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Campaign urges Americans in Israel to vote in U.S. election

A new initiative to get Americans citizens living in Israel to vote in the upcoming presidential election claims it is not advocating a specific candidate. However, its strategic campaign manager admitted it is funded by the “Adelsons” of the philanthropic world.

ONE TIME USE ONLY

Screenshot from iVoteIsrael video campaign: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgBg5mUUku8

I recently came across an ad online seeking volunteers for something called the “iVoteIsrael Campaign.” The link was to a very polished website that encourages Americans living in Israel to vote in the upcoming U.S. election on November 6, 2012.

We are a diverse group of Olim, recent-arrivals as well as vatikim from all over the country who are deeply concerned about the safety, security and future of Israel. Most importantly, we want to see a President in the White House who will support and stand by Israel in absolute commitment to its safety, security and right to defend itself.

The initiative, organized by “Americans for Jerusalem” – a U.S.-registered 501 c(4) nonprofit established solely for the purpose of this 2012 campaign – provides an easy interactive resource to make it as simple and quick as possible to register an absentee ballot. It claims to be nonpartisan and is legally barred from advocating for a specific candidate, but the campaign’s rhetoric certainly perked my ears: A president that supports Israel “in absolute commitment to its safety, security and right to defend itself.” Absolute is a strong word. And “security” for Israel means very different things, depending on whom you ask.

A high-quality video on the website explaining the importance of voting in the upcoming election and the logic behind the initiative:
So they want Americans living here to make Israel the chief factor in voting for the next U.S. president. I called the organization, and after expressing interest in volunteering in the south Tel Aviv area, I was promptly contacted by the campaign’s strategic manager, a British-Israeli named Aron Shaviv. He is no stranger to running election campaigns, having worked as a staffer with the Yisrael Beiteinu campaign in 2006, as well as heading campaigns for center-right candidates in Eastern Europe.

He told me over the phone that he sees the initiative like the work on any other U.S. presidential campaign – visible and grassroots – where the specific focus here is on framing the election in terms of which candidate is best for Israel. And with plenty of Americans living in Israel  (according to estimates, anywhere between 100,000-300,000), there is a chance to influence the outcome.  ”If you can bring 5,000 in Florida, that’s a game changer,” he said.

I asked him whether it mattered that some of the Americans eligible to vote here had not lived in the United States in decades, and some had never even lived there at all.  ”Legally no – 18 states out of 50 allow you to [vote] if your parents are citizens, and you were never there. Morally – the next president and congress will have a profound effect on our safety and security as Americans living in Israel. The decision will affect your life directly and it doesn’t make sense not to vote.”

According to a recent poll published in the Jerusalem Post,  59.9 percent of Americans in Israel said they “would likely, very likely, or definitely vote in the U.S. election, 19.6% said it was unlikely, and 18.1% said they would definitely not cast their ballots.” More significantly, of those who would vote, Republican candidate Mitt Romney received 32.3%, compared to U.S. President Barack Obama with 14.7%, with 27.2 calling themselves undecided.

Asked who funds the campaign, Shaviv told me they are allowed to received undisclosed corporate donations, but he did choose to share that much of it is from Jewish philanthropists, the “[Sheldon] Adelsons of the world,” he said, explaining it was largely conservative figures connected to the Jewish world and Israel. ”If you are a Jewish voter [in America] you are voting on domestic issues. We believe that if people factored Israel into their voting pattern, they might be inclined to vote differently,” he added.

Currently, the majority of Jews in America vote democrat, and they do so with domestic issues in mind, Israel not being a major factor in their decision. Over the last year, the GOP has been hitting Obama for not being “pro-Israel” enough, in order to try and leverage votes from Jews and Christians alike. (This, despite Obama’s record of ultimately being remiss on Israel’s continued policy of occupation and settlement expansion, and his recent reiteration of America’s biased support for Israel to a group of Orthodox American Jews.)

I reckon the “pro-Israel” conservatives behind this campaign are convinced Obama is bad for Israel and are worried that if granted a second term he may actually do something. I can only hope that if Obama is reelected, he does in fact, actually do something. 

 

 

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  • COMMENTS

    1. XYZ

      Of course, had a majority of those polled said they would support Obama, Meirav wouldn’t have written this piece, or pointed out that Adelson was behind it, but rather would have praised those who vote for Obama as being “concerned citizens of the world”.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Rehmat

      That’s no surprise for me. There are thousands of American Jews who hold dual citizen and make a powerful vote-bank in the US elections. Many of them have held very sensitive positions in the successive US administrations.

