leader

Gillibrand comments on Israel jeopardize Jewish campaign contributions, votes

Monday, February 23rd, 2009 James Besser in Washington Does anybody want to take up a collection to rent Sen.  Kirsten Gillibrand a couple of Jewish advisers?  They’re not that expensive these days, and they could do her a world of good.

Does the administration care about the next Israeli government?

Thursday, February 19th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Usually, every change in government in Israel produces intense speculation about  which party and leaders Washington favors, and sometimes  thinly veiled meddling by officials here.  There’s some interest this time around,  but with the Israeli political system in deep limbo, it’s curiously muted.

From Israel, a Cloudy Outlook

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Being in Israel in the days just after the national elections didn’t leave me any clearer on what the next government will look like. It could be a narrow right-tilted coalition led by Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, or a broader coalition anchored by Likud and Kadima, the party with the most votes.

Netanyahu most probably would be prime minister in that case, too.

Gaza War: Reinforcing Hamas?

Thursday, January 15th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Okay, we all know by now that Israel was “justified” in mounting a major offensive against Hamas to stop the rocket fire from Gaza.  We’ve sure heard it enough from Jewish groups across the political spectrum that have rallied to Israel’s defense as, predictably, world opinion turns against the Jewish state.

Madoff with the Monday: Impact of Financial Scandal Could Run Deep

Sunday, December 14th, 2008 James Besser in Washington It’s the weekend, so official reaction from Jewish groups has been limited, but communal boardrooms will be buzzing on Monday as the devastation apparently wreaked by Bernard Madoff,  the onetime hedge fund mastermind, sinks in. Madoff was arrested on Friday after admitting to colleagues that his hedge fund was a $50 billion sham – the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. Concerns among Jewish leaders center on three issues.

Hillary at State? Not so Fast

Sunday, November 16th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Will  President-Elect Barack Obama pick Sen. Hillary Clinton, his vanquished rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, as secretary of state?  Two weeks ago, experts scoffed at the idea, but a meeting between the two in Chicago on Thursday has set political tongues wagging.

McCain, Obama and the Wright Factor

Monday, November 3rd, 2008 James Besser in Washington Over the weekend the blogosphere was filled with speculation about this question: would Sen. John McCain now be leading Sen Barack Obama if he had more actively raised the issue of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the Democratic nominee’s former pastor? Opinion is divided, with many analysts saying that  the issue of the sinking economy would still trump all others,  but one question has not been actively raised: what about the Jewish community?

Push Poll or Issue Testing? Republican Jewish Coalition Poll Ignites Controversy

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Jewish political circles were buzzing at midweek over reports that John McCain supporters in Florida and elsewhere are using “push polling” to link  the Democratic nominees to the PLO and other anti-Israel forces.

Biden Hits Bush Mideast Policy, Pokes AIPAC in the Eye

Thursday, September 4th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Since becoming the Democratic vice presidential nominee last month, political observers have been wondering whether Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) - known for his outspoken and unpredictable ways - would curb his tongue. After all, he’s no longer just a senior senator but the junior partner in the highly disciplined Barack Obama campaign organization. A Wednesday teleconference with Jewish reporters provided a partial answer. 

McCain Campaign Takes Up ZOA Refrain on Kurtzer

Thursday, August 21st, 2008 James Besser in Washington The John McCain campaign is starting to sound a lot like the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) in its efforts to win over Jewish voters. This week the campaign reprised a favorite ZOA them when it went after former diplomat Dan Kurtzer,  a Barack Obama foreign policy adviser who served as U.S. ambassador to Israel from 2001 to 2005.
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