Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

Let My People Stay

While the Jews prepare to celebrate Passover and recall Moses' demand of Pharaoh, immigration activists across the United States are planning demonstrations in Washington Saturday calling on President Obama to let their people stay.

They want the President to throttle back his deportation policy and stop splitting immigrants from their families and communities.  They expect him to do more than tell the Department of Homeland Security to review its deportation policies. 

Oren Proposes Unilateral Withdrawal

Israeli government's reluctance to release the last 26 Palestinian prisoners in a four-installment deal to revive peace talks because it felt Mahmoud Abbas would leave the negotiations anyway appears to be justified.

Abbas even refused to meet with Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's offer to release the 26 terrorists along with several hundred other prisoners and impose a partial West Bank construction freeze in return for extending the present talks until early next year.

Pollard: A Trophy For Bibi?

We're seeing a number of stories out of Israel lately saying convicted spy Jonathan Pollard might be freed as part of a deal to get Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to honor his commitment to release the final group of 26 Palestinian prisoners (out of 104) and to keep peace talks with the Palestinians going until the end of the year.

Sheldon’s Panderfest

Political pandering was in full blossom in Las Vegas last weekend as Republican presidential wannabes sought to impress GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson and his fellow big givers of their total devotion to Israel and just about anything else these wealthy contributors want.

Loose Lips Sink Ships

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon seems to have a penchant for insulting Israel's most important ally and defender.  His latest targets are the American president and secretary of state.  Making matters worse was the silence of his prime minister, who didn't do anything until Secretary of State John Kerry called.  And even then Yaalon's apology was so weak that, in an unprecedented move, the White House and State Department rejected it and responded with a stinging rebuke.

Confusing Partisan Politics And Diplomacy

In an unprecedented move, Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer is going to Las Vegas this weekend to participate in a partisan political meeting and fundraiser at the Venetian luxury hotel owned by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, the GOP's largest contributor.

Israel's World Cup Play

There's a remote chance Israel could have a soccer team on the field at this summer's World Cup competition in Brazil, but there's no question it will have a very important team overhead helping make sure the players and fans are safe and secure.

The protection will be provided by a fleet of Hermes 900 unmanned aircraft built by Israel's Elbit and equipped with advanced new intelligence gathering systems, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Jewish State Debate: Who's Right?

When Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas went to the White House last week he told President Obama that there was "no way" he would recognize Israel as the Jewish nation state, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says is essential to any peace agreement.

Is that the final word or just each leader's negotiating position?  Who is right in this debate?

The issues has been raised in prior negotiations but this is the first time Israel put it on the "must" list. 

Carter: Obama Snubs Me Because Of The Jews

Jimmy Carter is miffed that Barack Obama doesn't consult him on world crises.  The four men who served between the two – Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and both Bushes – would ask for his advice and help on dealing with "unsavory characters."  But not Obama, and Carter says it is because of  his persistent criticism of Israel.

Carter feels his harsh criticism of Israel over many years has made him very unpopular in the Jewish community and Obama doesn't want to offend his Jewish supporters.

Putin Hits Congress Where It Hurts

Vladimir Putin made many Members of Congress very angry this week.

I'm not talking about his shades-of-Sudetenland takeover of the Crimea.  No, it was his retaliation Thursday against the stepped up sanctions imposed by President Obama.

Putin banned a handful of American officials from entering Russia, including six members of Congress:  Speaker John Boehner, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and Senators John McCain of Arizona, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Dan Coats of Indiana and Robert Menendez of New Jersey. 

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