      Many Israelis are not aware of the fact that both Israeli prime minister Netanyahu and his ambassador in Washington, Michael Oren, can vote in the November 2012 presidential and Congress elections if they wish.

      Some readers may find the story of presidential candidate, Israel-Firster Michele Bachman, amusing!

      http://rehmat1.com/2012/05/13/bachmann-why-i-cant-have-dual-citizenship/

      Reply to Comment
    3. Alex

      great article, especially the last sentence. As an American Jew in Israel I can say I wish there was a similar campaign for liberals advocating Obama. But as much as I love Israel, being an “Israel-firster” when voting for a US election is wrong. You have to do whats for the good of the country you decided to leave, not whats best for the one you immgrated to. What about all the people who have nothing to do with Israel whom your decision may effect? They get stuck with a lousy president and poor domestic policy so that we can feel comfortable that we have fiercely
      “pro-israel” president who is only going to continue letting Israel off the hook ? That’s just not right.

      Reply to Comment
    4. XYZ

      Like most of what Rehmat writes, what he says here about Oren and Netanyahu is NOT TRUE. They had to give up their American citizenship in order to hold the positions in the Israeli government they hold.

      Reply to Comment
    5. caden

      Rehmat is given to holocaust denial. Except when he writing about Jews being vampires

      Reply to Comment
    6. Israelis who think that President Obama has not been supportive of Israel should please consider the following:

      Obama has taken many positive actions for Israel including: rejecting the Goldstone report that criticized Israeli actions in the war in Gaza; asking Congress to approve a $205 million package to help Israel build a new anti-missile defense system; successfully advocating for Israel’s admission into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; giving a speech in the heart of the Arab world, in which he told his listeners that they need to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state; stating to the UN General Assembly clearly and unequivocally that “Israel is a sovereign state and the historic homeland of the Jewish people” and “It should be clear to all that efforts to chip away at Israel’s legitimacy will only be met by the unshakeable opposition of the US.”

      Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have stated many times that the U.S. has been extremely cooperative in meeting Israel’s security needs.

      Another example of Obama’s strong support for Israel is his very positive response to a frantic, middle-of-the-night call from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that helped free six Israelis who were trapped in the Israeli embassy in Cairo that was under attack by militant Egyptians. After they were freed, Netanyahu said:

      I would like to express my gratitude to the President of the United States, Barack Obama. I asked for his help. This was a decisive and fateful moment. He said, “I will do everything I can.” And so he did. He used every considerable means and influence of the United States to help us. We owe him a special measure of gratitude. This attests to the strong alliance between Israel and the United States.

      On September 22, 2011, Prime Minister Netanyahu heaped additional praise on President Obama for his talk at the United Nations, in which Obama expressed opposition to U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state, and indicated that he would veto a resolution supporting that recognition in the U.N. Security Council. Netanyahu indicated that Obama deserved a “badge of honor” for that talk.

      People who think President Obama has a negative attitude toward Jews or that he is more sensitive to Muslims than Jews should consider the following: his initial chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is Jewish and the son of Israelis; his present chief of staff is an Orthodox Jew; one of his key advisors David Axlerod, is Jewish, and he is also a key strategist for Obama’s reelection campaign; Obama nominated a Jew, Elana Kagan, as a Supreme Court Justice (even though that left the 9-member Court with three Jews and no Protestant members; he is the first president to have Passover Seders in the White House; and Obama and his cabinet members have frequently stressed their solidarity with Jews and with Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    7. caden

      So what are you worried about Rich. Obviously Obama is the greatest president ever. For the Jews and everyone else.

      Reply to Comment
    8. No, Caden, Obama is, like every other president far from perfect. I have some disagreements with him. I might give him a grade of B-, but I give Mitt Romney and other Republicans a grade of F, for the following reasons:

      1. Republicans are promoting policies similar to or often worse than those that had such disastrous results during the Bush administration, including converting a three-year major surplus, which was on track to completely eliminate the total federal debt, into a deficit, creating very few jobs, and leaving the country on the brink of a depression, with an average of 750,000 jobs being lost during its last three months.


      2. Republicans have obstructed efforts to get our country out of the tremendous ditch they left us in by voting no on and sometimes filibustering many Democratic proposals, some of which they previously supported and sometimes even co-sponsored.

