Jewish Journal

Ron Kampeas

  • Four Israeli reactions to the Turkish-Russian fallout

    December 2, 2015 | 12:54 pm

    Turkey and Russia — long allied against alleged overweening Western interference — have been on the outs since last week, when the Turkish Air Force shot down a Russian warplane that Turkey says crossed into its airspace. Russian fighter jets are targeting enemies of Syria’s Bashar...

  • As Iran deadline approaches, skeptics draw dueling red lines

    June 30, 2015 | 9:40 am

    In nuclear talks between Iran and the major powers, it’s deadline time, and skeptics on both sides are laying out red lines in a bid to shape a final deal.

    Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader who had been wary of the talks, last week outlined his own expectations for...

  • Groups join to oppose sanctions

    January 29, 2014 | 2:04 pm

    A loose coalition of advocacy groups and policy experts, including a pair of dovish Jewish organizations, have been coordinating messaging in support of the Obama administration’s Iran strategy.

    The coalition was convened by the Ploughshares Fund, which advocates for a...

  • Newest entrant into GOP field, Rick Perry, is longtime friend of Israel—and Jesus

    August 15, 2011 | 11:50 am

    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.

    But other Jewish conservatives seeking the anti-Obama candidate look at...

  • For Obama, Bibi tensions subside, political problems begin

    May 24, 2011 | 3:30 pm

    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.

    In two successive speeches—one to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Monday and...

  • At AIPAC, effort to shift focus back to agenda: Iran, foreign aid, Capitol Hill relationships

    May 24, 2011 | 8:14 am

    Let’s get past this U.S.-Israel relationship thing, so we can get on with important stuff, like the U.S.-Israel relationship.

    That seemed to be the message this week at the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

    With a record 10,000 people and...

  • AIPAC likes Obama’s clarification on ‘67 lines

    May 22, 2011 | 2:21 pm

    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...

  • ZOA to AIPAC: Withdraw Obama invite

    May 20, 2011 | 9:16 am

    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.

    “We urge AIPAC to rescind the invitation for...

  • Jewish groups strategize for statehood debate at UN

    April 20, 2011 | 5:14 pm

    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.


  • Steve Rosen: Campaign with alleged Libyan funding was Jesse Jackson’s

    December 16, 2010 | 3:17 pm

    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.

    Rosen told reporters Thursday that Jackson was the candidate mentioned in documents he filed this week in his...

  • AIPAC viewed U.S. gov’t as targeting pro-Israel groups during espionage probe

    December 16, 2010 | 1:04 pm

    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.

    Before the government dropped the case in May 2009...

  • Revelations of Iranian Plant Return Nuclear Threat to Center Stage

    September 30, 2009 | 4:04 am

    With Iran, it always comes back to the nuclear issue.

    The revelation last Friday that Iran has a second secret uranium-enrichment plant — with a “configuration” inconsistent with peaceful intent, according to President Obama — placed the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program...

  • William Safire, New York Times Columnist, Dies at 79

    September 30, 2009 | 2:15 am

    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.

    In 2001 the wily wordsmith set his sights...

  • Oren Navigates Waters Among Israel, U.S. Government and American Jews

    August 18, 2009 | 4:38 pm

    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...

  • Obama Ready With (or for) Peace Plan?

    August 11, 2009 | 7:03 pm

    Are the parties in the Middle East ready for a U.S. peace plan? Or just for a plan for a peace plan?

    Talk of a near-term U.S. peace plan was spurred last week when a State Department official said one would be in place “within weeks” — a projection confirmed within a day by...

  • AIPAC Decision a Victory — With Qualifiers

    May 6, 2009 | 9:05 pm

    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.

    He’s not wrong, but like any legal document, the government’s motion on...

  • At AIPAC, Obama and Netanyahu Administrations Listen to Each Other

    May 6, 2009 | 8:57 pm

    “This relationship matters to me,” one partner says.

    “Show me,” says the other.

    Such conversations, as any couple can attest, usually don’t augur the happiest of chats.

