Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

Jewish leaders meet Senate Democrats

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 A gaggle of Jewish leaders met with a record number of Senate Democrats today – 22 lawmakers in all, according to one count, including most of the top leadership. The meeting, put together by the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC), demonstrated the breadth of concerns of the community, according to several participants.

Iran, Israel and deterrence

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 Is the Obama administration starting to think about policy for meeting the challenge of an Iran that has already gone nuclear? In an interview this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested the United States would extend a defense umbrella “over the region” if  Iran does  develop nuclear weapons (read a VOA news report on her comments here).

Grim study on recession’s impact on Jewish life

Monday, July 20th, 2009 It’s not happy reading, but studying it should be a mandatory assignment for  every Jewish activist. Steven Windmueller’s  paper on The Unfolding Economic Crisis: Its Devastating Implications for American Jewry, lays out a crisis that will continue to impact the Jewish communal world for many years even if the economic downturn ends soon.

More J Street Craziness

Monday, July 20th, 2009 Okay, I’d resolved not to blog about J Street for a while, since every time I do it takes days to sort through the angry email, but I just have to ask again: what is it about this group that drives people so batty?

White House Jewish outreach on steroids

White House Jewish outreach on steroids

Pretty much every Jewish reporter was focused this week on President Barack Obama’s meeting with 16 Jewish leaders at the White House – a presidential performance described as masterful even by some participants uneasy about his evolving Middle East policies and his determination to speak bluntly to Israel about issues such as settlements (read the Jewish Week story on the meeting here).

Senate passes hate crimes bill - but jet controversy could kill it

Here’s the good news for the ADL and other Jewish groups that have fought for it for than a decade: the Senate today passed a new hate crimes bill expanding coverage of existing statutes to include, among others, gays and lesbians. The House already passed the measure.

Senate passes hate crimes bill - but jet controversy could kill it

Friday, July 17th, 2009 Here’s the good news for the ADL and other Jewish groups that have fought for it for than a decade: the Senate today passed a new hate crimes bill expanding coverage of existing statutes to include, among others, gays and lesbians. The House already passed the measure.

White House Jewish outreach on steroids

Friday, July 17th, 2009 Pretty much every Jewish reporter was focused this week on President Barack Obama’s meeting with 16 Jewish leaders at the White House – a presidential performance described as masterful even by some participants uneasy about his evolving Middle East policies and his determination to speak bluntly to Israel about issues such as settlements (read the Jewish Week story on the meeting here).

CUFI, Hagee coming to Washington, but where’s the buzz?

Thursday, July 16th, 2009 Christians United For Israel (CUFI) will be in town next week for its annual Washington Summit, and one thing I’ve noticed: the media hoopla that surrounded the group’s first few big Washington gatherings seems to have died down.

Human Rights Watch in Saudi Arabia: dumb, dumb dumb

I generally admire human rights watchdog groups, even if I agree they sometimes show a little more enthusiasm in criticizing Israel than in criticizing its neighbors.  Human Rights Watch has always struck me as reasonably fair and balanced – contrary to the views of some pro-Israel groups, which regard any criticism of Israel as blasphemy.

But for the life of me I can't figure out what the group was doing in Saudi Arabia recently, fundraising by allegedly bragging about their battles with the pro-Israel lobby here.

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