Election 2012

Obama Emboldened, But Old Middle East Obstacles Remain

Foreign policy victory in bin Laden killing may not lead to new peace initiatives.

05/03/2011
Washington Correspondent

The death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at the hands of elite U.S. forces was a boost for a president with few foreign policy achievements to his credit. But it will do little to ease the foreign policy and political conundrums his administration faces in a changing Middle East, and in some cases may add new complications.

While the Palestinian Authority supported the U.S. action, Hamas quickly condemned the killing of a “holy warrior.”

Crowds gather in Times Square Sunday night as word spread that Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces. photos Getty images

Give It A 'Rest,' Says Retiring Lieberman

Outgoing senator says his new book will give perspective on joys and limitations of Shabbat for public figures; in interview, reflects on mistakes, triumphs and current events.

04/28/2011
Assistant Managing Editor

Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who will not seek a fifth term in 2012, hasn't announced his future plans. But as a prolific author and prominent observant Jew, Lieberman says he wants to do "a little bit of missionary work," promoting Sabbath observance as a divine gift and lifting the mystique about what an observant Jew can and cannot do, especially while holding public responsibilities, within the confines of the day of rest.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.)

Adam Hasner in Fla. Senate race: Can a Tea Party Republican get the Jewish vote?

Every time I ask GOP sources about up-and-coming Republicans who might be positioned to provide some communal companionship for the lonely Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va), now the only Jewish Republican in Congress, the first name I generally hear is Adam Hasner, the former state House Majority Leader.

Major US initiative in the works? Don't bet on it.

Over the holiday I had several interesting calls and emails about the prospects for a major new U.S. Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative.

A friend who's left of center emailed to say that the Obama administration, seeing no alternative, is about to launch a major new peace push that will include U.S. bridging proposals, a paper outlining elements of previous negotiations and a significant amount of pressure on both sides.

That's really good news for Israel, this activist trilled.

Pollard, presidential politics and the Chief Rabbi

Israel's chief Ashkenazi rabbi is calling on President Obama to released convicted spy Jonathan Pollard. With all respect to Rabbi Yonah Metzger, his compassion for Pollard is appropriate but his political sophistication is a little lacking.

According to Israel Radio, Metzger tied Pollard's release to Obama's reelection hopes next year.

Pro-Israel hawk Shelley Berkley throws hat in Senate ring

One of the most hawkish pro-Israel voices in the U.S. House has announced that she thinks it's time for a promotion.

Rep. Shelley Berkley – who is Jewish - announced today that she will see the Democratic nomination to run for the seat being vacated by Sen. John Ensign, a Republican, who is retiring.

Huckabee v. Obama and the (divided) Jewish vote

 Over at his Spiritual Politics blog, Professor Mark Silk looks at the unannounced candidacy of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

“Amidst all the hand-wringing about the state of the Republican presidential field, one potential candidate seems to be sailing blithely along--undeclared, familiar, discounted, and atop the polls,” Silk writes. “It's Mike Huckabee, of course.”

Romney, Thune Slam Obama on Israel

04/03/2011
JTA

LAS VEGAS (JTA) -- Two likely GOP presidential candidates slammed President Obama as unfair to Israel, in speeches to Republican Jews.

Neither Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) nor former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has yet formally declared his candidacy for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, but both are believed to be seriously considering a run.

The two joined other Republican luminaries on Saturday in addressing the Republican Jewish Coalition's winter leadership conference in Las Vegas.

Gingrich: U.S. Run by “Anti-Christian and Anti-Jewish Elite”

03/29/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The United States under President Obama is "dominated by a secular, anti-Christian and anti-Jewish elite," Newt Gingrich said.

Gingrich, the onetime speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and a likely presidential candidate for 2012, spoke on March 25 at a meeting in Iowa of the American Family Association, Politico reported.

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.

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