    If this year’s AIPAC policy conference stopped well short of a full-blown spat between the...

  • U.S. Pulling Out of ‘Durban II’ Conference

    February 27, 2009 | 6:40 pm

    WASHINGTON (JTA)—The Obama administration has decided to boycott the so-called Durban II conference out of concerns for anti-Semitism.

    Multiple sources on a conference call with the White House on Friday told JTA that the Obama administration had opted not to attend any further...

  • Possible Intelligence Pick Linked to Biased Saudi Book

    February 26, 2009 | 11:00 am

    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.

    Charles “Chas” Freeman, the U.S. envoy to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War, is...

  • Jewish Banker Sets Heartfelt Tone for Obama Speech

    February 25, 2009 | 6:11 pm

    WASHINGTON (JTA)—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.

    Obama’s salute to Leonard Abess in his state of the nation speech Tuesday was likely to...

  • Obama Envoy Embarks on Mideast ‘Listening Tour’

    January 28, 2009 | 4:22 pm

    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.

    It’s natural to wonder: Mitchell, 75, a former governor and U.S. senator from Maine who became majority leader,...

  • Obama’s Black-Jewish Pledge

    January 15, 2009 | 5:29 pm

    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.

    The president-elect’s inaugural committee has asked Jewish groups to make black-Jewish dialogue and joint outreach to the poor a...

  • Analysis: Gaza crisis is opportunity for Obama

    December 29, 2008 | 7:55 pm

    WASHINGTON (JTA) -- 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?

    Israel's aerial bombardment, the most intensive in the Gaza Strip in the history of the...

  • Analysis: Obama sounding similar to Bush on foreign policy

    December 3, 2008 | 6:16 pm

    Not only is Barack Obama inheriting President Bush's Middle East, it looks like he's adopting his strategies.

    Perhaps the most striking presence on the Chicago stage Monday, where President-elect Obama presented his national security team, were the policies of the outgoing president....

  • Jewish organizations mostly at ease with Obama appointees

    November 24, 2008 | 7:49 pm

    WASHINGTON (JTA) -- 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.

    Obama is fulfilling pledges he made during a grueling...

  • Rahm Emanuel is a fighting policy wonk with a Jewish soul [VIDEO]

    November 13, 2008 | 1:03 am

    Political insight, killer in a fight, Yiddishkayt -- it's an inseparable package when it comes to Rahm Emanuel, say those who know President-elect Barack Obama's pick to be the next White House chief of staff.

    Since his days as a fundraiser and then a "political adviser" -- read:...

  • Jews looked past worries to embrace Obama

    November 6, 2008 | 6:08 pm

    For some Jewish voters, the strangeness of Barack Obama was like a recurring dream: unsettling and then settling in, and then, suddenly, revelatory.

    Ari Wallach described breaking through to elderly Jews in Florida who had resisted voting for the son of the man from Kenya, the tall...

  • Obama—who won 78% of Jewish vote—faces global disarray, Mideast challenges

    November 5, 2008 | 12:26 am

    WASHINGTON (JTA) - Barack Obama emerges from a maelstrom into a vacuum.

    The U.S. senator from Illinois has survived the longest and roughest election season in memory to assume control of a free world in free fall: A collapsing economy, a resurgent Iran, an obstreperous Russia.


  • ANALYSIS: Who advises McCain and Obama?

    October 28, 2008 | 5:50 pm

    WASHINGTON (JTA) -- When the question of recognizing Israel landed on President Harry Truman's desk in May 1948, he had to balance the advice of his old friend, Clark Clifford, against the general he deeply admired, George Marshall.

    In the end Truman went with his friend,...
  • ANALYSIS: Obama worked hard to gain Jewish trust

    October 27, 2008 | 7:49 pm

    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (JTA)—A major Republican tack against Barack Obama has a simple theme: By his friends you shall know him.

    For the McCain campaign, in recent weeks this has meant repeatedly linking the Democratic presidential nominee to William Ayers, the former member of the...

