Jane Harman’s exit is good news

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This story is a day old, I know, but LA congresswoman Jane Harman is leaving Congress, where she spearheaded Israel’s concerns, to head the Woodrow Wilson Institute for Public Policy.

Is it a win or a loss? I think it’s a win. It takes a real rightwing crank on the issue out of Congress, where she’s really standing in the road. (Her two-time primary opponent Marcy Winograd–who puts Palestinian human rights at the top of her issues list and would visit Bradley Manning in solitary– is thinking of running, and might actually threaten for the seat in the special election?)

Also, Harman is 65. Her move reflects the largest force working for our side: the aging of the Israel lobby. Her husband Sidney is 92; he owns Newsweek and the Daily Beast, and will presumably back the Wilson Institute, too, and make sure that it’s conservative on the issue. But I still feel she’s out of the way. Will Haim Saban be calling her now? Somehow I doubt it…

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Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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