In central Afghanistan, an 8-year-old girl was killed last week when a package she was given by members of Taliban exploded. She was told to take the parcel to a nearby police checkpoint. She did not know that she was carrying a bomb, which Taliban set off by remote control.
Our man in Washington, James D. Besser, is hanging up his spikes, so to speak, after nearly 20 years with The Jewish Week. Six years before he took up his post for this paper, he covered Washington for the Baltimore Jewish Times when Gary Rosenblatt, this paper’s editor and publisher, was editor of the Baltimore weekly. That makes about a quarter century that Jim has been working his sources on Capitol Hill, attending conferences and keeping a watchful eye on the workings of the Washington operations of the major American Jewish organizations.
It’s always unsettling to see a promising political career come crashing down because of a personal failing, a spectacle that has become all too familiar in recent years. We have covered Anthony Weiner’s public service from the time he rose from Chuck Schumer’s aide to city councilman to Congressional representative and strong defender of Israel, to his two surreal press conferences this month.
In a little more than three months the United Nations General Assembly may be asked to take up a unilateral Palestinian declaration of independence, which Palestinian leaders hope will set the stage for a genuine state. That hope is dangerously misguided; the Palestinian effort to use the international body as an alternative to engaging in direct, bilateral negotiations can only make statehood harder to achieve and increase the likelihood of renewed violence.