  • Don’t run Republican Jewish Coalition ads, pro-Israel group J Street tells Jewish newspapers

    October 13, 2008 | 3:19 pm

    WASHINGTON (JTA)—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 in this fraught political season.

    The new group, J Street, helped flood many Jewish...

  • Debate wrap up: Palin contradicts McCain, will make peace process a ‘priority’

    October 3, 2008 | 6:53 pm

    ST. LOUIS (JTA)—Israeli-Palestinian peace talks would be a priority of a McCain administration, Sarah Palin said last night.

    “A two-state solution is the solution,” Alaska Gov. Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, said in her debate with the Democratic vice-presidential...

  • Poll: Obama hits wall with ‘undecided’ Jews

    September 26, 2008 | 5:07 pm

    WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Barack Obama has hit a wall of Jewish indecision.

    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.

    The U.S. senator from...
  • McCain advisors:
    No to Syria talks, little interest in Middle East peace process

    September 22, 2008 | 5:17 pm

    LEESBURG, Va. (JTA)—A McCain administration would discourage Israeli-Syrian peace talks and refrain from actively engaging in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

    That was the message delivered over the weekend by two McCain advisers—Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on...

  • Politicizing Iran:
    GOP spikes Obama sanctions bill, Dems scuttle Palin's rally gig

    September 19, 2008 | 3:18 pm

    WASHINGTON (JTA)—Just when you thought it was safe to put the issue of Iran back in the bipartisan closet, out it roars into a food fight between the Republicans and Democrats.

    The two parties are tussling over who should have appeared at a Jewish-sponsored anti-Iran rally next week...

  • McCain and Obama campaigns focus on sanctions as Iran threat looms

    September 16, 2008 | 6:47 pm

    WASHINGTON (JTA) -- 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.

    Time is running out, say advocates of new...
  • Attack dog? Fresh meat? Quest for Jewish vote flips Biden and Palin roles

    September 10, 2008 | 3:13 pm

    WASHINGTON (JTA)—Joe Biden, all wrong on Israel? Sarah Palin, a Jewish woman’s worst nightmare?

    Republicans and Democrats campaigning for the Jewish vote have flipped the traditional role of the vice-presidential candidate from “attack dog” to fresh meat.

    Campaign attacks typically...

  • Biden, Palin lead campaign clash on Mideast

    September 4, 2008 | 5:25 pm

    ST. PAUL (JTA)—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.

    In a highly anticipated speech at the Republican National Convention, Alaska Gov. and vice presidential nominee Sarah...

  • Allies and foes scrape through Palin bio for Jewish material

    September 2, 2008 | 2:56 pm

    ST. PAUL (JTA)—A small Israeli flag propped up on a window frame. A Pat Buchanan button sported briefly as a courtesy. A prospective son-in-law with a biblical name.

    Little about the Frozen North is Jewish outside the realm of fiction (see Mordechai Richler, Michael Chabon,...

  • McCain surrogates likely to echo Bush on Iran and Israel

    August 29, 2008 | 6:05 pm

    DENVER (JTA)—John McCain’s campaign has walked a fine line between upholding the values of the GOP base that still reveres George W. Bush, while repudiating the legacy of the most unpopular president in modern history.

    In at least one area, however, there’s no ambivalence: When it...

  • Democratic platform sticks close to Jewish positions

    August 27, 2008 | 1:00 am

    DENVER (JTA) -- 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.

    The platform committee appears to have heeded recommendations...

  • Let the games begin: GOP plays ‘Iran card’ against Democrats Obama and Biden

    August 25, 2008 | 5:14 pm

    DENVER (JTA)—A year ago, the push for a congressional amendment that urged the declaration of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist group was signature legislation for much of the pro-Israel lobby. Only two dozen U.S. senators out of 100 opposed it.

    Two of those...

  • With seven rabbis and counting, Dem parley reaches out to the faithful

    August 20, 2008 | 5:08 pm

    WASHINGTON (JTA)—Jewish voters and organizations often are among the first to object when Republicans and Christian conservatives inject religion into politics.

