Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

The ADL, Arizona and anti-immigrant craziness

Some of the nastiest email I get is on the issue of immigration reform. To read these missives, you'd never know that Jewish groups have been at the forefront of the effort to overhaul a badly broken legal immigration system and offer a path to citizenship for those here illegally.

Different takes on the Netanyahu - Obama summit

Lots of different perspectives on yesterday's Netanyahu – Obama summit, but still not a lot of information about what happened behind closed doors.

Netanyahu - Obama summit: who won, who lost?

Tonight's Israeli newspapers are touting President Obama's promise to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. will press for “direct” talks between Israel and the Palestinians as soon as possible instead of the indirect “proximity” talks now underway.

This is supposedly a victory for Netanyahu, who in news stories leading up to today's White House summit was portrayed as putting direct talks at the top of his Washington wish list, but I wonder; is that what he really wants?

Netanyahu in Washington, Part 1

 U.S.-Israel summits are generally pretty predictable affairs, but today's Barack Obama – Benjamin Netanyahu meeting takes the honey cake.

A kiss-and-make-up session, we learned weeks ago. A chance for Netanyahu to demonstrate all the “unprecedented” things he's done to advance the peace process, to use a word that pro-Israel groups here can't seem to get enough of. An opportunity for Obama, chastened by the intense political reaction to his earlier dealing with Netanyahu, to show he's a nice guy who really likes Israel and can get along with Netanyahu.

Presbyterian Church working to undercut Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts?

If the Presbyterian Church (USA), which is meeting in Minneapolis this week, really cares about peace in the region it will soundly reject the latest report by its Middle East Study Committee.

This isn't about the frustrating search for some way to end the Middle East conflict; it's about a handful of determined Church activists with a serious grudge against the Jewish state, who don't much care that their churlish activism in the guise of religious morality is just making peace harder to attain.

J Street announces fundraising totals, 2010 recipients

J Street announced yesterday that its political action committee has raised $650,000 so far this year and that it's doling out dough for some 61 candidates, including 10 Jewish incumbents.

That puts the dovish pro-Israel group ahead of its fundraising totals for 2008, the last major election year; J Street officials say they're on track to raise over $1 million by the end of 2010.

Saudi - American 'friendship': are you kidding?

Ha'aretz ran this headline the other day: “Saudi king assures Obama of commitment to two-state Mideast solution” – and I was happy, since I needed a good laugh.

Obama's immigration reform speech: first reactions

President Obama, coming off a handful of important legislative victories, hinted today in a major speech that he might try his hand at legislation on the third rail of American politics – immigration reform.

That's good news for Jewish groups like the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and the American Jewish Committee, as well as a coalition of some 600 faith leaders that gathered at the White House today and delivered a letter urging strong action to pass legislation that “both protects our interests and abides by our values” before the end of the year.

Eric Cantor for ...what?

Politico has a piece today on the rising star of Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the lone Jewish Republican in Congress whose ambitions, the newspaper reports, are making some GOP leaders nervous.

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