This just in from the Jerusalem Post: President Barack Obama’s failure to name a special envoy on anti-Semitism “raises questions about the importance the new administration attaches to the fight against anti-Semitism,” according to Rafael Medoff, director of the Washington DC-based David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies.”
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.
Jewish groups that claim President Obama has been too hard on Israel on the issue of West Bank settlements will be happy with today’s Washington Post editorial, which argues his emphasis on the issue could be “self defeating.”
Was the new ‘crisis’ manufactured to tie settlement issue to holy city?
This week’s U.S.-Israel diplomatic dustup over building additional Jewish housing in east Jerusalem may have as much to do with domestic politics in the Jewish state — and a desire to mobilize American Jews to oppose additional U.S. pressure — as with any shift in Obama administration policy.
Publicly raising its disagreement over Jerusalem may “focus the American Jewish community, which is mostly opposed to settlements, on the fact that when the U.S. demands Israel cease building settlements that includes Jerusalem,” said Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman.
And touching the Jerusalem nerve may help galvanize Evangelical Christians, many of whom have a growing commitment to preserving Jerusalem as Israel’s unified capital, to oppose new administration peace pushes.
I confess: because of other assignments, I didn’t get down to the Christians United for Israel Washington summit this week, the first one I’ve missed. But based on past years events and interviews with several folks who attended this week’s, I’ve reached one new conclusion about the group.
From the beginning, CUFI has embraced the Israeli settlers movement in a way no major Jewish group has.
Eight months after Minnesota voters went to the polls, the state is about to get a new senator. And it’s not the old one – Norm Coleman, the Republican whose last appeal of the razor-thin election was rejected by the Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday in a unanimous decision.
A lower court ruled that Democrat Al Franken, the former Saturday Night Live comic, won the election by 312 votes, but Coleman continued to argue that an additional 4000 absentee ballots should be counted.
JTA has just posted a timely series on the settlers of the West Bank, exploring their potential extremism and the very real possibility of Jew-vs.-Jew violence should Israel eventually decide to evacuate them, as much of the world, including the President of the United States, would like.
Just in case you don’t have enough to worry about, this week brought a number of polls that may send Jewish leaders to the neighborhood pharmacy for some extra Prozac.
While Jewish organizations have been working overtime to depict Iran as the ultimate menace to U.S. as well as Israeli interests, a new Gallup poll indicates that they’ve only been partially successful.