Last week’s speech by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) blasting President Bill Clinton’s behavior in the Monica Lewinsky affair has spurred new talk in Jewish political circles about a presidential resignation.
So far, it is just that — private talk. But several Jewish leaders say Lieberman’s tough speech — and a growing feeling in Washington that the administration is all but paralyzed — have dramatically changed Clinton’s standing in the Jewish world.
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.
Onward Jewish Soldier
The tall, lanky man on the podium, the one with the boyish face and the black yarmulke, has the roomful of Evangelicals rocking. Foreign as the turf might seem, he is at home, in a comfort zone, this Orthodox rabbi and Yeshiva University graduate, before his powerful Christian hosts. He is, in the vernacular of the day, building bridges, crossing over, looking for common ground.
Did he or didn’t he? Jewish leaders weren’t ready to judge whether President Clinton had a sexual relationship with a 21-year-old Jewish White House intern.
They were, however, sure of one thing: With a Clinton administration consumed by the scandal, a radically transformed political landscape will likely have an enormous impact on both the domestic and foreign policy agendas of a range of Jewish groups.
New Policy On Iran?
The Clinton administration’s Iran policy, never a model of clarity or consistency, had many Jewish leaders scratching their heads this week. Despite dogged U.S. efforts to encourage Iranian moderates, new information suggests the Tehran government has increased its support for terrorists opposed to the Mideast peace talks. And a recent U.S. decision on spare parts for airplanes may make it easier for Iranian suppliers to get material to them.
Does Christian Right Have A Prayer?
Next week could be the moment of truth for Jewish groups that have gone all-out to defeat the Religious Freedom Amendment to the Constitution — a proposal many have dubbed the “religious coercion amendment” because it would legalize sectarian prayer in public schools and open the door to wholesale government funding of parochial schools.
Washington — Norman Rosenberg doesn’t come across as a zealot. He is, by trade, a public-interest lawyer, with the low-key, ever-so-earnest demeanor befitting that role. But he has a special talent for enraging pro-Israel hard-liners.
Rosenberg is the longtime executive director of the New Israel Fund, the group based here that the Jewish right loves to hate — largely, critics and admirers agree, because the group’s philanthropic firepower is boosting grassroots organizations that are changing the face of Israeli society.
AIPAC No. 2 On Power Scale
Anti-Israel groups have long complained that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is one of the most powerful groups in Washington, and now it’s official: The current issue of Fortune Magazine rates AIPAC as the second most powerful lobby in the capital.
That appeared to delight officials of the pro-Israel lobby group, even though they generally seek to avoid the limelight.
The lead prosecutor in the strange case of Samuel Sheinbein — the man who would have prosecuted the Maryland teenager had he not fled to Israel after a horrific 1997 murder in an affluent Washington suburb — expressed frustration this week with what he termed a series of blunders by Israeli courts.
Maryland States Attorney Douglas Gansler, who is Jewish, also exhibited concern about the impact of the case on Israel’s image in this country. Gansler spent several weeks on a kibbutz as a teenager, and said his concern is both professional and personal.