For those of you who were concerned, Raphael Sonenshein, columnist and political scientist at Cal State Fullerton writes, wrote a piece for the Los Angeles Jewish Journal titled, "Jews Have Seats at Obama’s Head Table."
As inauguration day approaches, the promises of the campaign are turning into the reality of governing. Jews and friends of Israel certainly have seats at the head table in Obama’s administration. His chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, and his adviser, David Axelrod, are likely to be major decision makers. His candidate for secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, though not Jewish, is a strong friend of Israel and was the preferred candidate of the majority of Jewish Democrats during the nomination process. And under her wing, Dennis Ross will be handling sensitive negotiations in the Middle East.
Furthermore, Henry Waxman, the fiery congressman from Los Angeles, won the chairmanship of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, where his influence over national policy will be immense.
On foreign policy...
In the area of foreign policy, though, Obama faces extremely thorny challenges that will be very important to Jews and to Israel. The most urgent problems include Iran and its nuclear program and Israel’s conflict with Hamas in Gaza. Bush has left Obama with an Iran greatly strengthened by the war in Iraq, in which the United States conveniently removed one of Iran’s main adversaries.
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