Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

Holocaust sensitivity silliness, and a reasonable warning from the ADL on Arizona's immigration law

This is so silly, I can barely stand it.

The New Jersey Education Association is taking Gov. Chris Christie to task for inappropriately using the phrase “final solution” in a Washington speech.

Obey retiring, don't expect any tears from some pro-Israel groups

You can bet some pro-Israel hardliners won't be weeping salt tears over today's announcement by Rep. David Obey, a Wisconsin Democrat and the dean of the congressional appropriations process, that he will be retiring.

But a lot of pro-Israel lobbyists who have worked with him over the years say his departure after 41 years in the House will be a big loss for the nation – and possibly for Israel.

Obama's Jewish charm offensive: what does it signal about his Israel policy?

We've read a lot in the last few days (see this JTA story in the Jewish Week)  about President Obama's Jewish charm offensive, which reached a kind of peak with yesterday's White House visit by Elie Wiesel, who proclaimed himself satisfied that the president does not have it in for Israel.

What we don't know: what does this all-out effort to ease the concerns of pro-Israel voters signal about administration policy?

Here we go again: Israel's Palestinian incitement index

Earlier this week Jewish Week editor and publisher Gary Rosenblatt broke the story of a new Israeli plan to create an “incitement index” to document Palestinian incitement and the failure of West Bank leaders to extirpate anti-Israel hatred from the schools, the media and even street names.

Church-state follies in Virginia riles Jewish groups

 Christian right groups are applauding and Jewish groups are protesting the recent action by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, rescinding a 2008 order requiring police chaplains in the state to use only nondenominational prayers at official events, not prayers invoking the name of Jesus.

Well, no big surprise here; McConnell is a graduate of Pat Robertson's Regent University, and he's the guy who managed to embarrass many Virginians wityh his recent decision to revive Confederate History Month - later amended after a flurry of bad nationwide publicity.

No good options for Jewish leaders as Ahmadinejad heads to New York

You gotta feel a little bad for Jewish leaders here, who were sandbagged by last week's announcement that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be in New York on Monday for, of all things, the UN's nuclear nonproliferation talks.

The last-minute announcement by the Iranians meant there wasn't enough time for the customary debate over the best communal response, inevitably followed by the various Jewish organization going their own way, anyway.

And when you come down to it, what can Jewish organizations do?

A WaPo editorial on Arizona immigration law echoes concerns of Jewish groups

 A strong editorial in today's Washington Post sheds some light on why a number of Jewish groups think Arizona's new illegal immigration law is stupid and dangerous.

The Post writes that the new law 'will turn immigrants who came here illegally into quarry for law enforcement agencies statewide,” and that it “twists the Constitution."

Obama, the U.S.-Israel relationship and some historical lessons

This week I wrote about changing outlooks on the U.S..-Israel alliance and fears among American Jewish leaders about what that may mean for the “special relationship” between the two countries.

American Jewish Congress and American Jewish Committee to merge? Don't hold your breath

The Jerusalem Post is reporting merger talks between the American Jewish Committee and the American Jewish Congress.

Pardon me while I snort.

In 23 years on this beat, I can't tell you how many times I've written about rumors of a merger between these two groups that have sometimes quarreled over which has the right to be called "AJC." It's never amounted to much except talk.

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