By what criteria should Jewish voters select Los Angeles' next mayor? The March 8 election is looming as a referendum on first-term incumbent James K. Hahn.
As professor Raphael J. Sonenshein of California State University, Fullerton noted in an earlier Jewish Journal column, the Jewish community seems split mostly among three candidates.
Despite the smiling images from Sharm el-Sheikh, the fact is that Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, has taken no demonstrable steps to dismantle and disarm the vast Palestinian terror networks, end the incitement or arrest terrorists. And although his rhetoric even after his election has been troublesome (calling for a "big jihad," referring to Israel as the "Zionist enemy," making it clear he will not use force against terrorists, and endorsing the policies of Yasser Arafat), the administration and Congress are falling over themselves to throw vast sums of money his way. President Bush has promised $350 million to Abbas, more than four times that given to Arafat by the Clinton administration.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is picking a fight with longtime powers in Sacramento instead of trying to be everybody's pal, raising a question of whether he can bring voters along with him who are torn by their desire for good government but angry over mounting partisanship.
Voters, according to a recent Mervin Field California Poll, are open to the governor's four reform ideas heading into a probable November special election, even though voters don't personally approve of Schwarzenegger as much as they once did.
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.
Earlier this year, Sen. John Kerry started shifting his position on Israel in hope of removing it as an issue of concern to Jewish voters.
After its gala launch in Switzerland this week, the unofficial Israeli-Palestinian peace proposal known as the Geneva accord is rapidly picking up international support.