James D. Besser

Jews Brace For Next Phase In Iran Battle

New sanctions surge could lead to new dilemmas for groups that have banked on issue.

06/23/2010
Washington Correspondent

Recent breakthroughs in the U.S.-led effort to squeeze Iran could change the political calculus for American Jewish groups that have benefited hugely from their decades-old focus on Iran — and which have largely succeeded in making Iran’s threat to both U.S. and Israeli interests a top policy for Congress and  the White House.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Jewish Week Wins Rockower Awards

06/22/2010

The Jewish Week garnered two first place awards and one second-place honor in the annual Simon Rockower Journalism contest sponsored by the American Jewish Press Association.

Editor and Publisher Gary Rosenblatt won top honors for his Between the Lines column, capturing the Louis Rapoport Award for Excellence in Commentary. The three columns dealt with the day school crisis, saying Kaddish and the controversy surrounding New York Times’ columnist Roger Cohen’s writing on Iran.

Fresh Debate Emerging On U.S.-Israel Strategic Alliance

New round of questions over whether Israel is liability to U.S.

06/09/2010
Washington Correspondent

A relationship built on the notion that Israel is a critical U.S. strategic asset may be weakening as more and more analysts in both countries argue that the Jewish state is becoming more of a foreign policy liability.

So far that view has not penetrated Israel’s overwhelming support in Congress, and all but the most partisan Jewish leaders say it hasn’t affected Obama administration policy. On the contrary, there was evidence strategic cooperation was deepening even before President Barack Obama’s recent Jewish charm offensive.

Respected foreign policy analyst Anthony Cordesman: Genuine alliances are two-way streets.

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

Kagan’s Nomination And What It Means

Religion not seen as key dividing line in country.

05/12/2010
Washington Correspondent

 The argument that anti-Semitism still stifles Jewish achievement in modern America will be a little harder to make if President Barack Obama’s second Supreme Court nomination passes muster with the Senate.

If Kagan is confirmed, the Supreme Court will have six Catholics and three Jews. Getty Images

Taking On Glenn Beck — With Poetry

04/01/2010

 It’s no secret that some Jewish leaders are anxious about a national mood of choleric rage and what it means for populations that have been the targets of past populist surges, starting with the Jews.

But while few have spoken out in public, one group has struck back with biting humor.

It’s the Jewish Funds for Justice that’s behind the just-announced HaikuGlennBeck.com Web site, aimed at a talk radio host and Fox News talk show host who seems to be handsomely profiting from the recent craziness.

Beck’s comment that “social justice” is akin to Nazism provoked a biting response from Jewish Funds for Justice.

Clinton’s Bluntness At AIPAC Rattles Nerves; Linkage Rapped

Scramble to decipher new diplomatic language; Gen. Petraeus’ comments seen as ‘dangerous.’

03/24/2010

With nerves frayed after the worst U.S. - Israel diplomatic dust-up in years, Jewish leaders this week were trying to assess whether there has been a fundamental change in U.S. policy toward Jerusalem — or simply a change in tone by an ally frustrated by the long years of stalemate.


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tells AIPAC crowd that status quo in Israeli-Palestinian conflict is untenable. getty images
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