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Tag: James D. Besser

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  • The Darfur Genocide Is Still on

    By James D. Besser

    September 22, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Jews aren't among those being killed, raped and displaced in the Darfur region of Sudan, but the situation there is nonetheless a Jewish disaster.

    The slogan, "never again," the redeeming lesson of the Holocaust, is turning into a farce in the African nation, as world leaders...

  • Disaster Exposes Government Failures

    By James D. Besser

    September 8, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    President Bush and Congress talk a good game when it comes to homeland security, but the tragic truth is that the country is less able to cope with disasters than before Sept. 11, 2001. The proof is on the flood-ravaged streets of New Orleans, where an unprecedented natural disaster...

  • Jews Face Awkward Court Fight Position

    By James D. Besser

    July 7, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    The political brawl over the replacement for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who announced her resignation last week, could be the most bitter since Justice Clarence Thomas' 1991 confirmation battle.

    And that free-for-all, which liberals and conservatives alike predict...

  • The Faith Wars Heat Up

    By James D. Besser

    May 19, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    It's nothing less than a revolution; in states across the country, an empowered Christian right is changing laws, rewriting textbooks, transforming the judiciary and even redefining science.

    The nation's culture wars have taken another leap in intensity. Since the 2004 elections,...

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  • Rice Promises More Mideast Presence

    By James D. Besser

    January 20, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    U.S. Mideast policy during the second Bush administration will be even more focused on the White House, with a new secretary of state who will be more directly involved in implementing the president's policies.

    That was one message Condoleezza Rice, the president's choice to...

  • Battles Shaping Up in New Congress

    By James D. Besser

    January 6, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    With the holidays and the congressional interregnum, Washington has been a quiet place in recent weeks. But that quiet belies feverish behind-the-scenes planning as political partisans and advocacy groups get set for a particularly contentious legislative session.

    Despite high...

  • 2004 Takes Some Unexpected Turns

    By James D. Besser

    December 30, 2004 | 6:59 pm

     

    There's nothing as risky as end-of-year predictions, as 2004 so painfully demonstrated.

    Twelve months ago, otherwise sober analysts were predicting a political upheaval among Jewish voters and that Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor, was a cinch to win the 2004 Democratic...

  • Israel Can’t Ignore Divestment Threats

    By James D. Besser

    December 2, 2004 | 7:00 pm

     

    American Jewish leaders see it as a dire threat, but in Jerusalem, the current push for divestment by mainline Protestant groups eager to punish the Jewish state is a nonissue -- so much so that at a recent conference, Israel's foreign minister admitted he didn't have a clue about...

  • Peace Opportunity Requires U.S. Action

    By James D. Besser

    November 18, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    With Yasser Arafat in his Ramallah grave and President Bush promising to renew efforts to create a Palestinian state, speculation is mounting about exactly what the administration's next Mideast moves might be.

    There's plenty of talk about what the Palestinians need to do to curb...

  • Candidates Blow Campaign Smoke

    By James D. Besser

    October 21, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    It's crunch time in the presidential campaigns. With less than two weeks to go and most polls pointing to a photo finish, both President Bush and Sen. John Kerry are pulling out all the stops -- as long as those stops are in a tiny handful of swing states.

    The spin machines are in...

  • Is Israel Spy Claim a Neocon Backlash?

    By James D. Besser

    September 2, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Hours after CBS News first reported that federal officials were investigating a possible Israeli "mole" at the Pentagon, the first analysis hit the wires claiming that the emerging scandal wouldn't damage U.S.-Israel relations.

    It was quick journalistic work, but it wasn't worth the...

  • Gaza Plan Foes Face Evangelical Aid Loss

    By James D. Besser

    April 8, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    With the Gaza disengagement plan picking up momentum and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon getting set to pitch the proposal to the Bush administration at Camp David next week, right-wing Jewish groups are counterattacking, hoping to forestall U.S. support for the plan. Their partners in...

  • Speaking Truth to Power—Not

    By James D. Besser

    April 1, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    There's nothing bashful about Jewish organizations, but in 2004, many suddenly go mute if the subject involves potential conflict with the Bush administration. 

    The silence epidemic has been particularly evident in the ongoing Capitol Hill battles over President Bush's proposals...

  • AJC Poll Punctures Political Wisdom

    By James D. Besser

    January 15, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    The 2003 American Jewish Committee (AJC) survey of Jewish public opinion released this week was hard on the propagators of political conventional wisdom.

    The survey contained mixed news for Jewish Democrats and Republicans, although both sides spun the results as an unqualified...

  • U.S. Jewish Leaders Face Risky Situaton

    By James D. Besser

    May 29, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    As a new round of Mideast peacemaking begins, U.S. Jewish leaders are putting themselves on the line for a government in Jerusalem, whose real intentions are more impenetrable than ever.

    In a flurry of actions and statements in recent days, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon just added to...

  • Road Map’s Route Leads Toward Clash

    By James D. Besser

    April 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Why are pro-Israel groups in this country so fussed about the "road map," the blueprint for Palestinian statehood that could be officially delivered to Israel and the Palestinians in the next few weeks?

    Despite the fact that the three-stage plan demands a quick end to Palestinian...

  • The Pros See Some Cons on Lieberman

    By James D. Besser

    January 16, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Now that his kippah is officially in the presidential ring, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) is expected to win enthusiastic support from Jews across the country. But his formal announcement on Monday has also touched off a quiet undercurrent of concern that 2004 may not be as...

  • Making the Case for a Jewish State

    By James D. Besser

    March 28, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Jews in more than 100 communities across the nation gathered on Sunday, March 24, to show their support for Israel -- a welcome, if hastily organized, expression of solidarity as the Jewish state faces continuing terrorism and an increasingly treacherous diplomatic climate.

    The same...

  • Washington Reassesses

    By James D. Besser

    January 17, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    The Bush administration, reeling from a week of explosive developments on the troubled Israeli-Palestinian front, is reexamining even its limited efforts to win a cease-fire in the 16-month-old intifada.

    That reassessment -- that resulted in this week's indefinite postponement of a...

  • Durban, the Sequel

    By James D. Besser

    November 29, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Geneva and Ann Arbor, Mich., may be a world apart, but they now have something in common: both are settings for a reinvigorated effort to undercut the very legitimacy of Israel.

    The same folks responsible for turning this summer's Durban conference on racism into an anti-Israel...

  • Exploding American Complacency

    By James D. Besser

    September 13, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Terrorism, a part of everyday life in Israel for decades, exploded in the face of a complacent America with the twin terror attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 11 and left a gaping, charred hole in the Pentagon in Washington.

    The bombings could have...

  • Peacekeeping Conundrum

    By James D. Besser

    July 26, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Speculation about a possible observer force in Gaza and the West Bank reached a fever pitch this week, thanks to proposals by the G-8 and the European Union, and a confused response from a U.S. administration that is foundering in the whirlpool of Mideast politics.

    First, officials...

  • Laying Out Markers

    By James D. Besser

    May 17, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    The Bush administration, determined to scale back U.S. Mideast involvement, is being drawn into the seething center of the conflict as Israeli-Palestinian confrontations rage.

    But President George W. Bush and his foreign policy team, anxious to avoid the overinvolvement of their...

  • A Tough Transition

    By James D. Besser

    December 14, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Presidential transitions are tough even in the best of circumstances. And with the outcome of this year's political brawl delayed by weeks of legal and political maneuvering, the 2001 transition will be tougher than most.



    That could play out in dangerous ways in the seething...

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