    But this year, especially at their convention next week, the Democrats are jumping into the religion game—and looking to...

  • McCain campaign checks out sole Jewish Republican Congressman as possible VP

    August 5, 2008 | 8:40 pm

    WASHINGTON (JTA) -- U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor bridges two unlikely constituencies, say those hoping to see the Virginia Republican on John McCain's presidential ticket: Jews and hard-core, red state conservatives.

    Pressed, however, these Cantor devotees admit there's not much between...
  • How will Israel’s changes affect U.S. interests?

    August 1, 2008 | 6:16 pm

    WASHINGTON (JTA)—When Ehud Olmert announced this week he was quitting, three of the four people likeliest to succeed him already were auditioning for two of the job’s toughest constituencies: the U.S. government and American Jewry.

    Whether intentional or not, Olmert’s timing was...

  • Analysis: Olmert’s journey from right-wing idealogue to unsuccessful pragmatist

    July 31, 2008 | 4:52 pm

    WASHINGTON (JTA)—The day after Ehud Olmert buried his own political career, he announced plans to commemorate Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the ideological proponent of Greater Israel whose vision Olmert has done much to bury.

    It was an odd closing of a circle: Olmert’s signature achievement...

  • Israel-Iran war talk blamed for oil price frenzy

    July 7, 2008 | 5:40 pm

    WASHINGTON (JTA)—Even if the tough talk between Israel and Iran never comes to blows, it’s already hitting consumers where it hurts—at the gas pump.

    Experts say that talk of an Israeli strike on Iran is a key part of what’s unsettling already volatile oil markets.

    “It’s clearly...

  • Jewish groups say Supreme Court’s decisions are a mixed bag

    July 1, 2008 | 2:19 pm

    WASHINGTON (JTA)—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.

    In its 2007-08 session, which ended last week, the majority conservative court turned away a number of...

  • Olmert in D.C.: Iran talk, not goodbyes

    June 8, 2008 | 1:03 am

    WASHINGTON (JTA)—Expressions of love, walks down memory lane, even the rain lashing the capital’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...

  • McCain raps Obama on Iran and Iraq at AIPAC

    June 2, 2008 | 3:05 pm

    WASHINGTON [JTA] -- No confessional bloc rejects the Iraq war more than American Jews do. But in a bit of political jujitsu, John McCain is making the policy his own in his plea for Jewish votes.

    The presumptive Republican presidential nominee made headlines -- and drew heavy fire...

  • Iran sanctions figure large in AIPAC lobbying

    June 2, 2008 | 11:30 am

    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.

    Some new wrinkles in the lobbying blitz that traditionally follows the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy...

  • After weeks of feuding over Mideast, candidates head to AIPAC conference

    May 29, 2008 | 3:41 pm

    If there's any doubt about AIPAC being the belle of Washington, check out next week's ball.

    The lobbying powerhouse's conference, to be held June 2-4, is the only policy event since the presidential election campaign was launched that has attracted all three major candidates: U.S....

  • Call for Jews to shun China Olympics stirs opposition

    May 8, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    A large group of rabbis spanning Judaism's religious movements says it has an answer to the vexing question of how to send China an Olympic-sized message without harming the interests of athletes or Israel.

    In an appeal issued April 30 and timed for the commemoration of Yom HaShoah,...

  • Rev. Wright’s outreach to Jews still unsettling for many

    May 1, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    In a series of speeches otherwise notable for their defiant tone against his real and perceived enemies, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. sounded some conciliatory notes toward Jews, casting them as fellow strugglers against inequity and for peace.

    But an outburst in a Q-and-A session...

  • N.J. man accused of spying for Israel

    April 24, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    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.

    Ben-Ami Kadish, a former U.S. Army engineer, was scheduled to appear...

  • Israeli twist emerges in Spitzer sex scandal

    March 12, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    A fast-rising Democratic governor, an out-of-control sex drive and an Israeli enabler -- it feels like deja vu all over again on the Hudson.

