Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

Jewish silence in the face of torture

Friday, April 24th, 2009 I know I’m sounding like a broken record on this, but where is the Jewish outrage  over the sanctioned use of torture — “harsh interrogation techniques” is the favored term in the media – by U.S. intelligence and military forces in the war on terror?

Jewish groups mostly AWOL in defending Napolitano

Friday, April 24th, 2009 James Besser in Washington I’m sort of wondering why so many Jewish groups have been AWOL as the Obama administration defends itself from furious attacks from conservatives upset because the Department of Homeland Security is worried about far-right extremism, along with extremism from other segments.

Will Bibi “Iran first” policy trigger clash with Obama administration?

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 James Besser in Washington Pro-Israel leaders were working hard this week to spin the story that there’s no real likelihood of a clash between the Obama administration and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is still formulating his new government’s approach to peace process issues.

Jane Harman controversy - unwelcome backdrop for AIPAC policy conference

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 James Besser in Washington With its annual policy conference approaching,  the last thing AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby, needed was a lot of new publicity about the Espionage Act case involving two former employees. Well, that’s what it’s getting, thanks to a controversial and bizarre story in CQ Politics – a publication of the respected Congressional Quarterly.

Are the feds getting ready to drop the case against two former AIPACers?

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 James Besser in Washington In a week that also saw startling allegations about a prominent Jewish congresswoman who may have offered to intervene to help the defendants, federal prosecutors are considering dropping the cases of two former AIPAC officials facing trial in a controversial Espionage Act case,  according to a Washington Post report.

Ahmadinejad at Durban II and ‘dialog with an insane man’

Monday, April 20th, 2009 What did Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s appearance at the opening of the Durban II conference on racism do to President Obama’s stated desire to look for new routes for dialog with Iran? Here’s a clue: it probably didn’t help.

Durban II starts with a bang, Canadian PM explains his country’s boycott

Monday, April 20th, 2009 The Durban Review conference is officially underway in Geneva, and, predictably, it started with a bang; the BBC is reporting that Western delegates walked out of a speech by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attacking Israel as a “racist” state and criticizing its creation, and that the speech was briefly disrupted by demonstrators wearing clown costumes.

Obama Durban II decision disappoints Jewish right, international left

Sunday, April 19th, 2009 It looks like President Obama has, in one stroke, disappointed the international left and the Jewish right, both of which were expecting, hoping or both that he would change his mind and send a delegation to this week’s Durban II conference.  (Read the full State Department statement here)

Does Obama mean what he says about Israel and the two-state solution?

Friday, April 17th, 2009 Is the Barack Obama administration planning a serious push for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement that could produce some real pressure on Israel, not just the usual wrist-slapping on issues such as settlements?  And could that ignite genuine conflict with the new right-of-center government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu? Return to Jewish Week Home PageFollow the Jewish Week on Twitter And check out the Jewish Week’s Facebook page and become a fan!

Meeting season for Jewish groups starts

Friday, April 17th, 2009 The cherry blossoms have come and gone, which means it must be spring meeting season for Jewish groups. Next week it’s the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, which has a star-studded program for its annual “Consultation on Conscience.” As usual, the focus will be on domestic and social social justice issues, with a strong focus this year on the impact of the global economic downturn and its economic implications.
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