West Bank

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.

The Pro-Israel Language Muddle

Sunday, January 25th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Update: I just read NY Times reporter Ethan Bronner’s interesting take on the different, seemingly irreconcilable narratives of Israelis and Palestinians, and the difficult of using “neutral” language in reporting on the conflict. Definitely worth a read. Get it here.

Mitchell, Israel and “Even-handedness”

Friday, January 23rd, 2009 James Besser in Washington Here’s a paradox for you: most leaders of major American Jewish groups believe there has to be a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but many are very nervous about the appointment of former Sen. George Mitchell as the Obama administration’s special envoy in the region (Read the Jewish Week story here).  Why?

Gaza War: Reinforcing Hamas?

Thursday, January 15th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Okay, we all know by now that Israel was “justified” in mounting a major offensive against Hamas to stop the rocket fire from Gaza.  We’ve sure heard it enough from Jewish groups across the political spectrum that have rallied to Israel’s defense as, predictably, world opinion turns against the Jewish state.

What’s Keeping Obama Up At Night

Friday, December 12th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Speaking during a recent JCPA conference call about the new administration’s foreign policy team, I was struck by this gap between perception and reality: while so many Israel-focused Jews seem to believe a major element of Barack Obama’s transition is figuring out how to change U.S. policy on Israel and the Palestinians, the reality is that the issue is probably far down on the team’s long list of immediate priorities

Bush, Olmert Set for Commiseration Session

Friday, November 21st, 2008 James Besser in Washington Has there every been so melancholy a meeting between an Israeli prime minister and an American president as the one that will take place here in Washington next week?

J Street Poll: Jews Eager for Compromise but Wary on Jerusalem; Good but not Great News for Obama

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 James Besser in Washington A new poll by J Street, the pro-peace process political action committee and lobby, showed overwhelming Jewish support for new peace moves in the region, but strong resistance to territorial compromise on Jerusalem.

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.
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