Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

Hillary Clinton in the Middle East: is the Obama administration hitting the ‘reset’ button?

Monday, November 2nd, 2009 If anybody has a clue what the Obama administration is really up to on the Israeli-Palestinian front, I wish they’d send me the memo. Over the weekend pro-Israel groups here were crowing about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s claim that Israeli offers on limiting settlement construction were “unprecedented.”

B'nai B'rith endorses House health plan, Lieberman sticks it to the Dems

Several major  Jewish groups, apparently pressured by lay leaders who don't want sweeping health care reform with a public option, have backed off as the debate rages in Washington.

Not B'nai B'rith; the group, known in recent years for its services and advocacy for the elderly, quickly endorsed the measure unveiled today by Democratic leaders in the House.

B’nai B’rith endorses House health plan, Lieberman sticks it to the Dems

Friday, October 30th, 2009 Several major  Jewish groups, apparently pressured by lay leaders who don’t want sweeping health care reform with a public option, have backed off as the debate rages in Washington.  

New ADL poll: anti-Semitism down, but don't get too comfortable

There's a new Anti-Defamation League poll out, and as usual its good news is tempered by warnings that things aren't as rosy as they seem.

The nationwide survey of Americans showed that anti-Semitic attitudes are at the lowest level in recorded history – or at least as long as ADL has been recording them.

Only 12 percent of Americans “hold anti-Semitic views,” a decline from 15 percent  two years ago.  By way of contrast, 29 percent had anti-Semitic views in 1964.

The Last Word on J Street

Some observations on the J Street national conference October 28th, 2009

In 23 years, I’ve been to approximately a million and a half pro-Israel meetings – left, right and center.   This week’s J Street meeting in Washington, the dovish group’s first national gathering and one that was inevitably compared to AIPAC’s perennially lavish policy conference, and on that scale, it was puny.  (Read my story on what comes next for J Street here).

Jewish Republicans jump on Hagel appointment to intelligence panel

I was wondering how long it would take for Obama administration opponents in the Jewish community to respond to today’s announcement that former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) will co-chair the Intelligence Advisory Board, an independent panel that provides recommendations to the President on key intelligence matters.

Answer: not very long, An hour after the announcement was made at the White House, the Republican Jewish Coalition weighed in with a release that pointed out the reasons a lot of pro-Israel groups will choke on the Hagel appointment.

New ADL poll: anti-Semitism down, but don’t get too comfortable

Thursday, October 29th, 2009 There’s a new Anti-Defamation League poll out, and as usual the good news is tempered by warnings that things aren’t as rosy as they seem.  

Jewish Republicans jump on Hagel appointment

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 I was wondering how long it would take for Obama administration opponents in the Jewish community to respond to today’s announcement that former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) will co-chair the Intelligence Advisory Board, an independent panel that provides recommendations to the President on key intelligence matters.

Rabbis for Human Rights at Israeli embassy. Topic: Goldstone

Monday, October 26th, 2009 Israeli ambassador Michael Oren may have brushed off J Street, which invited the new envoy to speak at their first national conference this week, but a lower-level official found time to talk to a group that takes even more critical positions when it comes to Israeli policy.
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