George W. Bush

Stuart Levey: The Man Trying to Make Iran Sanctions Work

07/01/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Stuart Levey was given a big stick when the Bush administration made him the first under secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence. But the stick only started to hurt its targets -- terrorist groups and rogue nations -- when he figured out how to soft-talk nations and private businesses into going along.

Levey is that rarity -- a senior government official who has transitioned not just between two administrations, but between two presidents with profound foreign policy differences.

Stuart Levey (U.S. Treasury Department)

Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren - U.S. and Israel drifting apart?

What to make out of yesterday's report in Ha'aretz that Amb. Michael Oren, meeting with Israeli diplomats in Jerusalem, said the U.S. and Israel are in a “tectonic rift” and drifting apart?

Richard Cohen Psychoanalyzes President Obama

President Obama, cool and detached and still sounding more like a professor than a president, remains a mystery to many analysts. In today's Washington Post, columnist Richard Cohen takes a stab at psychoanalyzing the chief executive, and the results are interesting.

Heilman, Chabad & Abraham Lincoln

Nothing is easier -- or more intellectually sloppy -- than to take shots at Chabad for believing that the Lubavitcher rebbe is still alive or for thinking that the rebbe is the messiah.

Here, take a look at the official Chabad-Lubavitch website. Go ahead. Here's the link to their section on the rebbe. Find even one reference to the rebbe being alive or the messiah. You won't find it.

Obama Extends Jerusalem Embassy Waiver

06/03/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama has extended a waiver for an additional six months delaying the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

Obama's waiver, issued Wednesday, follows in the footsteps of predecessors Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who also extended the waiver every six months since the law was adopted in 1995 calling for the move of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Presidents are permitted to delay the move on national security grounds.

Obama Renews Syria Sanctions

05/04/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama renewed Syria sanctions for a year, noting among other factors its continued backing for terrorist groups.

Obama wrote to the U.S. Congress on Monday saying that he was renewing congressionally mandated sanctions first implemented by President Bush in 2004. The continued sanctions affect trade with Syria and the assets of individuals and entities associated with the regime of President Bashar Assad.

No good options for Jewish leaders as Ahmadinejad heads to New York

You gotta feel a little bad for Jewish leaders here, who were sandbagged by last week's announcement that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be in New York on Monday for, of all things, the UN's nuclear nonproliferation talks.

The last-minute announcement by the Iranians meant there wasn't enough time for the customary debate over the best communal response, inevitably followed by the various Jewish organization going their own way, anyway.

And when you come down to it, what can Jewish organizations do?

U.S. And Israel Seen On Collision Course

At Teaneck synagogue, Jerusalem Post diplomatic correspondent says political honeymoon at an end;
sees administration push for quick resolution.

04/20/2010
Editor and Publisher

Israel’s 16-year honeymoon with the White House (under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush) is over, and the tension between Jerusalem and the Obama administration is “dramatic and considerable,” according to the senior diplomatic correspondent for The Jerusalem Post.

Herb Keinon, a native of Denver who has lived in and covered Israel for 27 years, spoke of “conceptual gaps on two major planes” between the allies in a talk Sunday evening at Congregation Rinat Yisrael in Teaneck, N.J.

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Obama's Christianity on display - not that it will quiet the rumor mongers

Over at the Spiritual Politics blog, Mark Silk, who heads the Leonard Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life, has an interesting and provocative analysis of President Obama's appearance at yesterday's White House Easter prayer breakfast.

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