Bush

Hate crimes bill: could 2009 be the year?

Monday, April 27th, 2009 You have to give this to major Jewish groups like the Anti-Defamation League: they’re persistent.  A bunch of them have been lobbying for a major new hate crimes bill for more than a decade, and even though it has passed numerous votes in both Houses of Congress the measure never quite makes it into law.

Obama Durban II decision disappoints Jewish right, international left

Sunday, April 19th, 2009 It looks like President Obama has, in one stroke, disappointed the international left and the Jewish right, both of which were expecting, hoping or both that he would change his mind and send a delegation to this week’s Durban II conference.  (Read the full State Department statement here)

Tuesday reading: Chas Freeman and White House prayer

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Some interesting reading for your Tuesday. Over at the Huffington Post,  National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) director Ira Forman, a partisan’s partisan,  offered some equal-opportunity and very nonpartisan criticism of some of the actors in the raging Chas Freeman controversy.

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?

An Interesting Read: Scowcroft’s Role in the Obama Administration

Friday, January 2nd, 2009 James Besser in Washington During the presidential  campaign, a persistent subtheme in the Jewish community was the role of former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft in the Obama foreign policy team.

Pollard, Pardons and the Isaac Toussie Controversy

Friday, December 26th, 2008 James Besser in Washington This week’s bizarre presidential pardon story probably didn’t do Jonathan Pollard any good – although there weren’t any hints that President Bush was ever seriously considering commuting the sentence of the Israeli spy, now in his 23rd year in federal prison.

After Two Rounds Of Pardons, Pollard Still Waits

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008 Adam Dickter in New York President Bush’s second wave of pardons as he packs his bags included a man who paid a price for sticking his neck out for Israel. No, not Jonathan Pollard.

Feingold to Get Foreign Relations Chair?

Friday, November 7th, 2008 James Besser in Washington The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper, reported today that Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) could be a candidate for the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations, now that the current chair – Sen. Joe Biden – is headed to the Vice President’s mansion.

Why Obama’s Jewish Numbers are Improving

Sunday, October 26th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Why have Sen. Barack Obama’s Jewish numbers surged, at least according to two polls released last week?  The pollsters don’t answer that question in detail,  but several likely explanations jump out from the numbers. *  The economy.

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Friday, October 3rd, 2008 James Besser in Washington This week’s polls are showing Sen. Barack Obama opening up a significant lead over Sen. John McCain, but don’t start placing your bets on the November outcome.  A cascade of events and some unprecedented political factors make this the most volatile election year in recent history.
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