To some conservative Jews, Texas Gov. Rick Perry would make an excellent presidential candidate. He’s been to Israel more than any other candidate in the field and has said he loves it. And Perry creates jobs.
That Israel problem President Obama had with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu? Old news. That Israel problem Obama has with Congress? And with his party? That's just beginning.
Let’s get past this U.S.-Israel relationship thing, so we can get on with important stuff, like the U.S.-Israel relationship.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee said it "appreciated" President Obama's clarification that he did not expect Israel to return to its 1967 lines. "In particular, we appreciate his statement that the U.S. does not expect Israel to withdraw to the boundaries that existed between Israel and Jordan in 1967 before the Six-Day War," the pro-Israel lobby said in a statement released after Obama delivered a speech Sunday to its annual policy conference.
The Zionist Organization of America urged AIPAC to rescind its invitation to President Obama after he called for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on the basis of 1967 lines, saying Obama is the most hostile U.S. president ever to Israel.
The path to international recognition of Palestinian statehood by September — when the Palestinians plan to bring the matter before the U.N. General Assembly — seems clear. The question before Israel and its supporters who oppose such recognition is how to create a detour.
Former senior AIPAC staffer Steve Rosen says he attempted in 1984 to disseminate information linking Libyan funders to the Rev. Jesse Jackson's presidential campaign.
It was a case that transfixed the pro-Israel community: the arrest in August 2005 on espionage charges of two senior officials at the most influential pro-Israel group in Washington, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
William Safire, the Nixon speechwriter-turned-New York Times political columnist, died of pancreatic cancer at 79 in a Maryland hospice on Sept. 27. He was known for making an art of at once embracing and poking the Washington establishment.
Tweeted, a diplomat’s job would look something like this: Explain home abroad, explain abroad home. In recent weeks, it’s seemed as if the job description for Israeli envoys would encroach on the 140-character limit: Explain home abroad, explain abroad home, explain Jews abroad home, explain home to Jews abroad, explain, explain, explain.
Are the parties in the Middle East ready for a U.S. peace plan? Or just for a plan for a peace plan?
Baruch Weiss, the young lawyer who helped cripple the government’s case against two former AIPAC staffers, says the prosecution’s loss is a “great victory” for free speech and for Israel’s friends.
f this year’s AIPAC policy conference stopped well short of a full-blown spat between the pro-Israel lobby and the Obama administration, it was because each side was listening to the other: Obama officials listened to Israeli fears about the Iranian nuclear threat, and AIPAC and Israel’s prime minister listened to the U.S. administration’s insistence on the inevitability of Palestinian statehood.
The Obama administration has decided to boycott the so-called Durban II conference out of concerns for anti-Semitism.
The Obama administration’s reported pick for a top intelligence post helped peddle a Saudi-funded school study guide decried by Jewish groups and educators for having anti-Jewish biases.
In times like these, "Jewish banker" might seem an unlikely descriptor for "hero," but that's who President Obama chose to make his point about being generous in hard times.
A rush of speculation is circulating about what answers George Mitchell, President Obama’s newly named special envoy, may bring to Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.
Barack Obama’s pledge to use his presidency to revive the black-Jewish alliance starts on Day (minus) One — the day before he becomes president.
Does the mini-war underway between Israel and Hamas in and around the Gaza Strip present President-elect Barack Obama's incoming administration with a crisis or an opportunity?
Not only is Barack Obama inheriting President Bush's Middle East, it looks like he's adopting his strategies.
Barack Obama's "team of rivals" is turning into a collection well known to the Jewish community, which should comfort those who expressed apprehension about who the president-elect would appoint to his Cabinet.
One thing Rahm Emanuel is not, all agree, is the president-elect's conciliatory signal to the Jewish community after a campaign fraught with worries that Obama would tip toward even-handedness in dealing with the Middle East
For months, polls showed Obama languishing at about 60 percent of the Jewish vote, a critical chunk short of the 75 percent or so Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) garnered in 2004. But exit polls from the Tuesday election showed Obama matching those results, garnering about 78 percent of the Jewish vote against 22 percent for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), his Republican rival.
Barack Obama's Jewish backers argue that he will boost effortss to pressure Iran and advance Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Detractors, on the other hand, have predicted that Obama could end up pressuring Israel and backing away from confrontation with Iran.
It's easy to read too much into whom a candidate chooses to advise him before an election, but it is risky to avoid the tea leaves
In response to a sustained GOP campaign to discredit him on Israel, Barack Obama has touted a growing roster of pro-Israel stalwarts who support him, repeatedly insisted that Israel's security is "sacrosanct," defended Israeli military maneuvers and vowed to do everything in his power to block Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons.