    Just four years after the then-governor of New Jersey, James McGreevey, resigned amid revelations of an affair with his Israeli-born...

  • Families of terror victims can have their day in court

    March 7, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    Families of terror victims got the green light to pursue lawsuits against the Palestinian Authority thanks to a personal lobbying blitz and some quiet diplomacy by U.S. lawmakers and the pro-Israel lobby.

    About 20 lawsuits targeting the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine...

  • Congressman Tom Lantos left behind human rights legacy

    February 14, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    The flags dipped at half-staff over the Capitol, the warm remembrances flooded e-mail inboxes, the "Have you heard?" phone calls took a solemn tone.

    U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos (D-San Mateo) earned all these tributes. He died Monday of esophageal cancer at the age of 80.

    The mourning was...

  • In economy-focused State of the Union speech, Bush offers no new Mideast ideas

    January 31, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    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...

  • Candidate profile: John Edwards

    January 31, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    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 --...
  • Candidate profile: Barack Obama

    January 31, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    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...
  • Candidate profile: Rudy Giuliani

    January 31, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    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...
  • Candidate profile: Hillary Clinton

    January 31, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    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.

    In an American Jewish...
  • D.C. museum launches service for Holocaust archive searches

    January 24, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    Digital technology will allow Holocaust survivors, researchers and others access to one of the largest troves of Nazi-era documents -- but at a pen-and-paper pace.

    The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum told survivors' groups last week that searches of the digital version of the Bad...

  • As Obama surges, Jewish supporters cheer

    January 10, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    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).


  • Israel and U.S. Jews intensify efforts to isolate Iran

    November 15, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    A renewed push from Jewish organizations for tougher sanctions against Iran is facing tough obstacles in Washington and capitals throughout the world.

    American Jewish groups are aggressively attempting to rally support for isolating Iran until it ends its suspected nuclear weapons...

  • Subpoenas in AIPAC trial could reveal U.S. secrets

    November 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    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...
  • Candidates make their case at Jewish GOP conference

    October 18, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Rudy Giuliani addresses RJC
    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.

    The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) on Tuesday...

  • Jewish groups change tack on Supreme Court cases

    October 4, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    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.

    Several Jewish organizations have filed a joint friend-of-the-court brief in...

  • How Walt and Mearsheimer’s book got the pro-Israel lobby wrong

    September 20, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Covering Israel, its relationship with the United States and the influential lobby that straddles the two often requires the basic skills and instincts of a cub reporter on the neighborhood beat.

    With that in mind, I approached "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," the new book...

  • Bush picks Orthodox Mukasey for Attorney General

    September 20, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    In the aftermath of her son Ari's murder by an Arab gunman on the Brooklyn Bridge in 1994, Devorah Halberstam was introduced to a federal judge for the Southern District of New York with a longstanding interest in terrorism-related issues.

    In the years since, Judge Michael Mukasey...

  • Giuliani doubts if Palestinians are ‘peace partners’ yet

    August 23, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    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.

    Charles Hill, a former top aide to Reagan-era Secretary of State George Shultz, spoke to JTA...

  • Conservative Supreme Court rulings vex Jewish advocacy groups

    July 5, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Following a string of conservative rulings in the closing weeks of this year's Supreme Court session, some Jewish officials are suggesting that they may be forced to abandon their decades-long strategy of relying on the courts to protect liberal gains on a host of issues.


  • U.S. Jewish leaders skeptical on funding for Abbas

    June 21, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    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.

    Yet those answers raised questions for some of Israel's Jewish supporters across the political...

  • Hillary Clinton leads field in attracting Jewish funds

    May 31, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    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...
  • U.S. Jews enter debate on Armenian/Turkish history

    April 26, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Armenians in Jerusalem mark the 92nd anniversary
    of the Armenian genocide in this amateur video from April 24.
    Click the BIG ARROW to view
    United States Jewish groups are caught in the middle of a growing political struggle between two of their traditional friends, Turks and...
  • AIPAC trial judge throws out government’s secrecy motion

    April 19, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    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.

