Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

Is the economic meltdown changing the fundraising calculus for Jewish groups?

Monday, February 23rd, 2009 James Besser in Washington Times really must be changing; this week I received a fundraising call from the local Jewish Federation on their “Super Sunday.” Why the big deal, you ask? In 22 years of reporting for Jewish newspapers – with my name in synagogue directories and bulletins, with public appearances and  ties to local community leaders – this is the first fundraising call I’ve ever received from a local Jewish group.

Jewish doves gain White House clout, but that’s not why U.S. Iran policy is blurring

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009 James Besser in Washington The other day a reader emailed to comment about my report that groups on the Jewish left were included in last week’s conference call between Mideast envoy George Mitchell and Jewish leaders (see blog entry here).

Does the administration care about the next Israeli government?

Thursday, February 19th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Usually, every change in government in Israel produces intense speculation about  which party and leaders Washington favors, and sometimes  thinly veiled meddling by officials here.  There’s some interest this time around,  but with the Israeli political system in deep limbo, it’s curiously muted.

Jewish Winners and Losers in the Stimulus Wars

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 James Besser in Washington The huge economic recovery act just passed by Congress, which President Obama will sign in Denver today,  could present some interesting twists for several Jewish members of Congress.

Good Blog Reading on Israeli election

Monday, February 16th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Just catching up with the blogs after a few days away from the keyboard, and found some good reading waiting  for me. Lots of interesting commentary on last week’s Israeli election, which settled nothing except for the fact there will now be weeks, maybe months, of jockeying, horse trading and mind-bending spin.

American Jews sing praises of Israeli elections, Israelis sing the blues

Thursday, February 12th, 2009 Sometimes you just have to laugh at the gap between Israeli and American Jews, especially when it jumps up and slaps you upside the head. Take this press release from the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) on Tuesday’s muddled Israeli election.

Israel’s Election, Mitchell’s Headache

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Can’t you just imagine the hangover George Mtichell woke up with this morning?

White House Reaches Out to Hadassah, Economic Recovery bill passes senate

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 James Besser in Washington When President Barack Obama went before a Ft. Myers, Fla. audience to pump for grassroots support for his economic recovery plans, the White House made sure there was a substantial delegation from Hadassah in the room.

Israel Goes to the Polls - And Everyone Will Be Unhappy

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Israelis are going to the polls in higher-than-expected numbers today, and official Washington might be worried about the outcome – if it wasn’t so completely preoccupied with a collapsing economy at home and the increasingly bitter, partisan effort to stop the slide.
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