David Harris

First take: Bin Laden's death, U.S. Middle East policy

The first email I received after the news terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden has been killed by U.S. forces asked the inevitable question: will this embolden the Obama administration and possibly lead to a new U.S. initiative on the Israeli-Palestinian front, and possibly new pressure on the Netanyahu government?

The short answer is, it's way too early to tell.

New DNC Pick Puts J Street In Spotlight

Wasserman Schultz appointment hints of major 2012 campaign themes.

04/12/2011
Washington Correspondent

Only hours after she was appointed chair of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) was labeled “the girl from J Street” by several right-of-center blogs and blasted by the Republican Jewish Coalition for her connection to the pro-Israel, pro-peace process group — even though she had rejected its endorsement and its money.

Welcome to Campaign 2012.

New DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. getty images

U.N. Agency Supports, Then Disavows Campaign Glorifying Terrorist

02/10/2011

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- A television campaign airing in Arab countries to address women's issues, produced in cooperation with a United Nations agency, glorifies a female Palestinian terrorist.

The United Nations Population Fund, an international development agency that promotes a life of health and equal opportunity for all, on Thursday disassociated itself from the campaign, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Abubakar Dungus, a spokesperson for the Population Fund, told the Post that it was not consulted or involved in choosing the featured women.

AJC, NIF share a concern: Israeli democracy

I can't recall many times when the American Jewish Committee and the New Israel Fund have been on the same page on a critical issue involving Israel, but it happened this week.

AJC Urges Knesset to Rescind Investigation Vote

01/06/2011

(JTA) -- The American Jewish Committee called on Israel's Knesset to reconsider its decision to form a parliamentary committee to investigate Israeli groups critical of the country's military.

“The Knesset’s action today contravenes the democratic principles that are Israel’s greatest strength,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris in a statement released Wednesday. “Israel’s vibrant democracy not only can survive criticism, but it also thrives and is improved by it.”

Israel to Boycott Durban III

12/26/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel will boycott a meeting at the United Nations to mark the 10th anniversary of the Durban conference on racism.

The U.N. General Assembly voted on Dec. 24 to hold a session in September on "Combating racism and follow-up of the Durban Programme of Action," dubbed Durban III. The meeting will mark the decennial of the original Durban conference, which was to have addressed institutional racism, but devolved into an anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hate-fest.

The vote was 104 nations in favor of the resolution, 22 against, and 33 abstentions.

Rabbi Tells Students Not to Comment on Blogs or Website Articles

The more I blog, the thicker my skin gets. Overtime, I've learned to prepare myself before reading the comment section at the bottom of my posts. With great inventions, we have to take the bad with the good. It's been wonderful that newspapers and magazines make their articles available to us on the Web, but it also means that individuals can post outrageous, defaming, and insulting comments underneath each article -- opinions that would never be published in a print edition.

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner says stay away from talkbacks and blog commenting

Could Election Change Iran Calculus?

Reading the midterm tea leaves, from the GA in New Orleans to Washington.

11/09/2010
Washington Correspondent

President Barack Obama’s mounting political woes after last week’s “shellacking” in midterm congressional elections may indirectly lead to greater U.S. flexibility on the issue of Israeli military action to stop its nuclear program.

Some analysts say an administration committed to stopping Iran from going nuclear — but whose options may be even more limited after a big Republican victory based heavily on voters’ economic anxieties — may choose to let Israel take care of the problem.

Curve Ball For Jewish Leaders On Immigration

Some wonder if American Jewry’s traditional empathy for all newcomers could be waning.

10/20/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

One of the rare issues on which nearly all mainstream Jewish organizations agree — and on which they’ve always believed they had the backing of most American Jews — involves how the United States should treat immigrants, including those who are undocumented.

More than a dozen national agencies, including the congregational arms of all four major branches of Judaism, have publicly announced their support for comprehensive immigration reform, which would go beyond an enforcement-only policy to offer unauthorized residents “a path to citizenship.”

In recent AJC poll, 52 percent of Jews favored Arizona’s tough immigration law, which focuses on an enforcement-only policy.
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