Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

Bashing J Street

Monday, March 30th, 2009 James Besser in Washington What is about J Street, the pro-peace process lobby and political action committee, that has the leaders of major Jewish groups in such a snit? I’ve had calls from three of them in the past two weeks, complaining about the new kid on the pro-Israel block; even some liberal Jewish leaders are joining the anti-J Street chorus.

Tough Sell: Pitching Netanyahu and Lieberman in Washington

Friday, March 27th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Pro-Israel groups are in PR high gear, trying to spin the incoming Israel government as not a problem for a peace process -minded Obama administration.

“Waiting for Armageddon,” Israel and the Jews

Thursday, March 26th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Reading Gary Rosenblatt’s interesting column about the film Waiting for Armageddon, I was struck by how much we don’t know about the beliefs and motives of the evangelical Christians who ardently support Israel.

Obama Meets the press, calls for “persistence” in the Middle East

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009 James Besser in Washington There was plenty of Mideast news this week, starting with the dramatic decision by Labor Party leader Ehud Barak (this Barak v. Barack business is going to hard on journalists who trust their spell checkers)  to join a new government led by Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu.  But you’d never know it by listening to President Barack Obama’s prime-time press conference last night.

J Street Poll shows strong support for Obama, weak support for Lieberman and complex views about Iran and Gaza.

Monday, March 23rd, 2009 James Besser in Washington A new poll by J Street, the pro-peace process political action committee and lobby, contained good news for President Barack Obama, worrisome signs for incoming Prime Minister  Benjamin Netanyahu and some predictably bad news for Jewish organizations facing an unprecedented economic crisis.

Obama’s Nowruz Address: not “appeasement,” not a Kumbayah moment

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009 James Besser in Washington Predictably, President Barack Obama’s conciliatory Nowruz message to the Iranian people has produced fierce reaction on both sides of the debate over Iran policy.

Jewish Groups united on budget proposal — well, almost

Thursday, March 19th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Jewish groups are pretty much united on wanting more government spending for critical health and social service programs as part of the federal budget for the next fiscal year. But as Congress began chewing on next year’s budget proposal,  a letter signed by more than 100 local and national organizations, organized by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), was conspicuous in the lack of any Orthodox support.

Internet Rumors, Republicans and Refugees from Gaza

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 James Besser in Washington It’s getting harder to tell urban legends from reality in this age of drive-by talk radio and an anarchic Internet. Case in point: the widely proliferating rumor that the Obama administration is spending $20 million of your taxpayer dollars on “resettling Palestinians with ties to Hamas in the United States.”
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