WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Obama administration appears to be rebuffing calls from some Jewish groups for the United States to be more assertive and public in defending Israel regarding the flotilla incident.
The bluntest appeal for a more pronounced pro-Israel posture came from Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League's national director, who is in Israel meeting with the Israeli leadership.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Peter Beinart attends an Orthodox synagogue, once edited The New Republic (the closest thing to a smicha for Jewish policy wonks) and backed Sen. Joe Lieberman’s quixotic 2004 bid to become the first Jewish president.
Which is why he’s always been counted among the Washington pundits who defend Israel, Zionism and the right of American Jews to lobby for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.
Beinart also frets about how Jewish his kids will be.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- In a sign of closer White House-congressional coordination on Iran, Congress is delaying an Iran sanctions bill several weeks to give the Obama administration time to shepherd new sanctions through the U.N. Security Council.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee blessed the delay, in part because an array of parallel measures are under consideration that would stiffen existing sanctions aimed at getting the Iranian regime to stand down from its suspected nuclear weapons program.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- When Elie Wiesel says it's all kosher, it's good.
For now, anyway.
President Obama capped an intensive two weeks of administration make-nice with Israeli officials and the American Jewish community by hosting Wiesel, the Nobel peace laureate and Holocaust memoirist, for lunch at the White House.
"It was a good kosher lunch," was the first thing Wiesel pronounced, emerging from the White House to a gaggle of reporters.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- An array of Jewish groups expressed their dismay at the passage of Arizona's restrictive new immigration enforcement law.
"The Jewish community has long called on our national leaders to reform our immigration laws to 'welcome the stranger' and to create an effective federal immigration system characterized by the rule of law and the humane treatment of newcomers," the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society said in a statement after Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed the law Friday afternoon.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Dismayed by or indifferent to the Obama administration's about-face embrace of off-shore drilling, Jewish groups are now focused on the bigger picture: an end to dependence on foreign oil and the development of cleaner energy sources.
Another poll is out looking at public opinion on Obama administration's handling of the Middle East and U.S.-Israel relations, and despite the small Jewish sample (see JTA's Ron Kampeas, who loves analyzing poll methodology; I defer to him, since I barely passed graduate statistics) there's
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A new survey shows President Obama struggling with American Jews -- but not on Israel-related matters.
The American Jewish Committee poll of U.S. Jews found that Obama's approval rating is at 57 percent, with 38 percent disapproving. That's down from the stratospheric 79 percent approval rating among Jews that Obama enjoyed about a year ago, in May 2009. The AJC poll was conducted March 2-23 and surveyed 800 self-identifying Jewish respondents selected from a consumer mail panel.