James Besser

Barak Dampens Embassy Furor

The legislative storm over the Clinton administration’s defiance of a law requiring that the U.S. embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is intensifying. But there are also indications that lawmakers, responding to Prime Minister Ehud Barak&

08/25/2009
Washington Correspondent

Several pieces of legislation are in the hopper and letters criticizing the administration’s position are flying down Pennsylvania Avenue, but lawmakers who threatened to strip away the president’s authority to waive penalties under the original Jerusalem Embassy Act have apparently decided to hold their fire.

Meeting with Jewish members of Congress last week, Barak said a decision to force the embassy move now could have implications for the peace process he is trying to revive.

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James Besser's Five Good Jewish Political Websites

Capital J (JTA's political blog)

Jeff Goldberg (In The Atlantic. Not a Jewish blog, but sometimes seems like one)

IPA blog (The OU's political blog)

Rosner's Domain (Jerusalem Post. Rightish, usually interesting)

Tikun Olam (Leftish, always provocative)

Jewish groups mostly AWOL in defending Napolitano

Friday, April 24th, 2009 James Besser in Washington I’m sort of wondering why so many Jewish groups have been AWOL as the Obama administration defends itself from furious attacks from conservatives upset because the Department of Homeland Security is worried about far-right extremism, along with extremism from other segments.

Will Bibi “Iran first” policy trigger clash with Obama administration?

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 James Besser in Washington Pro-Israel leaders were working hard this week to spin the story that there’s no real likelihood of a clash between the Obama administration and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is still formulating his new government’s approach to peace process issues.

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.

Poll: Is the Israeli public tired of Netanyahu after 12 hours?

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 James Besser in Washington This has to be one of the most jarring headlines in recent memory. “54% of public dissatisfied with new government,” the online version of Ha’aretz  blared in its Wednesday morning edition (read the story here).

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.
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