Israeli government

Bibi’s Gambit On Jerusalem Seen Aimed At U.S. Jews

Was the new ‘crisis’ manufactured to tie settlement issue to holy city?

07/24/2009
Washington Correspondent

This week’s U.S.-Israel diplomatic dustup over building additional Jewish housing in east Jerusalem may have as much to do with domestic politics in the Jewish state — and a desire to mobilize American Jews to oppose additional U.S. pressure — as with any shift in Obama administration policy.

Publicly raising its disagreement over Jerusalem may “focus the American Jewish community, which is mostly opposed to settlements, on the fact that when the U.S. demands Israel cease building settlements that includes Jerusalem,” said Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman.

And touching the Jerusalem nerve may help galvanize Evangelical Christians, many of whom have a growing commitment to preserving Jerusalem as Israel’s unified capital, to oppose new administration peace pushes.

Jane Harman controversy - unwelcome backdrop for AIPAC policy conference

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 James Besser in Washington With its annual policy conference approaching,  the last thing AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby, needed was a lot of new publicity about the Espionage Act case involving two former employees. Well, that’s what it’s getting, thanks to a controversial and bizarre story in CQ Politics – a publication of the respected Congressional Quarterly.

Does Obama mean what he says about Israel and the two-state solution?

Friday, April 17th, 2009 Is the Barack Obama administration planning a serious push for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement that could produce some real pressure on Israel, not just the usual wrist-slapping on issues such as settlements?  And could that ignite genuine conflict with the new right-of-center government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu? Return to Jewish Week Home PageFollow the Jewish Week on Twitter And check out the Jewish Week’s Facebook page and become a fan!

Bashing J Street

Monday, March 30th, 2009 James Besser in Washington What is about J Street, the pro-peace process lobby and political action committee, that has the leaders of major Jewish groups in such a snit? I’ve had calls from three of them in the past two weeks, complaining about the new kid on the pro-Israel block; even some liberal Jewish leaders are joining the anti-J Street chorus.

Tough Sell: Pitching Netanyahu and Lieberman in Washington

Friday, March 27th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Pro-Israel groups are in PR high gear, trying to spin the incoming Israel government as not a problem for a peace process -minded Obama administration.

Obama Meets the press, calls for “persistence” in the Middle East

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009 James Besser in Washington There was plenty of Mideast news this week, starting with the dramatic decision by Labor Party leader Ehud Barak (this Barak v. Barack business is going to hard on journalists who trust their spell checkers)  to join a new government led by Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu.  But you’d never know it by listening to President Barack Obama’s prime-time press conference last night.

J Street Poll shows strong support for Obama, weak support for Lieberman and complex views about Iran and Gaza.

Monday, March 23rd, 2009 James Besser in Washington A new poll by J Street, the pro-peace process political action committee and lobby, contained good news for President Barack Obama, worrisome signs for incoming Prime Minister  Benjamin Netanyahu and some predictably bad news for Jewish organizations facing an unprecedented economic crisis.

Jewish doves gain White House clout, but that’s not why U.S. Iran policy is blurring

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009 James Besser in Washington The other day a reader emailed to comment about my report that groups on the Jewish left were included in last week’s conference call between Mideast envoy George Mitchell and Jewish leaders (see blog entry here).

Does the administration care about the next Israeli government?

Thursday, February 19th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Usually, every change in government in Israel produces intense speculation about  which party and leaders Washington favors, and sometimes  thinly veiled meddling by officials here.  There’s some interest this time around,  but with the Israeli political system in deep limbo, it’s curiously muted.

Good Blog Reading on Israeli election

Monday, February 16th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Just catching up with the blogs after a few days away from the keyboard, and found some good reading waiting  for me. Lots of interesting commentary on last week’s Israeli election, which settled nothing except for the fact there will now be weeks, maybe months, of jockeying, horse trading and mind-bending spin.
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