Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

Preaching to the raging choir: Israel, settlements and rhetorical overkill

Monday, June 29th, 2009 What is it about “credibility” that so many friends of Israel don’t get? In the past 24 hours I’ve received several emails, all citing with apparent approval the latest comments by WorldNetDaily founder and editor Joseph Farrah, who’s not Jewish but who can geshrei with the best of them. Writing about growing Obama pressure on Israel on the question of  settlements, Farrah writes:

Jewish groups play different roles in climate change bill

Sunday, June 28th, 2009 A couple of Jewish groups played a role in Friday’s passage of a landmark climate change bill by the House – the first major piece of legislation to address the issue of carbon emissions and global warming. Another played a role in one aspect of the legislation.

A lesson in why Darfur and Immigration ARE Jewish issues

Friday, June 26th, 2009

It’s a refrain  I’ve heard regularly over years of covering the Jewish community: why do all those silly liberal Jewish groups keep involving themselves in issues not central to Jewish life, like immigration reform and genocide in Africa? Why don’t they focus instead on specifically Jewish issues, like anti-Semitism and Israel?

In Phoenix recently to help move my mother into assisted living, I got a graphic lesson in how shortsighted that view is.

Ross to White House: it’s official

Thursday, June 25th, 2009 As this blog reported last week, longtime U.S. Middle East peace negotiator and pro-Israel think tanker Dennis Ross is going over to the White House; as numerous blogs have reported, it’s something of a promotion for Ross, who had a nebulous role at the State Department as a special envoy to something or other. Here’s what the NSC spokesman had to say:

Settlements talk a ‘waste of time?’ I don’t think so

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 Today’s  Ha’aretz reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “arguing” about settlements is a waste of time, and more and more Jewish leaders here seem to agree: Jewish settlements in the West Bank may be a legitimate issue, but there’s way too much focus on it. So why not move on to something else?

More homeland security money for Jewish institutions?

Sunday, June 21st, 2009 Some Jewish leaders were initially uneasy about pressing for homeland security money from the federal government to protect Jewish schools, synagogues and other institutions, but that unease has largely evaporated - in part because of the incredible success of the effort to make sure Jewish groups get their fair share - and then  some - of the money, in part because of recent incidents involving such institutions.

New polls on Israel, Iran -- and, in Israel, on Obama

Just in case you don’t have enough to worry about, this week brought a number of polls that may send Jewish leaders to the neighborhood pharmacy for some extra Prozac.   While Jewish organizations have been working overtime to depict Iran as the ultimate menace to U.S. as well as Israeli interests, a new Gallup poll indicates that they’ve only been partially successful.  

New Polls on Iran, Israel - and, in Israel, on Obama

Friday, June 19th, 2009 Just in case you don’t have enough to worry about, this week brought a number of polls that may send Jewish leaders to the neighborhood pharmacy for some extra Prozac. While Jewish organizations have been working overtime to depict Iran as the ultimate menace to U.S. as well as Israeli interests, a new Gallup poll indicates that they’ve only been partially successful.

Jimmy Carter, Hamas and the Obama administration

Thursday, June 18th, 2009 Over at Foreign Policy, the diligent Laura Rozen has an interesting blog item on Barack Obama’s Jimmy Carter problem. Rozen cites a Fox News report that the former president will press the administration to take Hamas off the U.S. terrorist list; whether or not the report is true, it’s not news this administration wants to hear as it walks multiple tightropes in its intensifying Middle East diplomacy.
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