Prime Minister

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.

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.

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.

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.

Good Blog Reading on Israeli election

Monday, February 16th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Just catching up with the blogs after a few days away from the keyboard, and found some good reading waiting  for me. Lots of interesting commentary on last week’s Israeli election, which settled nothing except for the fact there will now be weeks, maybe months, of jockeying, horse trading and mind-bending spin.

American Jews sing praises of Israeli elections, Israelis sing the blues

Thursday, February 12th, 2009 Sometimes you just have to laugh at the gap between Israeli and American Jews, especially when it jumps up and slaps you upside the head. Take this press release from the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) on Tuesday’s muddled Israeli election.

The Lieberman Factor Worrying Pro-Israel Leaders Here

Sunday, February 8th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Question: what are pro-Israel leaders here doing in preparation for Tuesday’s elections in Israel? Answer: Worrying. At least that’s what’s happening behind closed doors even as most Jewish leaders publicly insist there will be no change in U.S.-Israel relations no matter who becomes prime minister and gets to figure out how to cobble together a new government.

Hamas Boosting Bibi?

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Does the resumption this week of rocket fire from Gaza into Israel, in violation of the fragile and unofficial truce between Hamas and Jerusalem, signal a Hamas endorsement of Bibi Netanyahu for Israeli prime minister?

That’s the likely effect of renewed attacks on Israel on the eve of next Tuesday’s national elections. The rockets underscore that despite the beating Hamas took last month, the terror group still rules Gaza and can still make life miserable for Israelis, especially those living in the south.

Pardons and Commutations, but None for Pollard

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 James Besser in Washington President George W. Bush, who must be busy packing cartons at the White House and selecting a mover, also found time this week to issue a few presidential pardons and commutations.  But those hoping convicted spy Jonathan Pollard would be among them were quickly disappointed. The list of recipients includes a cocaine distributor, a bank embezzler and someone convicted of improperly using food stamps, but no spies.
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