President Obama got a strong show of support from Jewish members of Congress and Democratic leaders this week in his efforts to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran.
A letter signed by 150 House Democrats urged the President to "stay on course" for a negotiated "strong and verifiable agreement" that will "prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon." They cautioned, "War itself will not make us safe. "
A leading Jewish lawmaker and Israel supporter said Speaker John Boehner's "ham handed politics" of sandbagging President Obama by inviting Benjamin Netanyahu to lobby the Congress against the administration's Iran policy has damaged bipartisan support for Israel.
"It was a dangerous mistake," said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois), who announced she will not be attending the speech.
The series of coordinated and deadly attacks that killed seven Israelis and wounded at least 40 on the road between Eilat and the Egyptian border brought swift condemnation in Washington, but some used the occasion to send messages to Cairo and to the United Nations.
In a congressional race that took on J Street overtones, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat, easily turned back a challenge by political newcomer Joel Pollack, a Republican who made criticism of the incumbent's positions on Israel the centerpiece of his campaign.
Pollack also had vocal support from Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz.
Schakowsky was supported by the J Street PAC, so the race will be one in a series that will be interpreted as a referendum on the pro-Israel, pro-peace process group.