New Crop of U.S. Jewish Advocates Face Landmines

By Michelle Boorstein For a new crop of American Jewish leaders picked to lobby the new White House, this is … Continued

By Michelle Boorstein

For a new crop of American Jewish leaders picked to lobby the new White House, this is a complex, touchy time.

Israelis recently elected a government led by Benjamin Netanyahu, who has decidedly different views about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from President Obama – Netanyahu does not endorse a two-state solution, a basis of Obama’s agenda for that region.

Some of the biggest players picked to come to Washington to lobby on Israel (and other Jewish issues) have longstanding ties to Obama, including Lee Rosenberg, the brand new president of lobbying powerhouse AIPAC, and Alan Solow, the new chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Both supported Obama as a candidate.

The potential land mines are laid out a bit in a new piece in The Forward, the country’s largest Jewish newspaper, which says relations between Washington and Jerusalem “could be rocky.”

Advocacy for and about Israel has been growing in the last few years in general, including the founding of left-leaning lobbying firm J Street (meant to counter AIPAC) and new groups focused on strengthening the bond between American Jews and Israel. Many experts and pollsters believe that connection is getting weaker, partially because of young Jews’ fatigue with the Palestinian conflict.

The Rabbinical Assembly, the worldwide body of rabbis from the Conservative Movement, yesterday announced it has created a new Israel Advocacy Office in Washington. Potomac Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt was named head of the group, just weeks after Alexandria Rabbi Jack Moline was picked to run the group’s office of public policy.

The Assembly seems to be making a bigger push in Washington, picking a crop of local leaders already known around Capitol Hill. Rabbi Jeffrey Wohlberg, who was the longtime rabbi at Temple Adas Israel (Washington’s biggest Conservative synagogue), is president of the group.

Do you think we’re in for a shift in U.S.-Israel relations?

Comments are closed.

Read More Articles

Magical Thinking and the Canonization of Two Popes

Why Pope Francis is canonizing two popes for all of the world wide web to see.

Pope Francis: Stop the Culture of Waste

What is the human cost of our tendency to throw away?

chapel door
“Sometimes You Find Something Quiet and Holy”: A New York Story

In a hidden, underground sanctuary, we were all together for a few minutes in this sweet and holy mystery.

Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

Sociologist: Religion Can Predict Sexual Behavior

“Religion and sex are tracking each other like never before,” says sociologist Mark Regnerus.

The Internet Is Not Killing Religion. So What Is?

Why is religion in decline in the modern world? And what can save it?

river dusk
Cleaner, Lighter, Closer

What’s a fella got to do to be baptized?

From Passover to Easter: Why I’m Grateful to be Jewish, Christian, and Alive

Passover with friends. Easter with family. It’s almost enough to make you believe in God.

Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

The End of Surveillance for New York Muslims — For Now

How American Muslims modeled the right response to systematic injustice.