Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

The BP oil spill and the religion of big oil

A nice column today by the Washington Post's irrepressible Dana Milbank, who takes some pokes at the oil state politicians – mostly Republicans – who claim the BP oil spill was an “act of God,” so there's no point in punishing BP or poking the government's nose into their busi

Washington Post: is Israel's blockade causing a Gaza humanitarian crisis?

This week's Gaza flotilla crisis has – no surprise here – renewed debate over Israel' blockade of Gaza, which, depending on which Israeli official is talking, is meant to choke off arms to Hamas, disillusion Gazans with the terror group's iron rule or win the release of Gilad Shalit, the kidnapped Israeli soldier held by Hamas.

But this is the Middle East, so getting facts through the morass of disinformation, misinformation and propaganda isn't easy.

Jewish Democrats attack Jane Harman primary opponent. Is there a trend here?

You don't hear many congressional candidates campaigning on a platform that includes a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but that's what's happening in California – and the National Jewish Democratic Council isn't very happy with the Democratic hopeful who's pitching that line.

Stop the presses: McCain blames Obama for Gaza flotilla incident

Politico is reporting this morning  that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who lost his 2008 presidential race to President Barack Obama, is blaming the victor for the Gaza flotilla mess.

Gaza flotilla attack: rage is no substitute for careful strategic planning

Israeli leaders, facing the predictable criticism in response to the predictable eruption of violence on the high seas when their forces confronted the Gaza flotilla, are busy explaining why they were justified in taking the action they took.

What they don't want to address, for obvious reasons: was it  smart?

Spin, not facts, on Israel and the Gaza "aid flotilla"

Sitting at the computer this Memorial day morning, it's striking how many people are responding authoritatively to the news of Israel's attack on the Gaza aid flotilla, even though at this point almost all the news is coming from sources with a strong vested interest in how it's spun.

The left and pro-Palestinian forces are portraying the death of at least ten activists on the highly publicized convoy as a “massacre,” describing the victims as innocent humanitarians interested only in providing relief to the besieged people of Gaza.

Glenn Beck versus the Jewish Funds for Justice, round 3

The thing about right-wing talk show hosts is that their whole shtick is outrageousness; attacking them for their hyperbolic anger is sort of like attacking Natalie Portman for being beautiful and talented.

Still, that hasn't slowed down the Jewish Funds for Justice, which is continuing its intense criticism of Beck – who has responded as... well, as expected.

The last word on Peter Beinart and the American Jewish leadership

 Can you stand a few more comments and questions about Peter Beinart's controversial article on “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment” in the New York Review of Books?

It seems to me that on the question of whether big pro-Israel groups reflect the views of the broader Jewish community, Beinart is right, but so are some of this critics.

Sestak-Toomey Senate race in Pa. shaping up as critical test for J Street

Want to know just how well the fierce campaign by pro-Israel hawks to delegitimze J Street is working? Then pay close attention to the Senate race in Pennsylvania.

This week J Street, the pro-peace process, pro-Israel (don't bother sending nasty emails, I know your arguments) political action committee and lobby, endorsed Rep. Joe Sestak, the Democrat who unseated Sen. Arlen Specter, most recently a Democrat as well, in last week's primary.

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