A campaign by a new dovish pro-Israel group to get Jewish newspapers not to run Republican Jewish Coalition attack ads has raised questions about what's kosher and what isn't this political season.
In recent weeks, John McCain's advisers have said that Israeli-Palestinian talks would not be a priority, but in Thursday's debate Sarah Palin sounded a different note.
The American Jewish Committee survey published Thursday shows the Democratic presidential nominee still hovering around 60 percent among Jewish voters. His big problem: the undecideds.
Two McCain advisers told participants in a weekend retreat that his administration would discourage Israeli-Syrian peace talks and refrain from actively engaging in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Republicans and Democrats are tussling over who should appear at an anti-Iran rally next week and who is responsible for the failure of sanctions legislation. Caught in the middle are the Jewish organizations that hoped presidential politicking would push forward -- not hinder -- efforts to isolate Iran.
The mounting anxiety over Iran's nuclear program is sparking campaign chatter over a possible Israeli strike and prompting a bipartisan effort to revive long-stalled sanctions legislation in the U.S. Congress
Republicans and Democrats campaigning for the Jewish vote have flipped the traditional role of the vice-presidential candidate from "attack dog" to fresh meat.
The two vice-presidential candidates led the way Wednesday as the Obama and McCain campaigns worked to draw clear battle lines on Iran and Israel.
Palin is likeable enough that she got props from Ethan Berkowitz, the Jewish former minority leader in the Alaska House of Representatives who appears poised to become the first Democrat to represent Alaska in the U.S. House of Representatives since Nick Begich disappeared in a snowstorm in 1972.
When it comes to Israel and how to deal with Iran, Republicans are happy to tout John McCain's consistency with the Bush presidency and his differences with Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), his Democratic rival.
When it comes to the Middle East and Sen. Barack Obama's Democratic Party platform, things are staying pretty much the same -- which, in this case, is the kind of change pro-Israel activists can believe in.
Republicans are hoping to score points on Barack Obama and Joe Biden's opposition to specific Iran-related measures. But in a bit of political jujitsu, Democrats are painting their candidates as tougher -- and smarter -- on Iran.
Jewish voters and organizations are often among the first to object when Republicans and Christian conservatives attempt to inject religion into politics. But this year the Democrats are jumping into the religion game -- and looking to rabbis for help.
As recently as May, the only Jewish Republican in the House discounted suggestions that he would place on the ticket, giggling as he told JTA that such speculation was "ridiculous."
With Israel set to choose a new leader, officials in Washington and U.S. Jews are considering how signature issues of the U.S.-Israel relationship might be affected by Israel's next prime minister
Ehud Olmert's political career was marked by the shift from ideologue to pragmatist, as well as frequent allegations of personal corruption. Now at the end of his premiership, his signature projects remain unfinished
Experts are saying that talk of an Israeli strike on Iran is a key part of what's unsettling already volatile oil markets.
Perhaps the most noteworthy development for Jewish groups that watch the Supreme Court was not what it decided this session, but what it decided not to decide
Expressions of love, walks down memory lane, even the rain lashing Washington's monuments: The latest meeting between Ehud Olmert and George Bush played out like the end of a movie romance -- only the Israeli prime minister says he's not going anywhere because there is work to be done, especially when it comes to facing down Iran.
John McCain attacked Barack Obama’s Iran and Iraq policies in his address to the AIPAC policy conference.
As 5,000 AIPAC activists ascend Capitol Hill this week, they will be pushing a multifaceted agenda with a clear bottom line: It's the sanctions, stupid.
In an appeal issued April 30 and timed for the commemoration of Yom HaShoah, 185 Jewish leaders -- mostly clergy -- appealed to Jews not to attend the Beijing Olympics this summer as tourists.
Barack Obama has sought to distance himself from his former pastor, calling Wright's rhetoric "offensive."
The arrest this week of a retired a New Jersey man on charges of transmitting classified information to Israel two decades ago shows how the Jonathan Pollard spy case continues to haunt the U.S.-Israel relationship.
Just four years after the then-governor of New Jersey, James McGreevey, resigned amid revelations of an affair with his Israeli-born ex-homeland security chief, Golan Cipel, Americans again were treated to the spectacle of the governor of a large Northeastern state standing alongside a grim-looking wife and admitting he had erred.
About 20 lawsuits targeting the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) -- some dating back to the mid-1990s -- have been held up in recent months while the Bush administration considered a federal judge's request to weigh in on the issue. In a Feb. 29 letter to Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court in New York, the Bush administration made clear it did not want to intervene -- for now.