    In his most sweeping ruling yet in the case against Steve Rosen, the...
  • Pelosi’s delegation to Syria—who said what to whom?

    April 12, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Did Rep. Nancy Pelosi drop the ball in the Middle East? Was she fouled? Was there a ball at all?

    Pelosi, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, earned White House vituperation -- unusual for its intensity in even these partisan times -- after delivering what she said was...
  • Many guests at AIPAC event, but one is unwanted—Iraq

    March 15, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    AIPAC's annual policy conference in Washington, D.C., is truly a come-one, come-all event, with a "roll call" at the gala dinner announcing the hundreds of VIPs in attendance. But this year, one uninvited guest kept turning up -- the Iraq war.

    No matter how hard the American Israel...

  • U.S., Israeli officials see conflicting Iraq study ideas

    December 14, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    American and Israeli government officials agree on two things: Iraq has nothing at all to do with Israeli-Arab issues.

    Except when it does.

    From President Bush and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on down, the leadership of the Israeli and U.S. governments are simultaneously embracing...

  • Dems win won’t hurt Israel but could impact Iran

    November 16, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    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...
  • Former Jewish Agency head tapped as Israel’s next ambassador to U.S.

    October 12, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    One of Sallai Meridor's first acts as chairman-elect of the Jewish Agency for Israel was to deliver relief to a Muslim country, Albania.
    The delivery of food and medicine to refugees from the Kosovo crisis in April 1999 was a first for the organization best known for rescuing...
  • Dems hit back at GOP Israel ads

    October 5, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Top Democrats are mounting a furious counterattack against claims by Jewish Republicans that the GOP is likelier to favor Israel.
    "Say 'no' to this effort to somehow target Democrats as being opposed to Israel," Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who is Jewish, said Sept.28 in a hastily...
  • World plays waiting game with Hamas

    September 28, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    The call for a Palestinian national unity government has unified just about everyone except the Palestinians. After navigating sessions clouded over with vituperation and nuclear threat, leaders attending last week's U.N. General Assembly seized upon the faint prospect of Mahmoud...
  • Washington Now Linking Iraq, Lebanon

    August 10, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    A funny thing is happening on Israel's way into Lebanon: Its war with Hezbollah is converging politically with the civil war now convulsing Iraq.

    In Baghdad, tens of thousands of Shiite marchers swore allegiance last week to their Hezbollah co-religionists; some even pledged their...

  • Is U.S. Silence on Gaza Sign of Friendship or Weakness?

    July 13, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Is U.S. silence in the face of Israel's massive counterattack on the Gaza Strip a function of friendship or weakness?

    The United States largely has refrained from criticizing the Israeli strikes on Gaza that began June 28, days after gunmen affiliated with Hamas, the terrorist...

  • Gay Marriage Ban Could Alienate Jews

    June 8, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    It's a familiar calculus in the relationship between the Jewish community and the Bush administration: a social issue that divides the country 50-50 has the Jewish community split 75-25 against where President Bush stands.

    On Monday, Bush strongly endorsed the federal marriage...

  • Olmert Receives U.S. Thumbs-Up

    April 6, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Low-key, detail-oriented, a master of the backroom deal: The same qualities that make Prime Minister-elect Ehud Olmert uninspiring for some Israelis are the ones that Americans who deal with him find exciting.

    Olmert's attention to the fine print and his less-than-mythic status in...

  • Critics Pound Paper Panning Israel Lobby

    April 6, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Two weeks after two prominent political science professors published a paper that they promised would expose the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, the collective reaction so far suggests they get a "D" for impact.

    "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," by John...

  • Franklin Sentencing Seen As Ominous

    January 26, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    It was surprising enough that the judge quadrupled the prosecution's recommended sentence for Lawrence Franklin, from three years to more than 12.

    But the true bombshell at the sentencing on Jan. 20 of the former Pentagon analyst, who is at the center of the case involving...

  • Libby, Judaism and the Leak Probe

    November 10, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    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.