      
3.. Republicans support continued tax breaks for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans and highly profitable corporations, while basic social services are being cut.


      4. Republican legislators have voted against providing funds to save jobs of teachers, police officers, and fire fighters, providing unemployment benefits to long-time unemployed people, and providing medical benefits to 9/11 responders.


      5. Republicans are generally in denial about the tremendous dangers from climate change, in spite of a very strong consensus in peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals and statements by scientific academies all over the world, as well as the many wake-up calls we have been receiving in terms of severe storms, tornados, floods, heat waves, droughts, and wildfires, that climate change is a major threat, largely caused by human activities. Anyone who thinks that climate change is a hoax promoted by liberals should visit the website of the conservative “Republicans for Environmental Protection.” (www.rep.org)

      6. The Republican Party has moved far to the right under the influence of the Tea Party. There are very few moderate Republicans in Congress today.


      7. While far more needs to be done, Democrats have enacted policies that have turned the economy away from the possible depression that the Bush administration left the U.S. on the brink of. More net private-sector jobs have been created already during the Obama administration than during the entire eight years of the Bush presidency.


      While Democratic policies have not always lived up to our hopes, largely due to Republican obstructionism, a return to Republican rule would be a nightmare. Hence, it is essential to vote Democratic in 2012.


      Reply to Comment
    9. Kolumn9

      Where is the problem? Is it that American citizens have the right to vote? Or is it that they are actually going to vote according to their own interests?
      .

      I also presume given the tone of the article that had the majority of Americans living in Israel been pro-Obama this wouldn’t pose any problem?

      @Rich, sorry, but Obama’s support for Israel once he realized that he is going to have a hard time getting reelected means that he is politically sensitive, not that he is a friend of Israel. For the first two years he was going around attacking the Israeli government and demanding unprecedented concessions a priori, demands for concessions that the Palestinians have now adopted as preconditions to negotiations. Every time Abbas makes his demands for preconditions to negotiations is a reminder of what Obama’s ‘support’ has accomplished. That he is friendly with some Jews is pretty meaningless as well. Chomsky and Finkelstein are Jews and are avowedly anti-Israeli, as are most of the people on mondoweiss. Next you are going to bring out some other well worn out cliches about the support Obama has garnered from JStreet or some other supposedly pro-Israel Jewish organization that have a hard time staying away from condemnation of Israel. This is all well and good but even a brief glance on Obama’s first two years as president shows someone that is agnostic on Israel at best, if not downright hostile. Remind me again when Obama visited Israel as president? And don’t pretend that he hasn’t been in the region a sufficient number of times to drop by. Flight time from Cairo is less than two hours.
      .

      As for the second post where you pretend that Obama is a better choice than this Republican straw man you have created.. More nonsense. A man that got elected on a platform of hope and change is now running a campaign on the basis of deflecting blame for failure and disparaging his opponents. The unemployment rate is going up while housing prices are not despite the record low interest rates. The deficit is sky high and the $1 TRILLION stimulus plan has produced no sustained economic growth. His foreign policy of ‘leading from behind’ is a massive failure. On top of all this, his ‘biggest accomplishment’ in the healthcare bill is widely unpopular and is likely going to be ruled unconstitutional. It is no wonder that Obama can’t run on accomplishments. Rather than running on accomplishments (of which as pointed out there are few) he is running on vague promises of more failed policy and arguing that as president he was powerless. If that is not a complete and total admission of being a failure as a president I do not know what is.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Rehmat

      I hate to agree with you CADEN on Ben Obama. He is not only good for the Zionist regime – Some American idiots even called Obama the “promised Jewish Messiah”.

      When Senator Barack H. Obama was campaigning for the White House, former Jewish Congressman and judge from Chicago, Abner Mikvaner, had said: “I think when it is all over, people are going to say that Barack Obama is the first Jewish President”.

      October 2009 – in an interview, British singer-actor Sting (Gordon Matthew Summer) had equated Barack Obama to Biblical Promised Messaih: “In many ways, he’s sent from God because the world is a mess”.

      Professor Paul Kengor (Grove City College, Pennsylvania), has called Barack H. Obama, “God“, in an article, entitled “Obama, The God That Failed” in the Zionist daily online magazine, American Thinker, published on April 5, 2011. Dr. Kengor, being a Catholic, seems to be very much in touch with his G-d (not Christ of course). He is author of books like; God and Ronald Reagan, God and George W. Bush and God and Hillary Clinton.

      http://rehmat1.com/2011/04/06/obama-jewish-president-messiah-or-g-d/

      Reply to Comment
    11. My responses to Kolumn9 are interspersed below, starting with **** .

