Jeff Goldberg Writers: Obama is the most Jewish president we’ve ever had (except for Rutherford B. Hayes). No president, not even Bill Clinton, has traveled so widely in Jewish circles, been taught by so many Jewish law professors, and had so many Jewish mentors, colleagues, and friends, and advisers as Barack Obama (though it is true that every so often he appoints a gentile to serve as White House chief of staff)… I’ll grapple with the meaning of Obama’s Jewishness later, but the dispute between the Jewish right and the Jewish left over Obama is actually not about whether he is anti-Jewish or pro-Jewish, but over what sort of Jew he actually is.
Daily Archives: 03/11/2012
The Hill: The primary fight between Democratic Reps. Steve Rothman and Bill Pascrell is creating a rift between northern New Jersey’s Muslim and Jewish communities.
At the center of the rift sit two competing sets of allegations. One accuses Rothman — a Jew — of putting Israel before the United States. The other accuses Pascrell — a Catholic — of not supporting Israel enough, subtly tapping into some voters’ fears about the area’s Muslim population.
The dispute in the suburbs just west of New York City is playing out against the backdrop of escalating tensions over Iran’s nuclear program and the prospect that Israel may soon launch a preemptive attack. It also coincides with a public uproar over revelations that the New York Police Department has been conducting secret surveillance on Muslim communities in New Jersey.
Politicker NY: Westchester Congresswoman Nita Lowey sent out an email to supporters asking for donations, and she cited two timely prospects as a reason for her backers to give: the prospect of Ms. Lowey’s district changing drastically, and the prospect that she could become chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee.
“With my esteem colleagues Norm Dicks’ announcement that he will retire I am waging a serious campaign for this prestigious position. And, when Democrats win back the Majority, I could be the first woman to Chair this powerful committee!” Ms. Lowey writes.
With concern setting in among downstate Republican leaders that the three declared candidates vying for the nomination to take on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in the fall will be crushed, state Republican Chairman Ed Cox spoke to Rep. Bob Turner this weekend about possibly jumping into the race, a source familiar with the conversation said. The source says Turner’s decision as to whether he’ll run for Senate hinges in part on the outcome of the redistricting process. The Assembly and Senate are expected to introduce new maps close to midnight this evening. Federal Magistrate Roanne Mann eliminated Turner’s district in her proposed plan. – Capital Tonight
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent $236,625 to run television ads last month supporting Linda Lingle’s run for the U.S. Senate. From Feb. 9-22, the spots blanketed commercial and cable stations across the state. Thanks to the Chamber, Hawaii voters likely saw more ads for Lingle, a Republican, than her Democratic rivals Ed Case and Mazie Hirono, who first aired their own ads in late January through early February. Indeed, the U.S. Chamber spent roughly twice what Case and Hirono spent combined. – Civil Beat
Florida Jewish Republicans like Sid Dinerstein are out in force. Chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party, Dinerstein speaks to Jewish voters whenever he can. One of his key tactical goals: setting up beachheads in the retiree-heavy condominium communities in the county’s western suburbs where many Jewish seniors live. In early February, he helped gin up support at the new Ronald Reagan Club at Valencia Palms west of Delray Beach. Dinerstein’s Republican counterparts in Broward are doing the same, and launched a Jewish outreach effort last year. There’s an active Republican club at Wynmoor Village, the retiree-heavy condominium community in Coconut Creek that’s home to many Jewish residents. – Sun Sentinal
“The bottom line is that Rush Limbaugh’s comments were just nasty and directed at a particular young woman who had a particular point of view and was expressing herself,” Schumer said. “Bill Maher’s a comedian, it’s much different. Rush Limbaugh has tremendous weight in the Republican Party, no one will rebut him. Bill Maher‘s a comedian who’s on at 11 o‘clock at night but has very little influence on what’s happening here,” he added. A Schumer spokesman later told Politico he “thinks those comments [made by Maher] are inappropriate and wrong.” The Blaze
Forward Reports: A Florida bill that would have barred applying Muslim sharia law in family or divorce court matters, has reportedly died in the state Senate. The measure, which experts warned could also impact Jewish divorce issues, was never brought up for a vote in the closing hours of the Senate’s legislative session, according to local reports. The bill overwhelmingly passed the state house last week and seemed headed for easy passage in the Republican-controlled Senate.
From YWN: YWN was shocked to discover an article written by New York State Senate candidate David Storobin preaching apikorsus. In this essay Storobin says many things that are against fundamental Jewish beliefs including that the “there is no evidence of Jewish presence in Egypt.” He goes on to say that the story of yitzyas mitzrayim and Jews defeating Egyptians is “ridiculous.” He adds that that there was no way that Yehoshua could have conquered Canaan and that Jericho’s walls had fallen from an “earthquake” and were not, as Storobin describes, “magically destroyed by the noise from the Hebrew’s horn.” The worst part, perhaps, of Storobin’s essay? As proof of his scholarship and accuracy, Storobin cites a television program on the Discovery Channel. Read the full essay at Yeshiva World News
I have no doubt that Obama will not get the kind of support he got from the Jewish community in 2008 this time around,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a life-long democrat and the son of Holocaust survivors. Hikind has been hot on the media circuit this week voicing concern about the president’s assurance that “I have Israel’s back” regarding a possible Israel-Iran military confrontation over Iran’s purported development of nuclear weapons. The president’s comments were made in a speech he gave to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington, D.C., on Sunday. Examiner Via VIN
HuffPost Reports: When Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) formally kicked off his Senate campaign earlier this month, a scuffle in the back of the room drew attention away from him.
A Mandel aide was using his hands, body, head and hair to block a state Democratic Party employee from filming Mandel as he spoke and gladhanded around the room. The practice of taping opponents’ public comments, known as tracking, is common but some in Ohio said Mandel’s campaign is the “most aggressive” in blocking it.