Weekend wrapup


First, in case you missed them this week, JTA’s stories on:

  • Chas Freeman’s appointment to chair the National Intelligence Council (which became official on Thursday) and his involvement in peddling Saudi-funded textbooks accused of bias
  • The defendants in the AIPAC case win two big rulings, and there are questions whether the case will go forward under the Obama administration
  • Jewish reaction to the Obama "It’s not a State of the Union, even though it looked just like a State of the Union" speech
  • Jewish leaders don’t want to get involved in internal Israeli politics, generally decline to take a position on whether Avigdor Lieberman should be in the governing coalition

And some other interesting articles you may want to check out over the weekend:

  • Jeffrey Goldberg, at The Atlantic, gives an example of Chas Freeman’s "blind spot" when it comes to Saudi Arabia: "It was the joint American-Saudi decision to place American troops on holy Muslim soil that sent bin Laden around the bend. Freeman, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and a recipient, as head of the Middle East Policy Council, of funds from the Saudi royal family, should know that Saudi Arabia, the native land of most of the 9/11 hijackers, also provided the raison d’etre for al Qaeda, and our entangling alliance with Saudi Arabia made us a target of al Qaeda rage."
  • Jonathan Tobin, at Commentary, wonders why some on the Jewish left are happy about the appointment of Freeman: "It’s now gotten to the point that the people who identify themselves as “pro-peace” are willing to support anything, even the appointment of a truly vile creature, if it is perceived as anti-Israel."
  • Politico has the details on the feud between two Jewish pollsters, Mark Penn and Stan Greenberg
  • The Obama administration didn’t change their mind after Israel supporters objected to Chas Freeman, but apparently did buckle under to pressure from the left in deciding not to nominate Mark Gitenstein, who is Jewish and a longtime aide to Joe Biden, to a top Justice Department post, according to the Washington Post (second item)

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