WASHINGTON (JTA) -- In a sign of closer White House-congressional coordination on Iran, Congress is delaying an Iran sanctions bill several weeks to give the Obama administration time to shepherd new sanctions through the U.N. Security Council.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee blessed the delay, in part because an array of parallel measures are under consideration that would stiffen existing sanctions aimed at getting the Iranian regime to stand down from its suspected nuclear weapons program.
So AIPAC has convinced some 327 members of the House of Representatives to sign a letter essentially telling the Obama administration to keep its criticisms of the Israeli government private.
Mazel tov; that's an impressive achievement for the pro-Israel lobby group, although it probably didn't take much arm twisting; there's a lot of unease on Capitol Hill about where this administration's Mideast policy is headed.
(JTA) — Forty members of the House of Representatives signed a letter warning Cuba that improved relations are contingent on the release of a jailed Jewish American.
Alan Gross, 60, has been held since Dec. 3; he was arrested while reportedly assisting the Cuban Jewish community to connect to the Internet. His congressman, U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), initiated the letter.
Jewish Republicans: plan will "worsen our already dire fiscal situation"
NEW YORK (JTA) -- Jewish groups are lauding the U.S. Congress' passage of a health care reform bill.
On Monday, the morning after the House of Representatives passed a measure that would create sweeping change in the way health care is provided in the United States, a slew of Jewish groups issued statements in support and looking forward to its signature into law by President Obama.
B’nai B’rith International was among the groups hailing the bill's passage.
In the stories-that-never-die department, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, under the stewardship of Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), has passed a resolution acknowledging the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
In more than two decades of covering the Jewish scene in Washington, I've found this to be one of the most durable stories, returning every few years with different actors but much the same script, with Jewish groups playing bit parts, although some of the main players think they should be stars.
For Shelley Cohen, a member of Lincoln Square Synagogue on the Upper West Side and a mother of three, traveling anywhere with her oldest child, a 20-year-old quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair, can often prove taxing. Her son Nathaniel is afflicted with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a congenital, rapidly progressive illness that destroys the body’s muscles.
There are good reasons why Jewish groups like the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and the American Jewish Committee have been active advocates for comprehensive immigration reform. More than most, the Jewish community understands America’s role as a safe haven and land of opportunity for those “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
I just finished writing another Iran story, and space issues forced me to leave out one interesting element: the emerging split between Jewish pro-peace process groups over Iran sanctions.
This week J Street, the lobby and political action committee that remains the target of choice of Jewish conservatives, announced it is now supporting the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, which will impose sanctions on companies that help Iran obtain refined petroleum products.