Obituary for Congressman Tom Lantos.
Just weeks after his first presidential visit to Israel, President Bush made clear his priority for his final year in office: the economy, stupid.
If the president has a Middle East breakthrough up his sleeve, he was not ready to reveal it Monday in the State of the Union address that precedes his last year in office.
In 2004, John Edwards lost the Democratic presidential nomination because he was considered a foreign policy lightweight. He won the vice presidential slot because his social policies had depth.
Four years later, Edwards' social and domestic positions remain pretty much the same -- positions that are favored by the vast majority of American Jewish voters.
His foreign policies now have substance, too. That's what worries some Jewish voters.
Ask about Barack Obama's natural constituencies and you might hear that he's the first black with a viable shot at the White House, or about his Kenyan father and his childhood in Indonesia, or the youthfulness of his followers, or the millions of Oprah junkies swooning over his candidacy.
What you might not hear is that the Illinois senator has made Jewish leaders an early stop at every stage in his political career.
Rudy Giuliani's admonition in 2004 to Jews who favored President Bush's tough foreign policy but balked at his social conservatism was prescient:
"You're never going to find a candidate you agree with completely," Giuliani said at a Republican convention event sponsored by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the United Jewish Communties. "You've got to figure out what's important."
He might have uttered the same words this year -- not to U.S. Jews, who give him high favorable ratings, but to conservative Republicans.
Seven years of hard work cultivating the Jewish leadership in New York and nationally paid off for U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.)
Now she's hoping to capitalize on that support as she engages in a tough battle for the Democratic nomination.
Museum launches service for Holocaust archive searches
With the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary under his belt, Barack Obama has suddenly emerged as the frontrunner in a Democratic presidential primary battle that just three weeks ago conventional wisdom had all but ceded to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-New York).
American Jewish groups are aggressively attempting to rally support for isolating Iran until it ends its suspected nuclear weapons program. They are lobbying Congress, reaching out to friendly nations overseas and seeking allies in the United States.
Subpoenas issued to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and other top Bush administration officials could end up shedding unprecedented light on the Bush administration's inner workings and the government's dealings with the pro-Israel lobby American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Each of the leading GOP presidential candidates to some degree has run away from the Bush legacy. But this week they made their case before one of the president's most loyal constituencies: Republican Jews.
With hot-button domestic issues not expected to play a major role in the new U.S. Supreme Court session, Jewish groups are entering the fray over the right of judicial review for foreign detainees.
Questions about how Jews, Israel, the pro-Israel lobby and the U.S. government interact are critically important and beg for a little light. But "The Israel Lobby" is not the place to start. All Walt and Mearsheimer have achieved with their massive diversion based on unfounded accusations of overly broad Jewish influence is to help those who want to shut down that discussion.
Profile of Michael Mukasey, conservative judge and Orthodox Jew, chosen by President Bush to replace Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General.
Rudolph Giuliani's foreign policy is neither a blueprint nor a prescription, his top adviser on the matter says. It is an outline of how the former can-do New York City mayor does business.
Not only has the Supreme Court thoroughly abandoned a decades-old tradition of upholding the liberal gains of the 1950s and 1960s, it has become the premier bulwark of conservatism now that Democrats have retaken Congress and the White House is weakened to the point of impotency.
It took little time for the Bush administration to come up with answers to the radically changed Palestinian reality: Fund and engage with the new moderate Palestinian Authority government.
Obama vs. Clinton is the horse race among Democrats, as the voice of change and the voice of experience pass each other week to week in fundraising and in polls. Among Jewish Democrats, however, it's no race, insiders in the fundraising community say. While Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has generated considerable excitement, the years Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has spent focusing on Israel and other issues of concern to the nation's largest Jewish community puts her firmly in front.
Top Turkish officials and Turkish Jewish leaders in recent weeks have sought help from U.S. Jewish leaders to stave off an effort in the U.S. Congress to define World War I-era massacres of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as genocide.
Alleged secrets are the "heart of the case" against two former American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) staffers, a federal judge said -- and that's why the government must not keep them from public review.
Did Rep. Nancy Pelosi drop the ball in the Middle East? Was she fouled? Was there a ball at all?
Democrats, speaking on background, said they were unsettled by how Iraq kept intruding into an event dedicated to securing Israel.
Bush launched a weeklong review of the Iraq Study Group's recommendations on Monday, starting with meetings with top State Department officials. Later in the week he was to have met with outside experts, top U.S. diplomats in the region and top military brass.
