Apocalypse Now: Iran Threat Dominates AIPAC Confab

Staff Writers
Washington – The specter of the 1930s overshadowed  the Convention Center here as the pro-Israel lobby this week decried Iran as an existential threat to Israel and the West unseen since World War II. In comparison, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s three-day annual policy conference largely played down the Jewish state’s longstanding conflict with the Palestinians.

Hope In A Honey Jar

Staff Writer
Soon after 9-11 last year I went to the grocery store around the corner from my house in Brooklyn to stock up on a few things. The Orthodox Muslim cashier, her face surrounded by a white scarf, dropped the change into my hand from a distance and without looking at me directly. I wondered if it was because I was Jewish.

Is House Goldstone resolution a jab at J Street? And an Israel Project poll on the Gaza report

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 Is  the traditional pro-Israel lobby trying to paint J Street, the newish pro-peace process lobby and political action committee,  into corner with its nonbinding House resolution condemning the UN’s Goldstone Report? That question was posed by a veteran pro-Israel lobbyist who called yesterday and suggested the timing and tone of the resolution condemning the report on this year’s Gaza war, which is expected to pass later today,  was meant to put the new pro-peace process group on the spot.

Praying For Peace

Staff Writer
In the Haftorah reading in synagogue last week, Ezekiel prophesizes a united Holy Land: “And they shall no longer be divided into two kingdoms.” For lovers of Israel, for residents of the Jewish state, for anyone fearing the threat of a two-state solution advanced in the peace process, for this soldier saying his morning prayers this week overlooking Gaza, the ancient promise has contemporary resonance.

Saluting A 'Holy Martyr'

Staff Writer
Stephen Odzer's first reaction on an overcast autumn day four years ago, when his pager beeped and a call home informed him that a kidnapped Israeli soldier had been killed by Palestinian captors, was to make a small blessing. "Baruch Dayan Ha-emes," he recited. Blessed is the True Judge: the words traditional Jews say when told of a death.

Mideast Change You Can Believe In?

Hillary Clinton, testified in confirmation hearings Tuesday. She said the U.S. “must actively pursue a strategy of smart power in the Middle East that addresses the security needs of Israel and the legitimate political and economic aspirations of

Staff Writer

The fierce fighting in Gaza could push the incoming Barack Obama administration to accelerate its promised plunge into Middle East peacemaking and possibly expand back-channel contacts with Hamas. With the Obama administration set to hit the ground running after next week’s inauguration, a broad spectrum of observers predict a sharp increase in the intensity of U.S. diplomacy in the region — both a fulfillment of Obama’s campaign promise and a response to the ongoing Gaza crisis. But few expect radical changes in the content of that diplomacy.

Mitchell As Envoy Could Split Center

 Former Sen. George Mitchell is reportedly being tapped as Mideast envoy

Washington Correspondent

The expected appointment of a special envoy to breathe new life into Israeli-Palestinian negotiations could split the pro-Israel center while pleasing the Jewish left and outraging the right. The schism could be particularly deep if, as was widely reported this week, President Barack Obama appoints former Sen. George Mitchell to the job.

Internet Rumors, Republicans And Refugees From Gaza

Washington Correspondent

It’s getting harder to tell urban legends from reality in this age of drive-by talk radio and an anarchic Internet.

Case in point: the widely proliferating rumor that the Obama administration is spending $20 million of your tax dollars on “resettling Palestinians with ties to Hamas in the United States.”

That rumor was reportedly the motivation behind a spending bill amendment by Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.) — quickly withdrawn when it was revealed to be an Internet myth.

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