Major

Leaving Brooklyn

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

“Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town. And people let me be just what I want to be”


– John Cougar Mellencamp

 

For those who want their kids to emulate their own lifestyles and traditions, there are few considerations more crucial than where they grow up - the physical environment in which they live, the sense of community there and the people with whom they surround themselves.

 

AJC Poll: Economic Angst Sweeps Other Issues Off the Table

Monday, September 29th, 2008 James Besser in Washington The American Jewish Committee’s annual survey of Jewish Opinion is, as usual a rich mine of information about where the community’s head is at (check it out here). This week the Jewish Week will include a major story on some of its more intriguing - and potentially controversial - findings.

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.

Joe Biden: Good for the (Democratic) Jews?

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 James Besser in Washington Will Sen. Joe Biden’s selection as Barack Obama’s running mate have much of an impact on the Jewish vote on November 4? Well, it depends on your perspective.

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.

With Olmert Going: What Peace Process?

Thursday, July 31st, 2008 James Besser in Washington Here’s one of the more puzzling headlines of the month, right off the AP ticker:  “US Trying to salvage Gains in Mideast Talks.” According to the story, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called top Israel and Palestinian negotiators to Washington this week to “preserve modest momentum” in the U.S.-backed effort to get a deal - any kind of deal, please - by the end of the year and the end of President George W. Bush’s term.

Jesse Helms and the Pro-Israel Divide

Sunday, July 6th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), who died on Friday at the age of 86, was a perfect lightning rod for one of the critical divides in Jewish life. For many pro-Israel activists, Helms’ conversion from staunch foe of their agenda  — in 1983 he suggested breaking diplomatic relations with Israel because of the war in Lebanon, and he was a consistent foe of foreign aid  - to ardent Likudnik was the stuff of legends and a turning point in pro-Israel politics.

Evangelical Group Expresses “Love” for Jews, Takes Indirect Swipe at Hagee’s Christian Zionism

Thursday, June 26th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Jews tend to view the evangelical community as a political and religious monolith, but that segment is every bit as diverse as …well, the Jews. What brings this to mind: Thursday’s ¾ page ad in the Washington Post business section by the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) politely informing Jews that they like us and everything, but have a duty to try to convert us.
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