Jewish congressman announces departure

Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), the first major Jewish political figure to join the Obama campaign, just after the then-senator had declared his candidacy, announced Oct. 14 that he will resign from Congress in January.

Wexler, 48, who dubbed himself the “fire-breathing liberal” in his manifesto published last year, will lead the Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation. The group was prominent during the heyday of the Oslo peace process in 1993, but it has been moribund since the death in 2002 of its co-founder, former Utah congressman Wayne Owens.

In a statement, Wexler described this as “a unique and critically tense moment in the history of the Middle East with both significant opportunities to succeed in the Arab-Israeli conflict as well as major challenges involving Iran, Hamas and al Qaida.” — jta