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Biden Seeks input on Mideast trip

Friday, 12 March 2010

Vice President Joseph Biden invited U.S. Jewish group leaders to the White House yesteday to get input for his upcoming trip to Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan (and possibly Egypt, if Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is not in Germany).

Among those who attended the powwow yesterday, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations's Alan Solow and Malcolm Hoenlein, the Orthodox Union's Nathan Diament, the Jewish Federation of North America's Kathy Manning, AIPAC's Lee Rosenberg, the Reform Jewish Movement's Rabbi David Saperstein, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism's Rabbi Steven Wernick, former Congressman Robert Wexler, as well as long-time Biden friends Jack Rosen, formerly with the American Jewish Committee, and philanthropist and Democratic donor Haim Saban. Among those who attended from the White House: Dennis Ross, the NSC's senior Iran and wider regional strategist, NSC Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa Daniel Shapiro, Biden and his longtime advisor Tony Blinken.

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In Pakistan, Good Intentions Go Awry

Thursday, 11 March 2010

The Obama administration is treating the situation in Pakistan with a growing sense of urgency that is entirely appropriate. Pakistan today is an unstable nuclear-armed state threatened by Islamic militancy, a combination that could make it the most dangerous country in the world. As head of an American Jewish organization, I have observed this gathering danger firsthand during several visits to the country and through meetings with its top leaders over a number of years.

I have watched with dismay as Pakistan’s crisis has escalated over the past 18 months, when the very efforts the United States has made to induce reform of the political system have instead followed the law of unintended consequences. In November 2007, the Bush administration pressured Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to step down as army chief of staff, a step to move the country out from under military rule. Washington sent a subtle but clear message that it was time for Musharraf to go, to make room for a popular opposition figure heading a secular party, Benazir Bhutto.

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"Jewish leaders to Biden: Reach out to Israelis"

Wednesday, 03 March 2010

Organizations represented at the meeting included the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; the American Israel Public Affairs Committee; the Jewish Federations of North America; the Orthodox Union; the Anti-Defamation League;  the American Jewish Committee; and the National Jewish Democratic Council. Also, Robert Wexler, the former Florida congressman and leading Jewish supporter of Barack Obama who now heads a think tank; Jack Rosen, a former American Jewish Congress head who has long been friends with Biden; and Haim Saban, the entertainment magnate and would-be peace broker who is a major donor to the Democratic Party.


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