    "Non-Jews figuring...

  • Court Nominee Alito Through Jewish Lens

    November 3, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    The long paper trail of hard-hitting conservative opinions that Judge Samuel Alito has left in his wake is perfect fodder for the kind of left vs. right, black-and-white confirmation battle that this town relishes.

    For Jewish groups, however, the clarity of Alito's record fades to...

  • A Defiant, Guilty Plea in AIPAC Case

    October 13, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Lawrence Franklin's plea-bargain pledge to cooperate with the U.S. government in its case against two former American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) officials was put to the test as soon as it was made.

    "It was unclassified and it is unclassified," Franklin, a former...

  • Jordan King Courts U.S. Jews on Future

    September 29, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Jordan's king believes Jews can play a key role in his campaign to win back the Muslim street.

    "The Amman message," initiated by Abdullah II, brought together scholars from the eight main streams of Islam in July to issue edicts that marginalize terrorists who purport to act in the...

  • U.S. Rejects Israel’s Offer of Aid Workers

    September 15, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    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...

  • AIPAC Will Focus on Policy at Gathering

    May 19, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Inside the massive Washington Convention Center, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be talking about the Gaza Strip withdrawal and the Iranian nuclear threat.

    However, in the hallways and the social gatherings of the American Israel...

  • Grim Faces, Tense Words at Summit

    April 14, 2005 | 8:00 pm


    As photo-ops go, this one didn't develop quite as expected.

    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...

  • Jews Try to Sell Withdrawal Plan to Jews

    March 31, 2005 | 7:00 pm


    The hardest sell for American Jewish groups signed on to promote Israel's planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip might be other Jews.

    Many of the major Jewish religious streams, lobbying groups and civil rights groups are encouraging the Bush administration, lawmakers and...

  • Bush Takes Wary Steps in Middle East

    March 3, 2005 | 7:00 pm


    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...

  • Bush Takes Wary Steps in Middle East

    March 3, 2005 | 7:00 pm


    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...

  • East of Western— a Kosher Cornucopia

    February 24, 2005 | 7:00 pm


    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.

    Some in the American Jewish community at first were uneasy about Bush's push for the...

  • Bush Touts Palestine in Europe

    February 24, 2005 | 7:00 pm


    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.

    Some in the American Jewish community at first were uneasy about Bush's push for the...

  • Bush Mideast Plan Gets Tepid Response

    February 10, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    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.

    Many of Israel's friends on Capitol Hill maintained a sullen silence last...

  • U.S. Hedges Stand on Abbas Victory

    January 13, 2005 | 7:00 pm


    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 decisive election Sunday of Mahmoud Abbas, the moderate favored...

  • AIPAC Probe Fails to Erode Support

    December 9, 2004 | 7:00 pm


    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...

  • Israel Watches Iran With Worry

    November 25, 2004 | 7:00 pm


    For Israel, it's the classic "I've got good news, but you might want to hear the bad news first" scenario.

    Just when a confluence of unrelated events revived the prospect of peace talks with the Palestinians, Iran's potential nuclear threat to the Jewish state suddenly seems...

  • In Campaign, It’s All Israel All the Time

    October 28, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    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.

    The prospect of swaying likely voters in a handful of battleground states has brought unprecedented...

  • Florida’s Jews at Eye of Political Storm

    October 7, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    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. And standing at the nexus of this storm, for reasons having as much to do with geography...

  • Evangelicals Back Israel at RNC

    September 2, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    "Well, umm, it's interesting," Air America radio talk show star Al Franken opined on the future of the growing coalition between Jews and evangelical Christians who support Israel.

    We're at the Republican National Convention, walking across the overhead bridge linking Madison Square...

  • Social Issues Still Divide Jews, GOP

    September 2, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    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,...

  • JEWS DECIDE: 2004

    August 26, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    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...

  • CIA Nominee Backs Lesser Mideast Role

    August 19, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    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...