The tone of the U.S.-Israel relationship remains the same whoever controls Congress, but Democratic pledges to stringently oversee the Iraq war could affect how the United States confronts Iran. Democrats won control of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in Nov. 7 elections, the latter conclusively decided with Sen. George Allen's concession of the Virginia race on Nov. 9.Bipartisan support for Israel would be constant, Jewish and Israeli officials said, defying a pre-election barrage of Republic Jewish Coalition ads that insisted that the Democratic Party's support for Israel was eroding.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni nominated Sallai Meridor on Oct. 4 to be Israel's next ambassador to Washington.
Top Democrats are mounting a furious counterattack against claims by Jewish Republicans that the GOP is likelier to favor Israel.
The call for a Palestinian national unity government has unified just about everyone except the Palestinians.
In Baghdad, tens of thousands of Shiite marchers swore allegiance last week to their Hezbollah co-religionists; some even pledged their lives.
Is U.S. silence in the face of Israel's massive counterattack on the Gaza Strip a function of friendship or weakness?
Proponents of gay marriage were "pursuing a deliberate plan of litigation and political pressure which will not only redefine marriage, but will follow from that to threaten the first freedom enshrined in the First Amendment -- religious liberty," said Nathan Diament, the director of the Washington office of the Orthodox Union.
Olmert's attention to the fine print and his less-than-mythic status in Israel have become subjects of parody at home.
But it's just those qualities that have made him a favorite among Jewish officials and politicians in Washington.
Walt and Mearsheimer portray as interchangeable the pro-Israel lobby and the neo-conservatives who have developed Bush's foreign policy. Not surprisingly, this report got negative reviews from pro-Israel groups.
Lawrence Franklin, a mid-level Iran analyst at the Pentagon, admitted to leaking information to Rosen and Weissman in 2003 because he wanted his concerns about the Iranian threat to reach the White House.
When Joshua Muravchik, perhaps the pre-eminent expert on the interventionist foreign policy that has become known as neo-conservatism, was looking for non-Jewish neo-cons to prove that the movement isn't pervasively Jewish, he naturally included Lewis Libby.
President Bush's new nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld religious freedoms that the entire Jewish community cherishes, on one occasion strongly defending the right of a Jewish employee to Sabbath observance.
Franklin's prickliness could prove another setback for the U.S. government in a case that the presiding judge already has suggested could be dismissed because of questions about access to evidence.
More than any other Arab leader -- and even more than his father, the late King Hussein -- Abdullah has attached his fate to the West.
The United States turned down offers of expert assistance from Israel and other nations in the crucial first days after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.
Instead, the United States solicited material assistance from Israel that was probably superfluous by the time the shipment arrived on the evening of Sept. 8.
The reasons behind the decisions are unclear. Experts have offered a number of explanations, including the bureaucratic difficulties involved in absorbing thousands of foreign first-responder personnel, the belief that the existing first-responder infrastructure in Louisiana and Mississippi was well equipped to handle the crisis and the potential political fallout from asking foreign nations to help the world's greatest power save lives on its own turf.
AIPAC will be tasked with keeping its members focused on the important issues facing Israel and maintaining support in Congress if the Gaza pullout, planned for this summer, goes awry. The effort to keep attention focused on Iran's presumed drive for nuclear weapons is also high on its agenda.
The meeting Monday between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President Bush at Bush's vast Texas ranch was to have affirmed the special U.S.-Israel relationship and paved the way forward in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process -- a triumphant summit between two friends, farmers and statesmen.
Many of the major Jewish religious streams, lobbying groups and civil rights groups are encouraging the Bush administration, lawmakers and opinion makers to maintain political support for Israel's July 20 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements.
Congress officially is lined up behind President Bush's grand vision of Palestinian democracy -- but it wants details along with that vision.
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives' powerful International Relations Committee met last week, right after two congressional resolutions overwhelmingly endorsing Bush's call for a Palestinian state were passed.
President Bush is declaring his hope for a Palestinian state loud and clear, and no wonder -- it's almost the price of entry to the alliance with Europe that he urgently wants to revive.
President Bush is declaring his hope for a Palestinian state loud and clear, and no wonder -- it's almost the price of entry to the alliance with Europe that he urgently wants to revive.
Like any first-born confronted with the end of only-child status, the pro-Israel community in Washington is learning to deal with the Bush administration's new baby -- a plan for a viable Palestinian state.
It was an invitation without an R.S.V.P. Come on over, President Bush told his newly elected Palestinian Authority counterpart -- but let's wait to set a date. The check is in the mail, I'm just not sure how much.
The public resurrection of a federal investigation involving Washington's top pro-Israel lobby has done little to shake Jewish confidence in the group -- but some organizations worry about the long road that now appears ahead.
