When President Barack Obama went before a Ft. Myers, Fla. audience to pump for grassroots support for his economic recovery plans, the White House made sure there was a substantial delegation from Hadassah in the room.
Question: what are pro-Israel leaders here doing in preparation for Tuesday’s elections in Israel?
At least that’s what’s happening behind closed doors even as most Jewish leaders publicly insist there will be no change in U.S.-Israel relations no matter who becomes prime minister and gets to figure out how to cobble together a new government.
It just me, or is there a kind of surrealistic atmosphere surrounding Jewish activism in the early days of the Obama administration? The issues are mostly the same as always, but the context has changed dramatically. And it’s not at all clear our leaders understand the potential extent of that shift.
President Barack Obama unveiled his revamped faith based initiative today, but the rollout left a lot of questions for Jewish groups that have been bitter adversaries on questions surrounding government funding for religious health and social service providers.
Politicos are still puzzling over last week’s appointment of Kirsten Gillibrand to Hillary Clinton’s seat in the U.S. Senate and Gov. David Paterson’s missteps in announcing his choice – a “mishandled circus,” according to CUNY political scientist Douglas Muzzio..
But one thing you can take to the bank: Gillibrand, who will face voters statewide in 2010, is going to be eating a lot of kosher chicken in the months ahead.
Former Sen. George Mitchell is getting a running start; only days after his appointment as special envoy to the Middle East, he is heading to the region for an eight-day getting-to-know-you session with leaders of several countries and with the men and woman vying to become Israel’s next leader after next month’s elections.
Sunday, January 25th, 2009 James Besser in Washington
Update: I just read NY Times reporter Ethan Bronner’s interesting take on the different, seemingly irreconcilable narratives of Israelis and Palestinians, and the difficult of using “neutral” language in reporting on the conflict. Definitely worth a read. Get it here.