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Groups Try to Galvanize Jewish Antiwar Activism

Friday, November 21st, 2008 James Besser in Washington It’s been an anomaly of Jewish life since 2003: Jews have been more opposed to the Iraq war than almost any other group, and yet Jewish organizations have been mostly silent on the subject. Among major Jewish groups, only the Reform movement has called for an end to the conflict, and they have done so with exquisite caution.

Claiming Paul Newman

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Now that Paul Newman is gone, Jews obsessed with knowing whether celebrities are Jewish or not (which seems to account for everyone I’ve ever met), are notingwith pride that the legendary actor and gentleman considered himself one of the tribe.

Obama and the Rabbis

Friday, September 19th, 2008 Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign seems to think that the road to keeping the Democrats’ big majority of Jewish votes in November may run through the bimah. First there was emergence of “Rabbis for Obama,” a groundbreaking group that has collected more than 400 signatures - mostly from the Reform and Conservative realms, as we reported last week, but with a smattering of Orthodox rabbis.

Clergy Civil Disobedience on IRS Political Rules

Monday, September 8th, 2008 Groups on the Christian right have long opposed Internal Revenue Service regulations barring pulpit endorsements of political candidates by pastors or overtly partisan activities at their churches. This week the Alliance Defense Fund called for a day of pastoral civil disobedience on September 28.  And the guessing is it won’t be Barack Obama who gets endorsed from the pulpits.

Good News for McCain — or Polling Mush?

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Here’s a political shocker for you: Jews who say religion is “an important part of my daily life” are more likely to vote for Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, than those who say religion isn’t as important. How do you spell “Duh?” This nugget was part of a Gallup poll released this week that shows the same dynamic working in the broader population, but even more so.

A Play About Koby Mandell

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Koby Mandell would have turned 21 last week, and probably would be finishing his service in the Israeli army.

Instead, slain at 13, with a friend, in a cave near their home in the community of Tekoa on Lag B’Omer, 2001, Koby is a memory to those who loved him and a symbol of the hundreds of innocent Jewish victims of the intifada, an eighth grader stoned to death on a day he skipped school.

Political Insider: McCain Faces Evangelical Dilemma After Hagee-Parsley Repudiation

Sunday, May 25th, 2008 Sen. John McCain’s decision to reject the endorsements of Pastors John Hagee and Rod Parsley (see this week’s Jewish Week story here) could bolster support from centrist swing voters - including some Jews who are inclined to vote Republican but remain concerned about the influence of the religious right on the Republican Party.

Obama A Threat To Israel, Mideast Expert Charges

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

Tel Aviv — Judging from the views of Israeli academics at a panel Thursday afternoon, Israel has much to worry about if Barack Obama is elected president this fall.

Barry Rubin, a well-known and respected Mideast expert and academic, told an audience today at a conference at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA) at Bar-Ilan University here that an Obama victory would precipitate “the most dangerous crisis facing the world.”

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