Larry Cohler-Esses

Israel Seeks To Redefine Victory

08/04/2006
Editor At Large
With its war goals constantly in flux, what will constitute victory for Israel’s armed forces in Lebanon? That was the crucial question hanging in the air this week as Israel widened the ground war in its battle against Hezbollah, and its leaders vowed not to stop until victory was attained.But will that be when Israel secures a strip two miles deep along its border? Ten miles? Fifteen? To the Litani River, some 18 miles north of Lebanon’s border with Israel, or even beyond? Israeli officials have at various times mentioned all of the above.

Ground troops take over as air war falters; no endgame in sight.

07/28/2006

Editor At Large
Slowly, reluctantly and with trepidation, Israel turned to its army this week to redeem a military campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon that its air force has proved unable to win. The ground assault took place amid rising international opposition to Israeli actions, sparked by rising civilian casualties.

Big Kosher Suppliers Hit With Antitrust Subpoenas

06/30/2006

Editor At Large
The world’s largest kosher slaughterhouse and several other major kosher meat suppliers have been served with federal subpoenas in connection with a criminal antitrust investigation, The Jewish Week has learned. AgriProcessors of Postville, Iowa, received its subpoena from a federal grand jury several weeks ago. At least two other kosher meat suppliers have also received subpoenas in connection with the probe, according to Washington, D.C., attorney Nathan Lewin, who represents the Iowa slaughterhouse.

Singer Gives Up Claims Conference Post

06/15/2007
Editor At Large
Jewish leader Israel Singer, under fire on several fronts, announced Tuesday that he would not run for re-election as president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. Singer, former secretary general of the World Jewish Congress before his ouster last March, said he had decided not to run because, having lost his WJC position, “I don’t really have a platform or a party, as it were, to run from.” The decision marked Singer’s effective withdrawal from the last prominent communal position he held.

Pro-Sderot Ad Spiked As Unbalanced

04/09/2008
Editor at Large
A New York Times article is expected to be a model of balance, clarity and precision. But who knew the same journalistic standards held true for ads on the paper’s radio station? When it comes to Israel, at least, that is what WQXR-FM seemed to be saying to the American Jewish Committee in rejecting one of its radio ads this week.

Soros Won’t Take On AIPAC (Yet)

03/23/2007
Editor At Large

Billionaire George Soros has no plans to put his money where his mouth is, a spokesman said Tuesday — two days after the philanthropist and political advocate assailed the pro-Israel lobby as a threat to Israeli and U.S. interests. Rumors, rife since last October, that Soros would fund a dovish alternative to the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee, quickened when Soros published a blistering attack on the lobby in the New York Review of Books this week. But Soros spokesman Michael Vachon rebutted the notion he would bankroll such an effort.

Iraq Divides AIPAC

03/16/2007
Editor At Large
Washington — If Iran was the issue that united delegates at this week’s annual conference of the pro-Israel lobby, Iraq proved the one that divided them when an American vice president and — more surprisingly — an Israeli prime minister pushed the issue. In his speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Vice President Dick Cheney barely mentioned the nuclear threat from Iran, which otherwise dominated the lobby’s three-day conference. He dwelled instead at length on the danger the United States would face if it withdrew from Iraq.

Obama Pivots Away From Dovish Past

03/09/2007
Editor At Large
Chicago — Presidential candidate Barack Obama’s maiden speech to the pro-Israel lobby last week saw a man described by early supporters as an ardent dove on Israel take flight as a bird of considerably more hawkish mien. Obama, Illinois’ Democratic junior senator, told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) last Friday that he was committed, above all else, to “peace through security” for the Jewish state.

Tentative Date For Israel Critic At Brandeis

03/02/2007
Editor At Large
Brandeis University students seeking to bring a controversial critic of Israel to campus were finally granted a date and place Monday; then told an hour later the venue was not available, after all; then offered an alternative venue the next day. The latest twists in their lengthy effort to bring DePaul University Professor Norman Finkelstein to campus have left the Radical Student Alliance and Arab Culture Club crossing their fingers that he will appear on March 6 at the university, founded as a Jewish-sponsored, non-sectarian school.

Post-Carter Showdown At Brandeis Over Speakers

02/23/2007

Editor At Large
A free speech dispute over campus speakers has continued to roil Brandeis University in the wake of controversy over its hosting of former president and Israel critic Jimmy Carter. Brandeis’ president waded personally into it this week, voicing hope that right-wing Middle East policy advocate Daniel Pipes would soon lecture there — but issuing no such statement for Norman Finkelstein, a left-wing academic students have also invited.
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