United States

Jewish doves gain White House clout, but that’s not why U.S. Iran policy is blurring

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009 James Besser in Washington The other day a reader emailed to comment about my report that groups on the Jewish left were included in last week’s conference call between Mideast envoy George Mitchell and Jewish leaders (see blog entry here).

White House Reaches Out to Hadassah, Economic Recovery bill passes senate

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 James Besser in Washington 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.

The Day School Crunch

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

It’s all too easy to complain about the cost of tuition, but it’s important to look at both sides of the issue. JTA’s Jacob Berkman has an excellent piece on the angst of yeshivas and day schools as they cope with skyrocketing costs and increasing demand for scholarships.

 

The crisis moved the Orthodox Union to hold a recent seminar to search for solutions.

 

Mitchell Off to the Mideast, Jewish Groups Conspicuously Silent

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 James Besser in Washington 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.

Obama Inaugurated, Jews Party

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009 James Besser in Washington It was a day of joyous celebration for the many thousands of African Americans who came to Washington to witness the inauguration of President Barack Obama, but Jews weren’t exactly slackers in the celebration department. Inaugural events provided ample opportunity for Jewish machers to see and be seen – and for advocacy groups to display their political connections.

It’s Almost Official: Dennis Ross, Redux

Friday, January 9th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Now that the incoming Barack Obama administration is fleshing out its ranks, talk is hot and heavy about who will handle key Middle East portfolios. And the results are certain to be controversial in a pro-Israel community that is more divided than ever on the best route to peace in the region.

Gaza Isn’t Mexico: The Hasbara Dilemma

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009 James Besser in Washington I confess to great uncertainty about Israel’s current offensive in Gaza.  That Israeli’ leaders were justified in taking strong action against relentless rocket attacks is not an issue for me. Whether the current massive operation is the best option is something I don’t feel qualified to judge.

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.
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