Washington

Kucinich Wants “Independent” UN Investigation of Israeli Gaza Offensive

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008 James Besser in Washington This just in: Rep. Dennis Kucinich  (D-Ohio) is calling for  an “independent” investigation into “Israel’s war against Gaza,” which he says amounts to “collective punishment.” (Read his statement here)

The Upside of the Bernie Madoff Affair

Sunday, December 28th, 2008 James Besser in Washington It’s hard to find anything positive to say about a record-shattering scammer who may have bilked Jewish charities out of hundreds of millions of dollars and shattered Jewish philanthropy by decimating the bank accounts of countless big givers, but there could  be one salutary impact of Bernard Madoff’s mother of all Ponzi schemes: it may force the Jewish world to confront a radically changed economic climate.

Pollard, Pardons and the Isaac Toussie Controversy

Friday, December 26th, 2008 James Besser in Washington This week’s bizarre presidential pardon story probably didn’t do Jonathan Pollard any good – although there weren’t any hints that President Bush was ever seriously considering commuting the sentence of the Israeli spy, now in his 23rd year in federal prison.

Capitol Hill: A Mighty Religious Place

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008 James Besser in Washington The 111th Congress will be the most religiously diverse ever, but that doesn’t mean every religious group is represented according to its proportion in the population.

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.

Madoff with the Monday: Impact of Financial Scandal Could Run Deep

Sunday, December 14th, 2008 James Besser in Washington It’s the weekend, so official reaction from Jewish groups has been limited, but communal boardrooms will be buzzing on Monday as the devastation apparently wreaked by Bernard Madoff,  the onetime hedge fund mastermind, sinks in. Madoff was arrested on Friday after admitting to colleagues that his hedge fund was a $50 billion sham – the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. Concerns among Jewish leaders center on three issues.

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

Jerusalem Embassy Act Waived (Yawn) Again

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Here’s the non-surprise of the year: President George W. Bush has once again waived provisions of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act mandating that the U.S. embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Back in 2000  Bush, running for the presidency,  promised to begin the move “as soon as I take office,” but then changed his mind, repeatedly invoking the law’s “national security” waiver position.

Minnesota Mishegoss: Coleman - Franken Contest Still Undecided

Sunday, December 7th, 2008 James Besser in Washington In Minnesota, as it turns out, a recount won’t be enough to determine the winner of a hotly contested Senate race.   The only thing that’s certain: the  winner will definitely be a Jewish guy from New York.

Jewish Vote, 2008: More Study Needed

Sunday, November 30th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Mik Moore, the Jewish Funds for Justice blogger and co-creator of the “Great Shlep,” the pro-Obama youth crusade in Florida, has a provocative item this week about why predictions of an anti-Obama vote in the Jewish community proved wildly inaccurate.
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