      Where is the problem? Is it that American citizens have the right to vote? Or is it that they are actually going to vote according to their own interests?
.
I also presume given the tone of the article that had the majority of Americans living in Israel been pro-Obama this wouldn’t pose any problem?

      **** Who said there was a problem? I just think that potential voters should be provided with facts that generally are not considered. And, yes, no matter what the poll results were, I would have posted the same material.

      
@Rich, sorry, but Obama’s support for Israel once he realized that he is going to have a hard time getting reelected means that he is politically sensitive, not that he is a friend of Israel. For the first two years he was going around attacking the Israeli government and demanding unprecedented concessions a priori, demands for concessions that the Palestinians have now adopted as preconditions to negotiations.

      ***** First, Obama has made positive statements and done positive things for Israel right from the start. And his proposals are consistent with what recent presidents have proposed. Like many Israeli military and strategic experts and prime ministers, Obama recognizes that, while it will be difficult to obtain, a negotiated settlement of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is essential if Israel is to be able to avert renewed conflict, effectively respond to her economic, environmental, and other domestic problems, and remain both a Jewish and a democratic country.

      Every time Abbas makes his demands for preconditions to negotiations is a reminder of what Obama’s ‘support’ has accomplished.

      **** Like many others in Israel and elsewhere, Abbas recognizes that if settlements do not cease, the possibility of a 2-state solution will end and this will be disastrous for Israel.

      That he is friendly with some Jews is pretty meaningless as well. Chomsky and Finkelstein are Jews and are avowedly anti-Israeli, as are most of the people on mondoweiss. Next you are going to bring out some other well worn out cliches about the support Obama has garnered from JStreet or some other supposedly pro-Israel Jewish organization that have a hard time staying away from condemnation of Israel. This is all well and good but even a brief glance on Obama’s first two years as president shows someone that is agnostic on Israel at best, if not downright hostile.

      ***** You are completely ignoring the many positive things Obama has done, some of which I have listed above. No, I will not present any quotes from J Street, but in a later message, I will submit quotes from Prime Minister Netanyahu and other important Israeli political, military, and strategic experts..

      Remind me again when Obama visited Israel as president?

      **** I think he should have visited, but this is not the sole indicator of support.

      ***** More to follow re the second part of your response.

      Reply to Comment
    12. In my comment about settlements above, I meant to indicate that if settlements continue to expand and new settlements are built in Judea and Samaria, the possibility of obtaining a two-state solution will be greatly diminished and this could have disastrous consequences for Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Since several posters have indicated that Obama has a negative record with regard to Israel, the following facts and quotes should be considered:
      President Obama and Israel: The Facts

      Listed in: Israel, Fact Sheets, NJDC News

      Throughout his presidency, President Barack Obama has made strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship a top foreign policy priority. His work to strengthen that relationship places him among Israel’s strongest supporters ever; the facts, with citations, follow below and can be downloaded here as a pdf.

      ”We stand with Israel as a Jewish democratic state because we know that Israel is born of firmly held values that we, as Americans, share: a culture committed to justice, a land that welcomes the weary, a people devoted to tikkun olam…. So America’s commitment … and my commitment to Israel and Israel’s security is unshakeable. It is unshakeable…. I am proud to say that no U.S. administration has done more in support of Israel’s security than ours. None. Don’t let anybody else tell you otherwise. It is a fact.” [Obama, December 16, 2011

      Obama provided Israel with the largest amount of American military aid in U.S. history, including:

      * Over $3 billion per year to assist Israel’s military to ensure it has the latest and most efficient technologies and weapons available; and
      * $205 million in supplemental funding to develop the Iron Dome

      missile system, praised by Israel’s defense leaders for its “exceptional” success at saving the lives of Israelis who live under threat from Hamas’ rockets.

      Obama restored Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME) with advanced weaponry by:

      * Selling Israel bunker busting bombs and F-35 fighter planes while fast-tracking arms sales;

      * Cooperating on U.S.-Israel joint efforts such as the Arrow and David’s Sling missile systems;

      * Committing American troops to the 2009 Juniper Cobra and 2012 Austere Challenge joint military exercises—the largest and most extensive exercises ever with Israel;

      * Authorizing Israel to use American weapons stored in Israel during an emergency; and

      * Working with Israel to combat smuggling into Gaza.

