While the Obama administration has been “a huge friend” to Israel, with “unprecedented cooperation on security and intelligence” issues, “at the end of the day Israel can’t outsource its security,” Naftali Bennett, a key member of the Israeli cabinet, told The Jewish Week in an exclusive interview here this week.
Woody Allen used to say that telling jokes to an audience that’s drunk or stoned guarantees you nothing more than cheap laughs. Anything will be funny to those people, because they’re “under the influence.” Their judgment is impaired.
Chuck Hagel added three major Jewish Democrats to his list of endorsers, clearing his way to likely confirmation as secretary of defense.
Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) each said they were satisfied Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, would advance the U.S.-Israel security relationship and would make a priority of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
“I know some will question whether Sen. Hagel’s assurances are merely attempts to quiet critics as he seeks confirmation to this critical post,” Schumer said in a statement Tuesday, a day after he conferred with Hagel. “But I don’t think so. Sen. Hagel realizes the situation in the Middle East has changed, with Israel in a dramatically more endangered position than it was even five years ago. His views are genuine, and reflect this new reality.”
Lawmakers generally take their lead on sensitive issues from colleagues who are affiliated with the interest group in question, and the endorsement of Jewish senators has been seen as critical to Hagel getting the job.
Also endorsing Hagel was Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. Hagel had drawn fire for past criticisms of Israeli policy, skepticism about the efficacy of unilateral Iran sanctions, wariness of the repercussions of a military strike on Iran, and willingness to engage with Iran and some terrorist groups, while also maintaining degrees of isolation.
In conversations with Schumer, Boxer and Wasserman Schultz, Hagel also apologized for having said the “Jewish lobby” is “intimidating” in a 2006 interview.
Celebrity rabbi vows to bring Jewish values to Congress.
The faith-based campaign that has become so frequent in Republican races across the country is echoed locally with the Bergen County GOP endorsement of Rabbi Shmuley Boteach for Congress in northern New Jersey. The Chabad-trained rabbi says he’s running as a Republican because he believes in smaller government, but adds that his politics are driven by his Judaism — and there’s nothing small about that.
Leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee introduced legislation that would extend a program providing loan guarantees to the State of Israel.
Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Ranking Member Howard Berman (D-Calif.) introduced legislation on Friday that would allow loan guarantees to help Israel raise private funds at lower interest rates.
The program was initiated in 2003 and was extended in 2006 for an additional five years. The new bill calls for an extension that will run through the end of the fiscal year in 2015.
United States Representative Dave Camp is a proud Roman Catholic. The Republican congressman represents Michigan's 4th District in Congress which includes places in Michigan's "Up North" region that Jews only visit for a few days each year. Aside from the handful of families who live in Traverse City year round, Dave Camp likely doesn't give much thought to Jewish people.
Acknowledging that his conduct had become too much of a distraction for him to be effective, Rep. Anthony Weiner resigned from office in the wake of a scandal in which he lied about sexually explicit exchanges on social media outlets.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman will introduce a bill to prevent cities from banning male circumcision, the California lawmaker's office said.
Sherman's bill, which his office announced Tuesday, comes in response to a measure that qualified recently for the November ballot in San Francisco that would outlaw the circumcision of males under the age of 18, making it punishable by a $1,000 fine and a one-year prison term.