president

Obama’s Nowruz Address: not “appeasement,” not a Kumbayah moment

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009 James Besser in Washington Predictably, President Barack Obama’s conciliatory Nowruz message to the Iranian people has produced fierce reaction on both sides of the debate over Iran policy.

Internet Rumors, Republicans and Refugees from Gaza

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 James Besser in Washington It’s getting harder to tell urban legends from reality in this age of drive-by talk radio and an anarchic Internet. Case in point: the widely proliferating rumor that the Obama administration is spending $20 million of your taxpayer dollars on “resettling Palestinians with ties to Hamas in the United States.”

Tuesday reading: Chas Freeman and White House prayer

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Some interesting reading for your Tuesday. Over at the Huffington Post,  National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) director Ira Forman, a partisan’s partisan,  offered some equal-opportunity and very nonpartisan criticism of some of the actors in the raging Chas Freeman controversy.

Obama stem cell order unites Jewish groups

Monday, March 9th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Update: The Insider apparently wasn’t inside enough; also present at the White House stem cell signing was Rabbi Steve Gutow, executive director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) The Jewish community from right to left was represented at  Monday’s White House ceremony marking President Barack Obama’s executive order rescinding his predecessors strict limits on stem cell research.

More on Jerusalem: Peace Now weighs in on Sec. Clinton’s comments

Monday, March 9th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Earlier today the Political Insider cited the Orthodox Union’s anger at Ehud Olmert for suggesting Jerusalem must be divided as part of any peace agreement with the Palestinians, and about the silence of pro-peace process groups in response to the outgoing Prime Minister’s words.

Hate To Say `I Told You So’: Electoral Reform In Israel

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

In response to a column I wrote two weeks ago (”Electoral Reform In Israel: Needed, But Not Likely,” Feb. 20), I received several calls and notes from Israeli activists advocating for Americanizing the system who said I was too pessimistic. They insisted that change was really in the air this time after the painfully inconclusive Israeli elections, noting that more and more political leaders recognized that the old system was simply dysfunctional and had to be improved.

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.

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.
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