      Obama’s diplomatic support for Israel is unparalleled. Obama:

      * Forcefully opposed the Palestinians’ attempt to unilaterally declare a state;

      * Rallied the world against a nuclear-armed Iran and continues to lead the sanctions effort by example;

      * Voted with Israel 100% of the time at the United Nations, a first in modern history;

      * Defended Israel’s legitimacy on the world stage, and vocally protested efforts to isolate Israel at the United Nations and in UN bodies;

      * Consistently affirmed the U.S.-Israel bond; and

      * Asserted Israel’s right to self-defense repeatedly—including against the Gaza flotilla.

      Obama personally came to Israel’s aid immediately when it needed it most. Obama:

      * Answered Israel’s “3am phone call” and personally intervened to rescue Israel’s diplomats in Cairo; and

      * Personally ordered that Israel receive “whatever it need[ed]” to put out the Carmel fire.

      Israeli Leaders on President Obama

      Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
      “I think that standing your ground, taking this position of principle… I think this is a badge of honor and I want to thank you for wearing that badge of honor.” [September 22, 2011]

      “I would like to express my gratitude to the President of the United States, Barack Obama. I asked for his help. … He said, ‘I will do everything I can.’ And so he did. … We owe him a special measure of gratitude.” [September 10, 2011]

      “I trust Barack Obama, President of the United States to carry out with me the policies that have joined Israel and the United States.” [July 7, 2010]

      President Shimon Peres:
      “Thank you America for being our friend and our ally. And thank you President Barack Obama, for your leadership, for your deep and moving ongoing and unwavering commitment to the peace and security of our land.” [June 30, 2011]

      Defense Minister and former Prime Minister Ehud Barak:
      “The unshakable bonds between Israel and America and their respective defense establishments under the guiding hand of President Barack Obama are stronger and deeper than ever and we are very thankful and appreciative of that.” [December 16, 2011]

      “Our countries are good friends. And I’m the minister of defense, I can tell you… I can hardly remember a better period of support, American support and backing and cooperation and similar strategic understanding of events around us than what we have right now.”

      [August 3, 2011]
      Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon:
      “I can tell you in a very categoric way I believe also in an authoritative way that we have not had a better friend than President Obama and we will continue to work together because not only it’s our ideal it’s also our interests … cooperation has never been better while issues which are of the most sensitive and of most importance to our collective security and wellbeing.” [August 28, 2011]

      Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren:
      “We see things very much eye-to-eye on how to move forward. … The President’s speech here at the General Assembly was quite strong in his support for Israel in its security needs, in its sympathy for the Israeli people and the situation they find themselves in the Middle East and I think the most important thing was the strong emphasis placed on the connection between the Jewish people of Israel and the Land of Israel.” [September 26, 2011]

      Reply to Comment
    14. As above, my responses to Kolumn9′s later comments are interspersed below, starting with **** .

      
As for the second post where you pretend that Obama is a better choice than this Republican straw man you have created.. More nonsense. A man that got elected on a platform of hope and change is now running a campaign on the basis of deflecting blame for failure and disparaging his opponents.

      ***** You are understandably ignoring how bad the economic situation was when Obama took office and heo the Republicans have obstructed every effort by Obama to get us out of the mess G W Bush left the country in.

      The unemployment rate is going up while housing prices are not despite the record low interest rates.

      **** I assume you are aware that the US was losing an average of 750,ooo jobs per month when Bush left office, and Republicans have vote against and sometimes filibustered all efforts to create jobs, even efforts that they supported before Oban=ma became president.

      The deficit is sky high

      I assume you know that G W Bush inherited 3 years of surpluses when he entered office and converted them into major deficits and his policies are still having negative carry over effects on the budget.

      and the $1 TRILLION stimulus plan has produced no sustained economic growth.

      **** Because it was too small, and a good part was tax decreases rather than efforts to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

      His foreign policy of ‘leading from behind’ is a massive failure.

      **** Tell that to Bin Laden the other terrorist leaders that have been killed during Obama’s administration.

      On top of all this, his ‘biggest accomplishment’ in the healthcare bill is widely unpopular and is likely going to be ruled unconstitutional.

      **** It is based on Republican proposals, including Romney care, and has many positive features, trying to correct a very dysfunctional health care system.

