not a gifted orator.
The former U.S. representative to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, who served during the 1980s, delivered the keynote address of what was billed as the Durban II Counter-Conference Program at Fordham University Law School here on Monday, and his presentation was lengthy, dry and delivered in a near monotone.
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.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
James Besser in Washington
Pro-Israel leaders were working hard this week to spin the story that there’s no real likelihood of a clash between the Obama administration and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is still formulating his new government’s approach to peace process issues.