Kenneth Wald

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

J Street Vows To Calibrate Tone Amid Criticism

On eve of national conference and third anniversary, lobby group says it will moderate message in Congress.

02/16/2011
Washington Correspondent

When J Street, the “pro-Israel, pro-peace process” group that has become a lightning rod for volcanic differences in American Jewish life, distributed the schedule for its upcoming national conference, nervous members of Congress were quick to note one session: a panel on the boycotts, sanctions and divestment movement that will include a leading Jewish supporter of BDS.

That, in a nutshell, points to what could be the biggest problem facing the political action committee and lobby as it nears its third anniversary.

Capitol steps, and missteps: Eight J Street-backed congressional candidates in 2008. Courtesy of J Street

GOP Gains May Cloud Mideast Picture

Republican wins could produce domestic gridlock, uncertainty for Obama peace plans.

10/27/2010
Washington Correspondent

 A big Republican victory on Nov. 2 could bring the Obama administration’s troubled domestic agenda to a dead stop — but it is unlikely to do the same for its faltering Middle East peace efforts, which some Israelis argue favor the Palestinians.

In fact, it could have the opposite result, said Kenneth Wald, a University of Florida political scientist and director of the school’s Center for Jewish Studies.

Will President Obama turn his focus to foreign policy with Republicans poised to pick up many seats in Congress? Getty Images

More on Tea Parties and the Jews: new survey data complicates things

My story this week on Jewish Republicans and the Tea Parties is generating a lot of talk. And some of it is about stuff I missed, or didn't get to because of space.

A number of correspondents challenged the claim by Tea Party activists that this is all about fiscal responsibility, not at all about the “values agenda” issues that have traditionally made most Jewish voters nervous.

A new poll supports their contention; according to the Public Religion Research institute, rank-and-file Tea Partiers are pretty much indistinguishable from the Christian right core constituency.

Jewish Republicans Seen On Edge About Tea Party

As movement gains steam and plans minority outreach, concern in GOP circles.

10/06/2010
Washington Correspondent

As the Tea Party wave sweeps across the nation’s political waters, Jewish Republicans are increasingly worried that the movement could wash away their hopes of winning over Jewish voters — even as leaders of the insurgency talk about expanded outreach to minorities, including Jews.

GOP Senate candidates Rand Paul and Christine O’Donnell may not play well with Jewish voters, experts say.

Obama Facing Jewish Left Backlash

09/07/2010
Washington Correspondent

As the midterm elections near, Jewish progressives, frustrated by what they see as President Barack Obama’s lack of leadership on a range of domestic issues — starting with the economy — may sit out the November congressional vote in large numbers.

The prospect of a backlash from Jewish liberals, which carries big political risks for the president, say observers, is his real “Jewish problem,” not the Jewish right’s criticism of his handling of the Israel issue.

President Obama with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
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