Washington

Bad News for Jewish Dems: Carter Speaking At Convention

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008 James Besser in Washington The Barack Obama presidential campaign, still fighting hard to shore up the Jewish vote (this week Daniel Shapiro, an advisor to the campaign, signed on as official Jewish outreach coordinator) can’t be entirely thrilled with today’s announcement of additional speakers for next week’s convention. Buried in a long list of names was one certain to raise the hackles of many Jewish voters: former President Jimmy Carter.

New Orleans: “Jewish Pioneering Country”

Sunday, August 17th, 2008 James Besser in Washington New Orleans is being rebuilt - with some notable and controversial gaps - and the devastated city’s Jewish population is on the road to recovery, as well. On Friday one of that community’s leaders was in Washington, making the case that New Orleans Jews have come a long way - but still need outside help to finish the job.

J Street Poll: Jews Eager for Compromise but Wary on Jerusalem; Good but not Great News for Obama

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 James Besser in Washington A new poll by J Street, the pro-peace process political action committee and lobby, showed overwhelming Jewish support for new peace moves in the region, but strong resistance to territorial compromise on Jerusalem.

Pelosi: Lieberman Could be Toast

Friday, August 15th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Sen. Joe Lieberman is riding high as a top surrogate for his pal John McCain, but he could face rough going in the Senate next year if the Democrats pick up as many seats on November 4 as most experts predict. This week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued the strongest-yet warning to the former Democrat - not that Lieberman seems very interested in the opinions of his old colleagues.

With Olmert Going: What Peace Process?

Thursday, July 31st, 2008 James Besser in Washington Here’s one of the more puzzling headlines of the month, right off the AP ticker:  “US Trying to salvage Gains in Mideast Talks.” According to the story, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called top Israel and Palestinian negotiators to Washington this week to “preserve modest momentum” in the U.S.-backed effort to get a deal - any kind of deal, please - by the end of the year and the end of President George W. Bush’s term.

McKinney Gets Green Party Nod, Pro-Israel Activists Yawn

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008 James Besser in Washington The Green Party has apparently decided to accelerate its plunge toward political irrelevance. Last week the party, most remembered for its spoiler role in 2000, nominated former Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) as its presidential candidate.

Good News for McCain — or Polling Mush?

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Here’s a political shocker for you: Jews who say religion is “an important part of my daily life” are more likely to vote for Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, than those who say religion isn’t as important. How do you spell “Duh?” This nugget was part of a Gallup poll released this week that shows the same dynamic working in the broader population, but even more so.

Jesse Helms and the Pro-Israel Divide

Sunday, July 6th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), who died on Friday at the age of 86, was a perfect lightning rod for one of the critical divides in Jewish life. For many pro-Israel activists, Helms’ conversion from staunch foe of their agenda  — in 1983 he suggested breaking diplomatic relations with Israel because of the war in Lebanon, and he was a consistent foe of foreign aid  - to ardent Likudnik was the stuff of legends and a turning point in pro-Israel politics.

The Presbyterians Meet, Talk About Israel, Who Cares?

Monday, June 30th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Recently the Jewish Week reported on a new dustup between Jewish leaders and the Presbyterian Church (USA), the mainline church that played an early role in promoting the idea of targeted sanctions aimed at Israel.
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