Tidbits: Power is back, Coleman balances trial and RJC (UPDATED)

  • Samantha Power, who resigned from the Obama campaign after calling Hillary Clinton a "monster" and made some pro-Israel activists unhappy with her past criticism of Israel, wil reportedly be getting a top job at the National Security Council, according to the Associated Press: "Officials familiar with the decision say Obama has tapped Power to be senior director for multilateral affairs at the National Security Council, a job that will require close contact and potential travel with Clinton, who is now secretary of state. NSC staffers often accompany the secretary of state on foreign trips."
  • Israel Policy Forum’s M.J. Rosenberg, at TPMCafe, asks "Has Israel Jumped the Shark?": "Obama’s America is going to be even-handed in the Middle East not only because that is what Obama is, but because it is what most Americans today expect and want. Younger people, in particular, cannot even imagine that anyone would suggest that even-handedness is bad. To them, that is like saying that the best referee is one who bends the rules to favor one team."
  • New Delaware senator Ted Kaufman talks to the New York Times about his background, raised in his mother’s Catholicism but influenced by his father’s secular Judaism: "After attending Mass on Sundays with their mother, they would return home to eat bagels and lox with their father and engage in wide-ranging discussions. “I knew the world was changing,” he recalled with a smile, “when non-Jewish friends began to say, ‘Let’s go out and get bagels and lox.’ ”
  • Norm Coleman just took a temporary job as a consultant with the Republican Jewish Coalition, but has spent all this week in court for his Senate recount trial — while Al Franken vacations in Florida. The Minneapolis Star Tribune quotes Coleman discussing how he can do both: "I did a national conference call at lunch [Wednesday for the coalition]," Coleman explained. …  "I’m a consultant. I have certain speeches planned and trips planned. I have the opportunity to be here and still consult with this group."
  • Meanwhile, Politico reports the GOP Senate caucus has written a letter to Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid reiterating their opposition to seating Franken before the legal proceedings are concluded: "Senate Republicans will actively oppose any Senate action that circumvents the will of Minnesotans or attempts to short-circuit any process that is designed to provide an accurate result."
  • Harut Sassounian, founder of the United Armenian Fund, writes in the Huffington Post that the Turkish governemnt’s recent anti-Israel rhetoric, and the response to it by some major American Jewish organizations, leads him to believe that"Israel and American-Jewish organizations are no longer willing to support Turkey’s lobbying efforts in Washington."
  • Laura Rozen at ForeignPolicy.com has details on secret U.S.-Iranian dialogue in recent months: "Over the past year, our sources confirmed, former Defense Secretary William Perry and a group of high-level U.S. nuclear nonproliferation specialists and U.S. experts on Iran held a series of meetings in European cities with Iranian officials under the auspices of the Pugwash group. (Pugwash, a group founded in 1957 by an international group of scientists, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995 for advocating for the elimination of nuclear weapons.) Perry served as a member of the Obama campaign’s national security working group."
  • Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia takes part in a powerhouse panel on privacy rights at an Institute of American and Talmudic Law conference in New York, reports Chabad.org, and even offers a Talmud-related joke: “I presume I am here to represent the American law perspective of this panel, as my recent Daf Yomi attendance has been lackluster,” he said, referring to daily study-cycle of the Talmud.

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