Sunday, May 9th 2021   |

The Tell by Ron Kampeas

A Florida congressional race between two Jews symbolizes the culture war


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Just two years ago, right-wing provocateur Laura Loomer was making headlines for being banned from social media and rideshare services for her anti-Muslim and anti-migrant rhetoric. 

Now Loomer, who is Jewish, is facing off against Lois Frankel, the Jewish incumbent in Florida’s 21st District, which includes Palm Beach and not so incidentally President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. Trump has endorsed Loomer and his campaign...

This week in Jewish political news: Bay State update, Jews and the Black Lives Matter movement, and more


(JTA) — Here’s a rundown of what we’ve covered while we miss our man in Washington. He’ll be back next week!


Bay State update There were lots of Jewish candidates in the running in primaries this week in Massachusetts, including Alex Morse, the progressive Democrat who was trying to unseat a longtime senator and become the first Jewish member of “The...

At the Republican convention, some unconventional messaging for American Jews


WASHINGTON (JTA) — This week’s Republican convention was the first political confab to feature Jerusalem as a backdrop.

It may be the last. A congressional subcommittee and two citizens have taken steps to launch investigations into whether Secretary of State Mike Pompeo broke the law by using government resources for a political campaign.

Pompeo said he filmed the message on his dime and time. His critics say...

For Democrats, the pendulum has swung back on Israel


WASHINGTON (JTA) —Democrats used their online convention this week to pitch the party’s case to the American people. They covered most issues, from health care to immigration to climate change to women’s and racial justice. Any Israel controversy was very much not on the table.

What appeared less than a year ago to be a party pendulum swinging away from conventional pro-Israel orthodoxies has swung back. The...

The Israel-UAE agreement, winners and losers edition


By GABE FRIEDMAN and BEN SALES (Ron Kampeas is off this week)

(JTA) — The treaty between Israel and the United Arab Emirates is a big deal.

The agreement, announced Thursday in a joint statement from the White House and called the Abraham Accord, means that Israel will now have diplomatic and economic relations with a country that previously did not recognize it. In return for recognition and relations,...

The centrality (or not) of Israel for progressives


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Rashida Tlaib, the Palestinian-American congresswoman from Michigan, calls Bernie Sanders “Amo Bernie,” using the Arabic term of endearment for “uncle.”

I learned that Wednesday night watching an hourlong lovefest hosted by the Vermont senator on his YouTube channel for three candidates he has endorsed: Tlaib (who beat a primary opponent in her Detroit district), Cori Bush (who just ousted a longtime pro-Israel congressman in...

Phoenix mayor rising


WASHINGTON (JTA) — I wrote this week about Phoenix’s young Jewish mayor, Kate Gallego, who is earning national attention for her calm pushback against efforts led by Republicans to diminish the importance of wearing facemasks.

Gallego, nee Widland, became a city planning geek as a kid with the help of the computer game Sim City (her imaginary city models included synagogues). She earned a degree in environmental...

Wish you were voting


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Old-fashioned postcards remain one of the best ways to get out the vote in underserved communities. Who knew?

I picked up this nugget while reporting a story this week about what Jewish groups are doing to get out the vote. 

A number of Jewish organizations, preeminent among them the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center and the Anti-Defamation League, have allied with African-American groups for...

Resurrecting annexation


WASHINGTON (JTA) — When I spoke to Mike Evans, an evangelical leader who founded a Jerusalem museum celebrating Christian supporters of Israel, earlier this week, he offered a bold prediction — one that doesn’t appear to comport with current events.

“Before the election, I think President Trump’s going to come out and declare sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria, and the Jordan Valley and declare that the...

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


(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...