A bunch of Jewish groups are indignant about last week's New York Times report that “over the past decade the United States government has allowed American companies to do billions of dollars in business with Iran and other countries blacklisted as state sponsors of terrorism.”
JTA is reporting that U.S. military aid to Israel for 2011, including extra funding for missile defense, is being delayed “following the Obama's administration's difficulty in passing the annual 2011 budget, which forced the president to sign a presidential order extending the current budget through March.”
No doubt President Obama's detractors in the Jewish community will paint this as more proof of his hostility to the Jewish state.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Funding for Israel will remain a top priority in a Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives, a top GOP congresswoman said.
"Security assistance to Israel is a top priority for Republicans because our Members understand that it is a vital investment which enhances our nation's security interests and is a force-multiplier of our efforts to combat extremism in the Middle East," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said in a statement. "Charges to the contrary are baseless and politically-motivated."
Suddenly I'm getting emails from Democratic lawmakers warning of possible cuts to Israel's big foreign aid allotment when the new Congress takes over in January – but I'm not sure I buy it.
Now the Jerusalem Post is reporting that “Democrats are blasting the prospect that a GOP-led House of Representatives might trim aid to Israel or consider it separately from the rest of the foreign aid budget,” citing as evidence comments by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen – the incoming Foreign Affairs chair – that it's not inconceivable the House GOP leadership could impose across-the-board aid cuts that would not exempt Israel.
You can bet a lot of pols in both parties are pouring over the 2010 census, released today in Washington. While the numbers look good for Republicans and for Western and Southwestern states as the expense of Democrats and the Jew-rich Northeast, drawing too many conclusions about the impact of today's numbers on Jewish political clout is risky.
Over at the Atlantic, influential blogger Andrew Sullivan yesterday called for an end to U.S. aid to Israel after the collapse of Obama administration efforts to win a 90 day settlement freeze extension in return for a rich package of incentives.
For a while it looked like the Jewish Republican caucus in Congress would double in size - but after one of the year's closest House races was decided conclusively this week, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) will still be its only member.
It took more than a month, but Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop was certified the winner Tuesday in the First Congressional District in Suffolk County’s East End, narrowly defeating Republican challenger Randy Altschuler.