FBI investigators searched the Washington headquarters of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Dec. 1, the second search in five months.
Reports of Iran's accelerated development of nuclear material, as well as missiles to deliver it, have profoundly unsettled Israelis.
Like two surly dinner guests who won't let an argument go, President Bush and Sen. John Kerry won't get off topic when they take their case to U.S. Jews: It's all Israel all the time.
A cold fear is blowing through south Florida's strip malls, wilted palms and retirement homes -- fear of another agonizingly close election fraught with charges and countercharges of vote theft.
"Evangelical Christians support Israel because according to prophecy, Jews have to be in Israel in order for the apocalypse to happen, and the messiah and all that stuff," Al Franken said.
"And when that happens, of course, Jews will all burn in hell," he said. "And so I think at that point the coalition will break up."
Call it the tale of two Mellmans.
Mark Mellman, one of John Kerry's top four advisers, launched a talk with Jewish Democrats in Boston last month with a drasha (short sermon) on the meaning of Tisha B'Av, the Jewish fast day that happened to fall during the party convention. Then, with nary a comment from the crowd, Mellman glided into the case for the Massachusetts senator.
Contrast that with the introduction this Sunday for Bush-Cheney campaign manager Ken Mehlman at a similar Jewish event.
"One of us, Ken Mehlman -- let me repeat that, one of us, Ken Mehlman -- is running the Bush-Cheney campaign," said Morris Offit, a Republican and the president of the New York federation, barely containing his grin as he emphasized Mehlman's Jewishness.
Republicans promise that a substantive, tough party platform this year will present Jewish voters with a sharp contrast from the relatively scrawny Democratic document -- but they may find that delving into details could prove devilish.
The Bush campaign is emphasizing its adherence to old-fashioned platform-writing techniques, going into particulars, yet leaving open an element of surprise by allowing a platform committee to hash through the proposed document on the eve of the convention next week.
Rep. Porter Goss' distance from Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking was likely a plus in securing the nomination to lead the CIA.
In fact, Goss (R- Fla.), President Bush's choice to succeed George Tenet as intelligence director, is about as far from the CIA's peacemaking efforts in the Middle East as Tenet was close to it.
Israeli officials are elated at the tough language in a resolution passed last week by the board of the U.N. nuclear watchdog rebuking Iran for not cooperating with nuclear inspectors.
Ronald Reagan's presidency was a time when U.S. Jewish power grew to new levels of influence -- and when Jews learned of its limits.
Thanks to Reagan, who died Saturday at age 93 after a long struggle with Alzheimer's, the years 1981-1989 saw the consolidation of bipartisan support for the causes Jews held dearest: a secure Israel and the freedom of Soviet Jews.
Now that Ariel Sharon has persuaded just about everyone -- the Bush administration, its European and Arab allies and Sharon's own contentious Cabinet -- that it's time for Israel to leave the Gaza Strip, he needs to fill in the details.
Questioning the support Israel's official policy at May 15-18 annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
A Kerry administration would avoid the pressure other presidents have used to nudge Israel in peace negotiations, and would consult closely with the Jewish state before launching any new Mideast peace initiative.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, outlined his approach to Middle East peacemaking in an interview with JTA on Monday, the same day he launched his campaign to win Jewish votes with a major policy speech to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
Ariel Sharon is already reaping political dividends from last week's historic exchange of letters with President Bush, but the U.S. president's payoff depends a great deal on what Israel does next.
One historic concession deserves another. Just four months after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon -- the father of the settlement movement -- stunned Israelis by pledging to evacuate some settlements, he got his payback from President Bush, who reversed decades of U.S. policy by recognizing Israel's claim to parts of the West Bank.
It was compensation, with interest: Sharon had scored perhaps the most stunning diplomatic triumph in the U.S.-Israeli alliance in a generation.
The death of Sheik Ahmad Yassin will pave the way to Palestinian moderation, Israel and its friends in Washington say.
But others, including Bush administration officials, are worried that the road just got a lot bumpier.
Mohammed Abu Abbas, the terrorist whose botched ocean-liner hijacking in 1985 ended in the murder of an elderly American Jew and set back the Palestinian cause, has died in American custody.
Until now, Kerry's campaign says, the candidate has had little breathing room for such explanatory encounters because of the grueling primary schedule and because his energies were devoted to his come-from-behind triumphs.
"Anything that moves a few hundred or a few thousand voters one way or another in any state can cause a seismic shift," said John Zogby, a pollster who says the closeness of this election is leading opinion-gatherers to focus more than ever on small groups like Jews.