Jewish politics

Palin in Israel: is this about the evangelical vote?

During a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem this week, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told her hosts that Israel acts too contrite.

"Why are you apologizing all the time?” she asked Likud MK Danny Danon and Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Sarah Palin and the Jerusalem two-step

The Netanyahu government is getting ready to roll out the red carpet for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, due to visit Israel next week

That makes Palin the latest in a procession of possible 2012 Republican presidential contenders to make the de rigor pilgrimage; she was preceded by former Ark. Gov. Mike Huckabee, who has visited enough to qualify for an aliyah stipend, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney and Mississippi governor Haley Barbour.

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.

Assessing J Street

Since last week's story on J Street, several readers have asked about my assessment of how the group is doing after almost three tumultuous years.

Rahm Emanuel Elected, Will Be Chicago's First Jewish Mayor

02/23/2011

(JTA) -- Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was elected mayor of Chicago.

Emanuel garnered 55 percent of the vote in a five-way race on Tuesday, becoming the city's first Jewish mayor.

The election was the first time in 20 years that incumbent Mayor Richard Daley did not appear on the ballot.

Because Emanuel received more than 50 percent of the vote, he will become mayor without the need for a runoff election in April.

Romney and Huntsman: Are Mormon politicians catching up to Jews?

 There's been a lot of buzz in recent days about Mormons in politics – and the claim that church members, long the victims of discrimination in the political world, may be coming into their own in much the same way as Jews have entered the political big leagues in recent decades.

Former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney remains a strong contender for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination; Jon Huntsman Jr. , a former Utah governor and now U.S. ambassador to China, is widely expected to make a run for the nomination.

Rep. Jane Harman to Quit Congress

02/07/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), a pro-Israel stalwart with close ties to the U.S. intelligence community, is quitting Congress.

Harman reportedly is leaving to run the Washington DC- based Woodrow Wilson Center, a preeminent foreign policy think tank.

She is replacing Lee Hamilton, also a prominent former Democratic congressman.

Harman, known for her ties with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, was embroiled in 2009 in the controversy over espionage-related charges against two former staffers.

Mass. Swears In First Jewish Statewide Official in Half Century

01/20/2011

(JTA) -- Steven Grossman became the first Jewish statewide elected official in Massachusetts in 53 years when he was sworn in as its new treasurer.

Grossman, who took the oath Thursday, is a former chairman of the state and national Democratic parties, as well as the former chair of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Adam Dickter Interviews Rep. Steve Israel

Rep. Steve Israel of Long Island, newly appointed chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, discusses the Arizona shootings, efforts to retake the House in 2012, J Street, the Obama administration's Mideast policies, gun control and more in an interview with The Jewish Week on 1/18/11.

Joe Lieberman and the Jews: a complicated story

Update: the National Jewish Democratic Council just released a statement praising Lieberman for his "years of dedicated and loyal service" and saying that "his presence and voice in the Senate will be missed."

It'll be hard to find anybody who's surprised at today's expected announcement that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is calling it quits next year after four terms in the Senate.

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