by James D. Besser and Adam Dickter |
Washington Correspondent and Staff Writer
When the Rev. Al Sharpton officially tosses his hat in the presidential ring later this month, his supporters won’t be the only ones rejoicing.
Pundits expect the national GOP, which seems to delight in painting the controversial civil rights activist as a mainstream Democrat, to be elated at the prospect of a divisive primary involving an African-American leader who has been accused of anti-Semitism — a potential replay of 1984.
Gary Rosenblatt |
Editor and Publisher
Philadelphia — Call it “The Phantom GA.” This year’s General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities was the shortest annual conference of the North American Jewish federation system and lagged in attendance. It was also the least spirited in memory, a shadow of its once-proud past — the victim of limited imagination, chronic over-programming and awful luck.
As Irv Rubin lay on life support this week in a Los Angeles hospital after what authorities said was a suicide attempt, the controversial Jewish Defense League leader was remembered as “a fighter for Israel, a feisty old Brooklyn fighter.”
James Besser |
Misdirected Road Map
The ink wasn’t even dry on the draft U.S. “road map” for creation of a Palestinian state before Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his Palestinian adversaries were deriding President Bush’s proposal.
Assistant Secretary of State William Burns completed his swing through the region this week to explain the plan, and there were few hints of optimism in Washington as officials monitored the flurry of negative stories that followed Burns from capital to capital.
James D. Besser |
As Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone began campaigning for a third term, some pro-Israel activists tried to generate support for his opponent by whispering that the two-term incumbent was insufficiently supportive of Israel.
But in almost every respect Wellstone, who died in the crash of his campaign plane in remote northern Minnesota last week, was more representative of the Jewish political tradition than almost anyone else in political life.