The recent showdown at the United Nations Security Council over a proposed resolution condemning Israel’s settlement policy did more than highlight Israel’s isolation in the international body. It also reminded many that for the past six months Jerusalem has been lacking a permanent ambassador to represent its interests in the most public arena of international politics.
Dan Shapiro, whose direct phone number in the White House is on speed dial for most Jewish leaders, could soon be heading to Israel as the top U.S. diplomatic envoy in Tel Aviv. According to a February 22 report in Politico, President Obama intends to appoint Shapiro, who serves as senior director for Middle East and North Africa at the National Security Council, as ambassador to Israel.
The irony of the election of the first Jewish mayor in the nation’s third largest city is that his religion seemed not to matter much at all. Rahm Emanuel made history by winning 55% of the vote February 22 to become Chicago’s next mayor, obviating the need for a run-off by blowing away the opposition.14
Max Florin, whose young visage was published on the inside pages of the Forverts in the aftermath of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, has been named in an HBO Films video as one of the six unknowns who were buried in a mass grave nearly 100 years ago.8
It’s finally happened. Earlier this afternoon the House voted 240 to 185 to deny all federal funding to Planned Parenthood. Even worse, this was a vote to end all Title X funding — that’s the funding that is devoted to providing preventive health and comprehensive family planning services to low-income families. Planned Parenthood currently receives zero federal funding for abortion, thanks to the Hyde Amendment. So while ostensibly done in the name of anti-abortion policy, today’s amendment sponsored by Representative Mike Pence of Indiana, was really an all-out attack on poor women’s health care.12
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