David Harris

Settlement Freeze, Iran, Peace Talks to Headline Vital Obama-Bibi Meeting

06/30/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The joke making the rounds in Jerusalem ahead of next week's Netanyahu-Obama summit: Time to bone up on geology.

Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, told reporters this week that he was misheard when he was quoted as telling Israeli diplomats that a "tectonic rift" was emerging between Israel and the United States. The Israelis didn't get it, said the U.S.-born Oren: He meant there was a "tectonic shift."

Jewish Democrats blast Palin, so what else is new?

I generally stay out of the 'hit-Sarah-Palin-for-the-stupid-things-she-says thing because ...well, it's just boring, there's so many of them.

And stories about the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) criticizing Republicans are real yawners. It's their job, after all.

Venezuela’s Chavez Attacks Israel in Speech

06/06/2010

CARACAS, Venezuela (JTA) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called Israel a "genocidal state" during nationally broadcast comments following violent clashes aboard a Gaza-bound flotilla.

Chavez called Israel a "cursed terrorist and murderous state" amid shouts of “Long Live Palestine” during a June 1 speech, the day after Israeli Navy commandos boarded a Gaza-bound ship and nine people were killed in the ensuing violence. He also accused Israel of supporting the local opposition against his government.

'Write On For Israel’ Graduates A New Crop, Just In Time

Looking out at the more than 100 people gathered for the eighth graduation ceremony of The Jewish Week’s Write On For Israel on Tuesday night, I confided that I never envisioned that the advocacy-through-journalism program for high school students would last this long.

At the outset, nine years ago, I envisioned Write On as an immediate response to the intifada, which was raging in Israel. I thought that the program could and would end when the terrorism and suicide bombing stopped. But I was wrong.

Gaza Flotilla Crisis Fuels Blockade Controversy for Israel

Left slams ‘collective punishment,’ as right hits Israel’s critics.

06/02/2010

Tel Aviv — The botched Israeli interception of a Gaza-bound blockade-buster flotilla ignited the usual Monday-morning quarterbacking in Israel:

Had the military prepared itself sufficiently for violent resistance? 

Did Israel lose the media war in the first hours when official spokespeople were silent for hours despite reports of fatalities on the ships?

The day after the flotilla raid, pro-Israel (left) and pro-Palestinian protestors rallied here. Michael Datikash | Getty Images

Newt Gingrich, President Obama and the latest on the Nazi allusion front

I'm beginning to think all the major Jewish “defense agencies” like the ADL and both AJCs need full-time departments just to respond to shameless politicians using inappropriate Holocaust and Nazi analogies.

The latest: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who, although he's purportedly an historian, doesn't have the historical sense to distinguish between policies he doesn't like and the vilest, most dangerous political system in history.

Muted Optimism For Proximity Talks

Jewish leaders expect no breakthroughs from Mitchell’s shuttle diplomacy, but say they could bear modest fruit.

05/04/2010
Washington Correspondent

Rarely have peace negotiations started with such low expectations — but that doesn’t mean the indirect “proximity talks” between Israel and the Palestinians, due to begin as early as this week with new rounds of shuttle diplomacy by U.S. special envoy George Mitchell, are doomed to failure.

While suggesting that major breakthroughs are unlikely, many analysts say the talks could prove fruitful, but only if the Obama administration understands the limitations of what the parties themselves can reasonably be expected to do.

Mideast envoy George Mitchell, left, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month.

Rally Here Slams Obama, Jewish Democrats

Organizers of rightist protest say Rep. Weiner asked to speak but was nixed.

04/27/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

As the rain came down Sunday and a crowd estimated at about 1,000 people listened to speeches, the organizers of a right-wing rally opposed to President Barack Obama's policies on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict fielded a request from U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn and Queens).

Scene at Sunday rally, which drew an estimated 1000 people. Photo: Michael Datikash

Poll: Obama Struggling With Jews, but Not on Israel

04/14/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A new survey shows President Obama struggling with American Jews -- but not on Israel-related matters.

The American Jewish Committee poll of U.S. Jews found that Obama's approval rating is at 57 percent, with 38 percent disapproving. That's down from the stratospheric 79 percent approval rating among Jews that Obama enjoyed about a year ago, in May 2009. The AJC poll was conducted March 2-23 and surveyed 800 self-identifying Jewish respondents selected from a consumer mail panel.

Q: "Do you approve or disapprove of the Obama Administration's handling of the Iran nuclear issue? Image: AJC
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