Judging by the headlines in Israel’s daily tabloids, the first task of President Obama’s new Middle East envoy is earning the trust of the Israelis.
He is one of the most infamous antisemitic caricatures of all time, a devious hook-nosed villain rivaled in stereotypical notoriety by only Shakespeare’s Shylock.
There is perhaps no man in America as reviled and scrutinized as Bernard Madoff, the investor who has reportedly confessed to bilking investors out of some $50 billion. Hoards of photographers have made a habit of amassing outside his Upper East Side apartment building and the federal courthouse for his brief and occasional appearances.
With the war in Gaza over, Israel is gearing up for an internal battle — the February 10 general election. The war transformed the political landscape, bringing Labor off the political sidelines, initially strengthening but then weakening the ruling Kadima party and helping Likud pull ahead into a clear first place.
The link between North America’s federated Jewish charities and the organization that built the State of Israel with their donations, the Jewish Agency for Israel, may be coming unglued.