Washington Correspondent

And Then Were None: Jewish GOP Caucus Down to One

Specter party switch leaves Senate with no Jewish Republicans

04/29/2009
Washington Correspondent

The Jewish Republican caucus in the U.S. Senate evaporated into thin air on Tuesday with Sen. Arlen Specter’s stunning announcement that he is switching parties because “the Republican Party has moved far to the right.”
That represents a huge boost for Senate Democrats, who were two votes short of a 60-vote “super majority” that would make it easier to end GOP filibusters, and for an Obama administration with an aggressive legislative agenda that has been slowed by Senate Republicans.

AIPAC Could Face First Test In Decades

 AIPAC’s relationship with the Obama administration hinges on the policies of Bibi Netanyahu

04/29/2003
Washington Correspondent

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.

The Bibi-Obama Friction Watch

 More is at stake in D.C. meeting for Netanyahu than for Obama, observers say.

05/13/2009
Washington Correspondent

The smart money (is there such a thing when it comes to American presidents and Israeli prime ministers?) says, No friction.

The atmospherics (the Israeli prime minister won’t utter the words “two-state solution” and his foreign minister wants to ignore prior accords, while the American president wants an end to settlement building) say, Friction galore.

Conservative Jews Hit the Hill

Troubled conservative moment beefs up its Washington presence

05/20/2009
Washington Correspondent

Even as leaders of a troubled Conservative movement try to fend off an incipient rebellion by some synagogues and deal with declining affiliation, they are accelerating their efforts to create an active, visible — but cautious — Washington presence.

Obama’s New Iran Timeline Could Force A U.S.-Israel Divide

Obama’s Iran deadline bought some time in his relationship with Israel and its leader, Benjamin Netanyahu.

05/20/2009
Washington Correspondent

While President Obama met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu halfway on the volatile issue of Iran during their inaugural meeting in Washington this week, gaps between the two allies on the issue remain wide — and could get wider still as the administration begins dealing with a palate of unattractive policy options.

Obama Confident In Taking On Settlements Obama

Jewish backlash may be blunted

06/03/2009
Washington Correspondent

The Obama administration is confident it will retain strong Jewish support even as it ratchets up the pressure on Israel and offers clues that, unlike its predecessors, it means what it says about the thorny issue of Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

While the pro-Israel establishment is already reacting angrily to the administration’s shifted red lines on settlements, many analysts say President Barack Obama’s ability to soften tough positions with pro-Israel reassurances will prevent a broad Jewish backlash.

Dialing Down The Heat On Iran

Tamped-down rhetoric on Iran seen as “accommodation” with Obama’s new policy shift on Iran.

06/17/2009
Washington Correspondent

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dialed down his intense rhetoric about the threat posed by a nuclear Iran in his long-awaited public response to a tightening squeeze from the Obama administration on Sunday.

Despite Iran Flux, Groups Hold To Tough Line

The unfolding drama on the streets of Tehran vastly complicates the fight for sanctions against Iran. getty images

06/24/2009
Washington Correspondent

On Monday AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby group that has been at the forefront of efforts to impose and stiffen sanctions on Iran, distributed to reporters an interview with an Iranian demonstrator calling on the international community to apply “much more sanctions” on the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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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Clinton 'Fritters Away' Opportunity for Strong Iraq Action

Jewish leaders saw the Clinton administration’s last-minute decision to call off an imminent bombing raid on Iraq as one more retreat by Washington in the face of Saddam Hussein’s skillful maneuvers.

11/20/1998
Washington Correspondent
‘He Frittered It Away’ ‘It’s so obvious, it’s almost comical,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “We know exactly what Saddam’s doing, but we continue to play his game.”
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