For the storied liberals of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the race between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination posed a tough choice. Few denied feeling torn.
But based on random interviews with roughly evenly divided Jewish voters as they emerged from several polling sites, it seemed that many who chose Obama hungered for the excitement of a candidate they believed could inspire broad transformative change for the country.
Speaking at Monday’s Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly in Washington, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sounded very much like a man who didn’t want to antagonize the president he was about to meet under visibly strained circumstances.
Several hours later the White House distributed a meeting “readout” that may have set a new record for brevity. Amid an almost total clampdown on leaks, the statement said only that the two leaders “discussed a number of issues in the U.S.-Israel bilateral relationship” and that President Barack Obama “reaffirmed our strong commitment to Israel’s security, and discussed security cooperation on a range of issues.”
Jewish leaders divided on what Obama should stress in his GA speech.
President Barack Obama’s speech to the Jewish Federations of North America (formerly UJC) General Assembly next week, his first to a Jewish group since his inauguration, could be a turning point in his low standing in Israeli polls and help blunt the skepticism of many Jewish leaders here about his Middle East policies.
(Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will also speak, an embarrassment of media riches for the group.)
Monday, November 2nd, 2009
If anybody has a clue what the Obama administration is really up to on the Israeli-Palestinian front, I wish they’d send me the memo.
Over the weekend pro-Israel groups here were crowing about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s claim that Israeli offers on limiting settlement construction were “unprecedented.”
Hillary Clinton, testified in confirmation hearings Tuesday. She said the U.S. “must actively pursue a strategy of smart power in the Middle East that addresses the security needs of Israel and the legitimate political and economic aspirations of
The fierce fighting in Gaza could push the incoming Barack Obama administration to accelerate its promised plunge into Middle East peacemaking and possibly expand back-channel contacts with Hamas. With the Obama administration set to hit the ground running after next week’s inauguration, a broad spectrum of observers predict a sharp increase in the intensity of U.S. diplomacy in the region — both a fulfillment of Obama’s campaign promise and a response to the ongoing Gaza crisis. But few expect radical changes in the content of that diplomacy.
Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand: Senatorial-designate has little background in Jewish issues.
Politicos are still puzzling over last week’s appointment of Kirsten Gillibrand to Hillary Clinton’s seat in the U.S. Senate and Gov. David Paterson’s missteps in announcing his choice — a “mishandled circus,” according to CUNY political scientist Douglas Muzzio.
But one thing you can take to the bank: Gillibrand, who will face voters statewide in 2010, is going to be eating a lot of kosher chicken in the months ahead.
AIPAC’s relationship with the Obama administration hinges on the policies of Bibi Netanyahu
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which holds its annual policy conference in Washington next week, could face its toughest battle with an administration in more than a decade, depending on the proposals Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brings to Washington later in May.
by Sharon Udasin
Eight years after the Twin Towers crumbled over downtown Manhattan, rescue worker Charlie Giles still wakes up regularly with nightmares of the North Tower collapsing on top of him, enveloping his body his flames and in suffocating debris. One night recently, he even woke up to find himself throwing things.
In the late 1970s the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the New York-based organization that supports Jewish life in small communities around the world, needed someone to head its office in Tehran.
Two JDC staffers told Ralph Goldman, the Joint’s executive vice president, that he should consider Michael Schneider, a social worker in London.
After a four-hour interview with Schneider, a native of South Africa who left his homeland to escape arrest for anti-apartheid activities, Goldman offered him the job in Iran.