Four Jewish Democrats kept or earned top slots on U.S. House of Representatives committees.
Sitting in his recently rented campaign office on West Third Street in Los Angeles one afternoon in late August, Rep. Henry Waxman listed — one by one, from memory — some of the coastal and South Bay neighborhoods and cities that are included in the newly redrawn 33rd Congressional District where he’s running for reelection in November.
A J Street-backed letter from 74 Congressional lawmakers urged President Obama to reaffirm support for a two-state solution in the Middle East.
Rep. Brad Sherman doesn’t intend to follow Rep. Henry Waxman’s advice to give up his San Fernando Valley congressional race against Rep. Howard Berman.
As chair of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, Waxman is poised to play a leading role in putting the Obama agenda into law, particularly in health care and in pushing the auto industry into manufacturing energy-efficient and minimally polluting cars.
" . . . What drew me to politics was the esteem I had always felt for public service and the commitment of our religious values to justice, human and civil rights, peace and the importance of helping all people be able to realize their full potential. And, of course, the essential task for our nation to be engaged in the world as a force for good . . . "
What would young Israelis from Sderot do during an all-expense-paid trip to Los Angeles? See Adam Sandler in "Don't Mess With the Zohan," of course.
In fact, Congressman Henry Waxman already did more oversight while in the minority than many Democrats have been able to accomplish with the majority. Back in 2005, David Corn wrote in the Nation magazine that Democrats considered Waxman to be their "Eliot Ness," and that many members wished the rest of the party would adopt his approach.
When the Republicans are in power in Washington, the Jewish political world is usually on the outside looking in, except in matters regarding Israel. With the exception of Israel, the Jewish political orientation (pro-science, pro-choice, favoring economic equality and internationalism) is completely at odds with the contemporary Republican agenda in national politics.
What does the United States effort to enlist Arab countries into the coalition against terrorism mean for the future of strong U.S.-Israel relations?
"Now I must get back into politics, that's the only way to help the Democrats return to power," said U.S. Rep. Henry Arnold Waxman, sitting in his small, plain district office on crowded Third Street near La Cienega Boulevard.