Jewish Journal

This week in power: Hillary question and Crimea update

by Danny Groner

March 19, 2014 | 8:14 pm

A roundup of the most talked about political and global stories in the Jewish world this week:

Where's Hillary stand?
For some American Jews, the U.S. government's relationship with Israel is the central issue. And this week CNN wondered what presumptive 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton would bring to that conversation. "After losing to Obama, Clinton signed on to be the new President's secretary of state and the face of his foreign policy. Over the next four years, some Jewish leaders said Clinton's once-consistent, outspoken leadership on Israel was hamstrung by her role as Obama's top diplomat," CNN said. It's not like things got any better under Secretary of State John Kerry, wrote Mona Charen at National Review: "After years of meetings, the Palestinians have refused even to recognize Israel as a legitimate Jewish state. Kerry’s response has been to tell Israel to stop asking for that."

So what's in store for 2016? Some are worried. "Obama’s squandering of American credibility has been so persistent and multi-faceted that it becomes difficult to resist concluding that he has intended to impair his successors’ ability to exert influence in foreign affairs. Given Obama’s deep distrust of America, we shouldn’t be surprised," said Paul Mirengoff at Powerline.

Crimea reassurance
Members of Knesset spoke with Jewish leaders from Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, this week. The prognosis sounds okay. "There is tension in the air, but Jews have not been forced to take hiding or mask their identity. While there have been some anti-Semitic incidents, there is no system-wide anti-Semitism. The perceived threat to the Jewish community has not increased since the revolution," Rabbi Meir Stembler said. A prominent members of the Jewish community there told the Boston Globe, “Up until now, I could say I’m a citizen of Ukraine,” he said. “Now, I want to say I’m proud to be a Ukrainian who feels freedom and dignity to be a Jew.”

The situation may stay the way it is for at least a little while. "And, though that nationalism may yet be directed against Ukraine’s Russians, Poles, and Jews, as it was in the past, the rest of the movement would resist such a turn (which may well explain why it has not happened)," said Konstanty Gebert at Project Syndicate.

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Danny Groner is a contributing writer to the Jewish Journal. He has worked in journalism since he was a teenager, starting off as an intern for a local publication. During his...

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