Jewish Settlements, Durban II Could Stoke U.S.-Israel Tensions

Washington Correspondent

For a new U.S. administration that wants to avoid clashes with the Israeli government and pro-Israel groups, this week presented two challenges that could dash those hopes.

Hard Times Meet JCPA: Jewish Group Braces for Deeper Recession

Washington Correspondent

Reports from the field will be grim when delegates to this year’s Jewish Council for Public Affairs plenum gather in Washington on Sunday — the first major Jewish meeting since the economic furies hit full force and the first since the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

In Detroit, soaring unemployment, home foreclosures and bankruptcies are battering a proud, prosperous Jewish community, and local agencies — already facing budget cuts — are scrambling to keep up.

Darfur’s Back In Focus

Washington Correspondent

Remember Darfur? The region of western Sudan where an ongoing genocide has generated plenty of hand wringing and periodic protests but not much serious action by the world?

A couple of years ago it was a top issue for several Jewish organizations and it still is — but it’s hard to tell, what with overwhelming concerns about an imploding economy and an ever more dangerous Mid- East.
Well, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) may draw some attention back to the issue.

Downturn Blunting Jewish Fight Over Obama Budget Proposal

Some wealthy donors see President Obama’s budget as “class warfare against the rich,” a Jewish activist said.

Washington Correspondent

The budget proposal President Barack Obama submitted to Congress last week, a call to dramatically change U.S. spending priorities in the face of the worst economic downturn in generations, will touch off political trench warfare in Congress — and possibly new conflict between Jewish organizations that welcome the plan and influential major donors who could get hit with big tax increases.

Agudath Israel endorses hate crimes bill, rejects claims of Christian right

It may not mean a lot in the overall scheme of things on Capitol Hill, but it means a lot to Jewish groups involved in the fight: Agudath Israel of America, an Orthodox group that often takes conservative positions on social issues, has endorsed the hate crimes bill awaiting Senate approval.

Internet Rumors, Republicans And Refugees From Gaza

Washington Correspondent

It’s getting harder to tell urban legends from reality in this age of drive-by talk radio and an anarchic Internet.

Case in point: the widely proliferating rumor that the Obama administration is spending $20 million of your tax dollars on “resettling Palestinians with ties to Hamas in the United States.”

That rumor was reportedly the motivation behind a spending bill amendment by Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.) — quickly withdrawn when it was revealed to be an Internet myth.

Green Day For Progressives: Jewish Funds for Justice in Green Jobs Push

Washington Correspondent

Following the lead of the Obama administration, the Jewish Funds for Justice is shifting resources and focus to the creation of “green jobs” — both as a way of fostering economic recovery and as a first step toward energy independence, a goal that has generated lots of talk but little action in political circles.

Leaders Defend Embattled Holocaust Scholar

Washington Correspondent

Washington — Holocaust scholars this week are rallying around the appointment of John K. Roth as the first director of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, the newly created scholarly arm of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
And museum officials seem to be lining up behind the embattled scholar.
Roth last week found himself under attack for a 1988 Los Angeles Times op-ed article that his attackers say “desecrates the memory” of Holocaust victims and compares Israel to the Nazis.

Holocaust Scholar Quits Under Fire

Washington Correspondent

Washington — The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has suffered another embarrassing public relations setback that supporters say could leave the institution more vulnerable to political control.John Roth, the Claremont McKenna College philosophy professor whose appointment as head of a new academic arm of the museum generated ferocious attacks from the right and unease among some mainstream Jewish leaders, stepped down Monday before assuming his duties.

The J Street Dilemma


It’s probably an understatement that J Street, the 18-month-old pro-peace-process political action committee and lobby, ha

It’s probably an understatement that J Street, the 18-month-old pro-peace-process political action committee and lobby, has generated a firestorm of controversy in the Jewish world.


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