WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Peter Beinart attends an Orthodox synagogue, once edited The New Republic (the closest thing to a smicha for Jewish policy wonks) and backed Sen. Joe Lieberman’s quixotic 2004 bid to become the first Jewish president.
Which is why he’s always been counted among the Washington pundits who defend Israel, Zionism and the right of American Jews to lobby for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.
Beinart also frets about how Jewish his kids will be.
As if he needed more tsuris in in his fight for a sixth term – this time as a Democrat – Sen. Arlen Specter, the veteran Jewish lawmaker, now may have a major Elena Kagan problem.
Kagan is President Obama's nominee to fill the seat of the retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, and Specter – back when he was a Republican, which was after he was Democrat – voted against her last year when Obama appointed her solicitor general.
Blacks, Jews and the house on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Special To The Jewish Week
Everyone is familiar with the parlor game so fashionable among armchair Jewish and African-American politicos. You know, the one with the implausibly absurd question: Who will become the first Jew or black to be elected president, and which one will come first?
On Friday I blogged about the new American Jewish Committee survey of Jewish public opinion - conducted and released earlier than usual because of the rising U.S.-Israel friction and interest in how that would affect political attitudes.
My initial conclusion, which I'm mostly sticking to: Jewish opinion remained pretty stable despite the headlines. Support for President Obama has dropped, but Jews still support him more than the general public.
There's a new poll of American Jewish public opinion by J Street, and I'm just going to take a wild guess and say Jewish Republicans and mainstream pro-Israel groups are going to dismiss the whole thing as propaganda because it's done by...well, J Street, the pro-peace process lobby and political action group that everybody else loves to hate (see the J Street results here).
On Purim eve, as Jews across the city attended megillah readings and costume parties, about 80 Jewish young professionals — dressed in business attire — gathered at the American Jewish Committee headquarters for PR Bootcamp for Israel, a teach-in sandwiched between a sushi dinner and a dance party. Michael Shannon, a conservative public relations guru and an Evangelical Christian, was the drill sergeant of sorts, instructing attendees about how to make a case for Israel to their non-Jewish friends.
Over at the Jerusalem Post, blogger Shmuel Rosner has a provocative analysis of last week's Gallup Poll, which shows that support for Israel is at a 19 year high among the American public – but which also a widening gap between Democrats and Republicans on the
Mithal Al-Alusi is literally betting his life that Iraqis are ready for their country to open a positive relationship with Israel.In a phone interview from his party’s office in Baghdad, Alusi, 51, a former Iraqi government official who was indicted in October after attending a conference in Israel on charges of violating a 1969 law barring contacts with enemy states, said, “I believe in living in peace with Israel, a country with which Iraq has no conflict.“Iraq has no reason to be against Israel simply because Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinians have disputes
After waiting and uncertainty, it appears that at least some Israelis will get super-cheap air fares to Israel to vote in national elections May 17, courtesy of subsidies from U.S. supporters of Israel's right. Chai L'Yisrael, a Brooklyn-based group operating from the Borough Park Democratic Party offices of Assemblyman Dov Hikind, has begun calling thousands of people to tell them their $180 round-trip tickets are in the mail.
Like the candidate, the audience was Orthodox and likely to be staunch in its defense of Israel. So Noach Dear lost no time in making his pitch explicit.
“We have how many shomer Shabbos politicians?” he asked the Sunday morning bagels-and-cream-cheese crowd gathered to hear him at the Young Israel of Far Rockaway last month, using the term for Sabbath observers. Touting his campaign to represent them in Congress, Dear urged, “This is a way to contribute to the community.”