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Jeff Goldberg’s Exclusive With Bibi - And Over The Top Headline

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

I am a big fan of Jeffrey Goldberg as a thoughtful, knowledgeable and often fearless journalist, who has interviewed Islamic militants in Gaza, among other hair-raising encounters in his reporting for The New Yorker, and more recently at The Atlantic.

He scored journalistic scoops during the Presidential election with exclusive interviews with both Barack Obama and John McCain, focusing on their views on Israel and other Jewish issues.

Bashing J Street

Monday, March 30th, 2009 James Besser in Washington What is about J Street, the pro-peace process lobby and political action committee, that has the leaders of major Jewish groups in such a snit? I’ve had calls from three of them in the past two weeks, complaining about the new kid on the pro-Israel block; even some liberal Jewish leaders are joining the anti-J Street chorus.

“Waiting for Armageddon,” Israel and the Jews

Thursday, March 26th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Reading Gary Rosenblatt’s interesting column about the film Waiting for Armageddon, I was struck by how much we don’t know about the beliefs and motives of the evangelical Christians who ardently support Israel.

J Street Poll shows strong support for Obama, weak support for Lieberman and complex views about Iran and Gaza.

Monday, March 23rd, 2009 James Besser in Washington A new poll by J Street, the pro-peace process political action committee and lobby, contained good news for President Barack Obama, worrisome signs for incoming Prime Minister  Benjamin Netanyahu and some predictably bad news for Jewish organizations facing an unprecedented economic crisis.

Jewish Groups united on budget proposal — well, almost

Thursday, March 19th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Jewish groups are pretty much united on wanting more government spending for critical health and social service programs as part of the federal budget for the next fiscal year. But as Congress began chewing on next year’s budget proposal,  a letter signed by more than 100 local and national organizations, organized by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), was conspicuous in the lack of any Orthodox support.

US will boycott Durban II: Update

Friday, February 27th, 2009 James Besser in Washington UPDATE: JTA just reported that the administration is withdrawing from participation in the Durban II conference, a move expected to clear the way for several European nations to do the same (full story here).

Chas Freeman Appointment to Intelligence Panel Divides Jews

Thursday, February 26th, 2009 James Besser in Washington An interesting conversation yesterday with a pro-Israel friend who called to talk about the appointment of Chas Freeman, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia and controversial foreign policy thinker,  to head the  National Intelligence Council.

Sen. Cardin, Senior Jewish Lawmaker, Meets Syria’s Assad, Sees Few Signs of Change

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 James Besser in Washington With Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations in limbo because of the political division between Gaza and the West Bank, many analysts are touting the potential for breakthroughs on the Syria-Israel track. A senior member of the Jewish delegation in Congress, fresh from a trip to the region that included a meeting with Syrian president Bashar Assad, says maybe – but don’t count on it.

Foreign aid cut to Israel? Don’t believe it

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Today’s Jerusalem Post reports that Israel’s defense ministry is worried that President Barack Obama will use military aid as a lever to force the removal of illegal outposts and an end to settlement construction.

The People Of The Books: “Breathtaking” Display of Hebrew Books and Manuscripts

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

A visit to Sotheby’s during the ten-day exhibit of the Valmadonna Trust Library, which ended last Thursday, was remarkable on two levels - the contents themselves, and the outpouring of New Yorkers who came to see them.

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