Congress

Hate crimes bill introduced …. again. Will this be the year?

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009 Sen. Patrick Leahy (D- Vt.(), the Senate Judiciary chairman, has attached hate crimes legislation to the defense authorization bill. That’s good news for a bunch of Jewish groups, starting with the Anti-Defamation League, which have been pressing for the legislation – which would broaden existing federal hate crimes laws to include crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability – for a decade.

Preaching to the raging choir: Israel, settlements and rhetorical overkill

Monday, June 29th, 2009 What is it about “credibility” that so many friends of Israel don’t get? In the past 24 hours I’ve received several emails, all citing with apparent approval the latest comments by WorldNetDaily founder and editor Joseph Farrah, who’s not Jewish but who can geshrei with the best of them. Writing about growing Obama pressure on Israel on the question of  settlements, Farrah writes:

More homeland security money for Jewish institutions?

Sunday, June 21st, 2009 Some Jewish leaders were initially uneasy about pressing for homeland security money from the federal government to protect Jewish schools, synagogues and other institutions, but that unease has largely evaporated - in part because of the incredible success of the effort to make sure Jewish groups get their fair share - and then  some - of the money, in part because of recent incidents involving such institutions.

Will Congress rise to Netanyahu’s defense on settlements?

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009 Will President Barack Obama face big trouble in Congress if he continues putting the squeeze on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the issue of Jewish settlements – and if Bibi continues to resist?

DC Vouchers: Obama straddles, Jewish groups not thrilled

Monday, May 11th, 2009 If you thought the issue of school vouchers for parents whose kids attend private and parochial schools would fade away now that the Democrats control both the White House and Congress, guess again. Last week President Obama announced a proposal that would allow a controversial Washington, DC voucher program that has divided Jewish groups to keep its funding for now but not provide money for new students.

Notes from the AIPAC Policy Conference

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 Is the legendary AIPAC “roll call” getting old? In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the story: at every year’s policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee,  leaders of the group read out the names of all the congressional, administration and diplomatic officials attending.  Reporters keep count, hometown delegations cheer for their representatives and the message has the subtlety of a good sock in the jaw: this is a lobby with real clout.

Specter’s bombshell

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 You can’t blame Jewish Democrats for being jubilant; not only has Sen. Arlen Specter’s defection to their side of the aisle dealt a major blow to Republican efforts to slow down President Obama’s legislative agenda, but it represented another symbolic swipe at a Republican PR effort that continues to insist the party is making big inroads with Jewish voters.

Reform leader, former Holocaust Museum official arrested in Darfur protest

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 When it comes to Darfur demonstrations, Rabbi David Saperstein of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is a recidivist. On Monday Saperstein was arrested in a protest at the Sudanese embassy just down the street from RAC headquarters, along with several members of Congress and a former official of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.
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