AIPAC

Pro-Israel hawk Shelley Berkley throws hat in Senate ring

One of the most hawkish pro-Israel voices in the U.S. House has announced that she thinks it's time for a promotion.

Rep. Shelley Berkley – who is Jewish - announced today that she will see the Democratic nomination to run for the seat being vacated by Sen. John Ensign, a Republican, who is retiring.

Ex-Shin Bet Head Wants To Double Birthright Quota

Avi Dichter says program leads to connection to Israel for young people and government should pay more.

04/12/2011
Staff Writer

Avi Dichter, a former head of Israel’s Shin Bet (internal security service) and a former minister of internal security, is a Knesset member from the Kadima Party. He was one of six Knesset members who spent last week meeting with Jewish leaders here and in Boston to learn about the American Jewish community as part of a new effort launched by the Ruderman Fellows Program and Brandeis University. The Jewish Week caught up with him for a wide-ranging interview touching on everything from diaspora Jewry to the Goldstone report to Israel’s new missile-defense system.

Kadima’s Avi Dichter.

Esther Pollard Makes Plea to Peres Before His U.S. Trip

04/04/2011

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Jonathan Pollard's wife in a meeting with Shimon Peres before he left for the United States said she asked the Israeli president to request clemency for her husband from President Obama.

Speaking after Sunday's meeting, Esther Pollard called it a "good meeting."

"The president listened to me, and I hope and believe that [what I told him] penetrated his heart," she told The Jerusalem Post.

Bombing Puts Crisis Fundraising In The Spotlight

AIPAC seen trying to capitalize on Jerusalem attack.

03/29/2011
Staff Writer

Within hours of last week’s bus bombing in Jerusalem, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee sent an e-mail blast to its supporters: “Israel is under terrorist attack — please help.”

“Dear Friend of Israel,” the e-mail began, “today terrorists exploded a package at a Jerusalem bus stop killing one person and injuring 30 others, 15 seriously. And in this last week alone, Gaza terrorists have bombarded Israeli towns with more than 50 rockets and mortars.”

Jerusalem embassy legislation: the political gift that keeps on giving

You know elections are in the offing when Congress starts playing games with the endless issue of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and sure enough, with 2012 just around the corner, the issue is back in the legislative hopper.

JTA is reporting that Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and others are pitching a bill that would strip presidential waiver authority from the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act.

J Street Copes With Its Left Flank At Conference

Second annual confab draws nearly 2,500.

03/01/2011
JTA

Washington — The detractors of J Street, the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobbying organization, like to portray the organization’s leader, Jeremy Ben-Ami, as so far to the left of mainstream American Jewish opinion as to be out of bounds.

If they think Ben-Ami is too much of a lefty on Israel, just wait till they meet J Street’s rank and file.

Jeremy Ben-Ami, J Street’s executive director, speaks at the organization’s gala dinner this week. Courtesy of J Street

Judge Throws Out Rosen Lawsuit Against AIPAC

02/24/2011
JTA

(JTA) -- A judge threw out a defamation suit against AIPAC by its former foreign policy boss, Steve Rosen.

Judge Erik Christian of the Washington D.C. Superior Court ruled Wednesday that a statement by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that Rosen was fired because his behavior "did not comport with standards that AIPAC expects of its employees" was not defamatory.

AIPAC's spokesman as press punching bag

So AIPAC has a new press spokeman. I wish Ari Goldberg well; he's going to need it.

In 25 years of covering the pro-Israel lobby I've grown to have a certain sympathy for its press minions – at times human punching bags standing between a skeptical press and wary organization officials who shun publicity – except when they want it.

Coalition Including AIPAC Slams GOP Proposed Cuts

02/09/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Proposed Republican cuts to foreign assistance endanger national security, according to a foreign policy umbrella that includes AIPAC among its members.

Hyperbole about J Street

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the response I'm hearing to my story  and my blog about J Street and the controversy over a UN resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity.

For starters:  talk about over-the-top Holocaust analogies – not that most Holocaust analogies aren't over the top.

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