Hamas

The Lieberman Factor Worrying Pro-Israel Leaders Here

Sunday, February 8th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Question: what are pro-Israel leaders here doing in preparation for Tuesday’s elections in Israel? Answer: Worrying. At least that’s what’s happening behind closed doors even as most Jewish leaders publicly insist there will be no change in U.S.-Israel relations no matter who becomes prime minister and gets to figure out how to cobble together a new government.

Hamas Boosting Bibi?

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Does the resumption this week of rocket fire from Gaza into Israel, in violation of the fragile and unofficial truce between Hamas and Jerusalem, signal a Hamas endorsement of Bibi Netanyahu for Israeli prime minister?

That’s the likely effect of renewed attacks on Israel on the eve of next Tuesday’s national elections. The rockets underscore that despite the beating Hamas took last month, the terror group still rules Gaza and can still make life miserable for Israelis, especially those living in the south.

The Pro-Israel Language Muddle

Sunday, January 25th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Update: I just read NY Times reporter Ethan Bronner’s interesting take on the different, seemingly irreconcilable narratives of Israelis and Palestinians, and the difficult of using “neutral” language in reporting on the conflict. Definitely worth a read. Get it here.

Mitchell, Israel and “Even-handedness”

Friday, January 23rd, 2009 James Besser in Washington Here’s a paradox for you: most leaders of major American Jewish groups believe there has to be a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but many are very nervous about the appointment of former Sen. George Mitchell as the Obama administration’s special envoy in the region (Read the Jewish Week story here).  Why?

Israel Stopped Hamas…Sort Of

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

The two top headlines on The Jerusalem Post Web site this evening neatly summed up the dilemma of Israel’s 22-day military campaign in Gaza.

The first read: “Barak Declares Victory as IDF Completes Gaza Withdrawal,” noting that Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Hamas was dealt a serious blow and “will be quiet now for a long time.”

The next headline read: “Gaza Smuggling Routes Operational Again.”

Inauguration Religious Diversity — Sort Of

Sunday, January 18th, 2009 James Besser in Washington In a nod to religious diversity, three prominent rabbis representing the biggest streams of Judaism wil take part in a Wednesday prayer service in Washington, along with an Islamic official and other clerics.

Gaza War: Reinforcing Hamas?

Thursday, January 15th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Okay, we all know by now that Israel was “justified” in mounting a major offensive against Hamas to stop the rocket fire from Gaza.  We’ve sure heard it enough from Jewish groups across the political spectrum that have rallied to Israel’s defense as, predictably, world opinion turns against the Jewish state.

Behind the Pro-Israel Congressional Resolution: Numbers Don’t Tell the Whole Story

Monday, January 12th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Pro-Israel groups are still kvelling about last week’s lopsided passage of a House of Representatives resolution expressing support for Israel in the current Gaza crisis and citing a long history of Palestinian attacks justifying Israel’s heavy military response.

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.

Anatomy Of A Rally

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

One of the fascinating and never-resolved issues in our community is when and how to hold a pro-Israel rally, and this week’s debate among leaders in New York was a case in point.

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