  • Israel Backs Tough U.N. Line on Iran

    June 24, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    These days, it's unusual to get the United States and Britain to agree with France and Germany on any Middle East-related U.N. resolution.

    When Israel also is on board, it's downright extraordinary.

    Israeli officials are elated at the tough language in a resolution passed last week...

  • Ronald Reagan

    June 10, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    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...

  • Sharon Plan Lacks Details on Pullout

    June 10, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    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.

    But the devil often lies in those details,...

  • Likud Vote Doesn’t Deter AIPAC Lobby

    May 13, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    How do you support Israel's official policy when it changes from week to week? That's a question facing the record number of pro-Israel activists heading to Washington for the May 15-18 annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the pro-Israel lobby.


  • Kerry Vies for Jewish Vote

    May 6, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    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...

  • Bush Still Waiting for Reward

    April 22, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    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.

    The Bush administration wants to see clear signs in coming weeks that Israel will...

  • Sharon Wins Big With Bush

    April 15, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    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...

  • Slaying Raises U.S. Peace Plan Concern

    March 25, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    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.

    The United States scrambled Monday to reassure the world --...

  • Terrorist Leader

    March 11, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    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.

    His death, confirmed Tuesday by a U.S. official in Washington, buried the opportunity to put...

  • Kerry Begins Jewish Outreach Effort

    March 4, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Now that he's proven he's electable, John Kerry is ready to tell Americans why he should be elected.

    Only in recent days has the Massachusetts senator started to outline detailed policy positions. Some of these having to do with foreign policy and terrorism have been of particular...

  • Candidates Eye the Jewish Vote

    March 4, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Now that it's down to John Kerry versus George W. Bush, American Jews -- prominent in swing states in what could be a close election -- can expect plenty of attention.

    "Anything that moves a few hundred or a few thousand voters one way or another in any state can cause a seismic...

  • Who Has Kerry’s Ear?

    February 19, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Now that he's running for president, Sen. John Kerry's openness to a broad range of Jewish opinion is making some in the pro-Israel community nervous -- and others hopeful.

    The very quality that attracted Jewish voters to him as a longtime Massachusetts senator is now earning the...

  • Dems Plan to Win Back Jewish Votes

    January 8, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Worried by signs of President Bush's soaring popularity among Jews, Democrats launched a coordinated campaign 18 months ago to win back Jewish votes.

    In recent interviews with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, top Democrats who attended the meetings disclosed the secret strategy...

  • Peace Petition GetsWolfowitz’s Support

    November 6, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    A grass-roots petition for Israeli-Palestinian peace, chugging along slowly for months, took off last week when a powerful and surprising name was attached to it.

    Paul Wolfowitz, the U.S. deputy secretary of defense who is a close adviser to President Bush, voiced strong support for...

  • Israel Addresses Fence Concerns

    October 16, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Israel is plotting each meter of its security fence with great care and consideration, Israeli officials say -- not just to keep terrorists out, but to keep the United States on Israel's side.

    With the Bush administration close to Israel on most other issues of Middle East...

  • Wesley Clark’s Rabbinical Lineage

    September 18, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Raised a Southern Baptist who later converted to Roman Catholicism, Gen. Wesley Clark knew just what to say when he strode into a Brooklyn yeshiva in 1999, ostensibly to discuss his leadership of NATO's victory in Yugoslavia.

    "I feel a tremendous amount in common with you," the...

  • World Left Guessing on Arafat’s Future

    September 18, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    In September 1982, an Israeli sniper in Beirut had Yasser Arafat's head in his gunsights, and he waited for an order from Ariel Sharon, who in turn was awaiting word from Jerusalem: Kill him or set him free?

    Sharon, then defense minister, soon got the order from Prime Minister...

  • Targeted Killings’ Other Casualties

    September 4, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Killing Hamas leaders wounds the terrorist group, Israeli and Palestinian officials agree. At question is whether moderate Palestinians -- and U.S. influence in the region -- are also casualties of Israel's targeted strikes.

    Israel has killed at least 11 leaders of Hamas since the...