Wednesday, November 4th, 2009
The Obama administration seems to be coming to terms with what just about everybody else knows: the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is just as stalemated as ever.
After Secretary of State Clinton’s swing through the region this week, a State Department spokesman conceded the obvious - “things have stalled.”
Some wealthy donors see President Obama’s budget as “class warfare against the rich,” a Jewish activist said.
The budget proposal President Barack Obama submitted to Congress last week, a call to dramatically change U.S. spending priorities in the face of the worst economic downturn in generations, will touch off political trench warfare in Congress — and possibly new conflict between Jewish organizations that welcome the plan and influential major donors who could get hit with big tax increases.
Specter party switch leaves Senate with no Jewish Republicans
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’s relationship with the Obama administration hinges on the policies of Bibi Netanyahu
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 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.
Tamped-down rhetoric on Iran seen as “accommodation” with Obama’s new policy shift on Iran.
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.
For weeks rumors have circulated that the Israel Policy Forum (IPF), a pro-peace process group, was on the verge of shutting down – or merging with another organization.
This week there were reports that the group may merge with the Center for American Progress, a group that defines itself as “a think tank dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action.”
Tuesday, April 28th, 2009
A recent Political Insider item on University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato’s new book, “The Year of Obama: How Barack Obama Won the White House,” produced a flurry of email.
Why, readers asked, does Sabato put the Jewish vote for Obama at 83 percent while earlier newspaper accounts had it at 78 percent?
Sunday, April 26th, 2009
University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato, possibly the most quoted political scientist on Planet Earth and maybe beyond, has published a new book on the 2008 election, which he sees as one of a rare species: transformational elections that change the landscape of American politics for years to come.
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.