It’s Still The Economy
By all rights, it should be a hot year in pro-Israel politics. Israel is being pounded by terrorists, U.S.-Israel relations are in flux and the United States is involved in a high-stakes war against terrorism.
But with a handful of high-profile exceptions, foreign policy seems to be the last thing on voters’ minds — including Jewish voters.
Holocaust Museum’s Burial Conflict
Officials of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council are rejecting claims by Rabbi Avi Weiss, a prominent Holocaust activist and council critic, that construction of a new memorial to the Jewish victims of the Belzec death camp in southeastern Poland is resulting in systematic desecration of the site where many thousands of them are buried.
He was a hard-nosed journalist who had more than a passing acquaintance with the furies of the Middle East. But he was also more than that: John Wallach, the former Hearst Newspapers foreign correspondent, craved personal involvement, even when it defied the conventional wisdom of hopelessness.
Wallach died last week at 59 in a Manhattan hospital, after a long battle with lung cancer. A few hundred miles to the north in the woods of Maine, dozens of kids from the Middle East were gathered at the Seeds of Peace camp he created in 1993.
FBI Director Talking
President George W. Bush may be drawing clearer lines when it comes to terrorists and their supporters, but his FBI director apparently hasn’t gotten the message.
Robert S. Mueller, who took over the troubled agency only seven days before the Sept. 11 terror attacks, is scheduled Friday to attend the annual convention of the American Muslim Council (AMC).
When Jonathan Pollard went to jail, American Jewry began a traumatic odyssey that revealed much about the lingering insecurities and divisions that continue to shadow the community, despite its great achievements.
James D. Besser
Two things happened on Nov. 21, 1985. The first produced sensational headlines in a few major newspapers: Jonathan Jay Pollard, a young civilian intelligence analyst for the Navy, was arrested on charges of spying for Israel after he was turned away from the Israeli embassy in Washington, where he had sought asylum.
Lobbying Against Interim Statehood
As President George W. Bush struggled to put together yet another vision for ending Israeli-Palestinian violence and providing what he has called a political “horizon” for the Palestinians, Israel’s friends in Congress scrambled to put the brakes on the expected administration initiative.
With a big boost from pro-Israel groups, lawmakers zeroed in on one issue: preventing administration support for an interim Palestinian state.
Sharon’s ‘Message’ From The President
He didn’t exactly get a green light to remove Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat — nor did he seek one — but Prime Minister Ariel Sharon came away from Washington this week with indications the Bush administration will not punish Israel if new terror attacks lead the Israeli leader to take that drastic step.
Asked directly about the possibility Sharon might “expel” Arafat from Palestinian-controlled territory, Bush did not hoist any caution flags.
Bill could free churches and synagogues to endorse candidates for public office without jeopardizing their tax-free status.
James D. Besser
Too Close For Comfort?
A bill currently working its way through the House could free churches and synagogues to endorse candidates for public office without jeopardizing their tax-free status.
Thanks, but no thanks, say Jewish groups.
Across the spectrum, Jewish leaders say the “House of Worship Political Speech Protection Act” crosses dangerous church-state lines and could put clergy under enormous pressure to get more involved in the partisan fray than they want to be.
Extra Israel Aid Back On Track
After a major campaign by the pro-Israel lobby, the Bush administration has ended its opposition to an extra $200 million in military aid to help Israel with the soaring costs of its fight against terrorism.
The price: Pro-Israel forces will have to swallow an extra $50 million in humanitarian assistance for the Palestinians.
Bush, Sharon Don’t Press Differences
By all accounts Tuesday’s White House meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President George W. Bush went well — in large measure because the two leaders did not press their differences, including a big gap over Yasir Arafat’s role as an ongoing peace “partner” and the administration’s determination to press ahead with Palestinian statehood.