Tuesday, September 22nd 2020   |

The Tell by Ron Kampeas

Sara Gideon could flip Susan Collins’ Senate seat blue. She’s building a wide base of Jewish support to do so.

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — Lou Kornreich’s Shabbat table is a microcosm of the Maine Jewish community, of the national Jewish community, of Maine and of the nation. And he doesn’t like it.

“When I have a discussion at the Shabbos table, there are those on the left who are angry at Susan and those on the right who staunchly support her,” the retired judge told me this week, describing...

How and where the Democrats and Republicans are trying to woo Jewish swing voters

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — One thing we know about elections is that Jewish voters can make a difference. Take Florida: The Sunshine State’s Jewish voters helped deliver its critical electoral votes to Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. Problematic ballots in heavily Jewish Broward County may have clinched George W. Bush’s win in 2000.

In years past I have sat among crowds rallied by Jewish campaign...

The fallout from Eliot Engel’s likely defeat and a look at other primaries

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Jamaal Bowman, the middle school principal who challenged longtime Rep. Eliot Engel in New York’s 16th District, has declared victory based on his 2-1 lead among voters who headed to the polls for this week’s primary. Mail-in votes are still being counted, so Engel, the Jewish chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has not conceded.

That, however, hasn’t stopped the big picture takes. One...

The political center battles to keep its place in a time of turmoil

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — It would seem that most of us agree, left and right, that Black lives matter and that policing reform is long overdue. But there are fissures and fractures under the surface, arguments over the solutions and the candidates most capable of leading us to a better day.

Squeezed in the middle: the political center. At a time of uncertainty and turmoil, the center is battling...

3 Jewish takeaways as unrest from pandemic and George Floyd killing strikes America

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — It’s five months to Election Day and America is in the midst of at least two national crises. The unrest reverberating throughout the land from the coronavirus pandemic and George Floyd killing is plunging Donald Trump’s polling numbers. The president trails the presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, by 14 points, according to a CNN poll that lawyers for the Trump campaign have tried to repress.

...

How the George Floyd protests have echoed through the Jewish community

By GABE FRIEDMAN

Ron is on vacation, so his colleagues are attempting to fill in this week.  (JTA) –This week’s big story, of course, is the sweeping national protests against police brutality and racism.

We’ve covered the responses from Jewish leaders and groups, and there have been many: Some 130 organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, National Council of Jewish Women, national organizations of the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements, and...

The Jewish combat veteran and rabbi’s husband trying to win a Senate seat in Tennessee

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — James Mackler, a Jewish veteran who flew Black Hawk helicopters in combat in Iraq, wears his faith on his sleeve in his bid as a Democrat to win the open Senate seat in Tennessee. Mackler, 47, an attorney who still serves in the National Guard, is a longshot, but his campaign intrigued me: He is just the latest in a proliferation of Jewish veterans...

Inside 3 New York-area congressional races where AOC wannabes want to replace Jewish veterans

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — During the last congressional elections, in 2018, the overarching story was the rise and eventual success of “the resistance,” the Democrats spurred to run for Congress simply because they loathed everything that President Donald Trump stood for. They included some inspired by the Women’s March and anti-bigotry campaigners appalled by Trump’s equivocations over condemning white supremacists.  

Uncovering the Jewish subplot to that story was...

The Trump scandals, season finale

 By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Here’s my completely beside-the-point thought on the latest political developments: Are we living through a weighty HBO political drama? Or a raunchy satirical take on Showtime?

That guy from Season 1 of “The Trump Years” — the one with the striking martial demeanor who, last we saw, was all but perp-walked out of the White House? He’s back just before the Season...

A quick history of Joe Biden’s Middle East policy

BY RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Joe Biden’s vision is expanding, literally: The page on his website labeled “Joe’s Vision” has about doubled in the last week or so, to 35 categories. 

The most recent is “Joe Biden’s Agenda for the Jewish Community.” We’ve discussed here how central one of Biden’s appeals to the Jewish community is, to combat the rise in anti-Semitism on the right, to his entire campaign, and...