      It is no wonder that Obama can’t run on accomplishments. Rather than running on accomplishments (of which as pointed out there are few) he is running on vague promises of more failed policy and arguing that as president he was powerless. If that is not a complete and total admission of being a failure as a president I do not know what is.


      **** And speaking of “failed policies,” what proposals do the Republicans have other than those that were so disastrous during the last Bush administration?

      **** And I assume that you, like most Republicans, are in denial about climate change. If so, please visit the website of “republicans for Environmental Protection: (REP.org)

      Reply to Comment
    15. My letter in the present issue of the Jewish Forward on Romney and the Republicans on climate change

      A Change in the Climate
      Letter to the Editor

      Published June 07, 2012, issue of June 15, 2012.
      PRINT EMAIL
      SHARE
      Kudos to J.J. Goldberg for pointing out in his June 1 column, “Biggest Election Issue? Planet’s Survival,” how critical climate change is for the future of the world, and that this should be a major issue in the presidential campaign.
      The view that we are rapidly approaching a climate catastrophe is reinforced by a strong consensus of climate scientists as indicated by hundreds of refereed articles in respected science journals, by dire warnings from science academies all over the world and by the major increase in the number and severity of storms, floods, heat waves, droughts and wildfires.
      An important factor to consider related to Goldberg’s article is that Mitt Romney and almost all Republicans are in denial about climate change. Because of this, the conservative group Republicans for Environmental Protection was able to endorse only about 4% of Republican candidates for Congress and governorships in the 2010 midterm election. Conservatives who think that climate change is a hoax promoted by liberals should check REP’s website (www.rep.org).

      Richard H. Schwartz

      Read more: http://forward.com/articles/157482/a-change-in-the-climate/#ixzz1xRkEShS7

      Reply to Comment
    16. XYZ

      I told “Left/Progressives” in 2008 that ALL US Presidents end up following the same policies regarding the Arab/Israeli conflict, no matter what they say when they start out. Obama is no different. They all want a Palestinian state, they complain about the settlements but in the end they realize that there is no chance for a compromise peace and simply try to manage the conflict. Those who want support Romney will end up the same way no matter how much he may pander to the pro-Israel voter, for example with prmomises to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem which will be ignored after he should take office. I think Obama is a bigger threat to the US than he is to Israel (I am saying this as an “extremist Right-winger”).

      Reply to Comment
    17. Kolumn9

      @Richard, deflect, deflect, pretend, pretend. That is all that you can find as justification for an Obama second term? Reading it looks like a laundry list of blaming all problems elsewhere. It is almost like Bush is still president and Obama hasn’t been in power for three and a half years. Apparently being president is a job that Obama had no idea how to do up until now and failed miserably at it but it “wasn’t his fault”. He was just too incompetent to understand that all his promises before the election were hollow. So he promised and promised but delivered nothing but failure. Was this a warm up presidency? Is this the argument? “I only had four years and besides even if as president I failed it wasn’t my fault and if you give me another four years I promise to try to fail less.” You are arguing for Obama by justifying failure rather than demonstrating any actual real signs of success.
      .

      As to Obama’s support for Israel. Wait, so for all his support for Israel the president hasn’t bothered to visit Israel since getting elected and instead has been downright nasty to Israel and her leaders for the first two years of his presidency? Here we get more deflection. A president that attacks Israel for two years is justified by arguing that he is doing it out of the best of motivations. Really? Perhaps a better argument is that Obama preferred to improve relations with the Muslim world while throwing Israel under the bus? That might perhaps explain why Obama went to Egypt but decided not to fly two hours to Israel. Perhaps it would also explain why the Palestinians have been using the president’s own words as justification for their intransigence? Or is it simply that Obama and Abbas happen to think alike on issues of Israeli national security? Now there is a hardy pro-Israeli endorsement.
      .

      You think I am ignoring what Obama has done?
      Consistent pressure on Israel for the first two years of his presidency? Obama
      Demands that Israel agree to an indefensible borders? Obama
      Demands for the entirely new condition of a settlement freeze? Obama
      Promises to the Palestinians of a state within a year? Obama
      .

      Tell me again what Obama has done. Maybe this time I will believe your election year fairy tales.

      Reply to Comment
    18. XYZ

      Kolumn9-
      What you wrote about Obama reminds me of a joke the Reagan people said during the 1980 Election campaign (Reagan vs Carter). They said
      “Carter’s election slogan should be ‘Vote For Jimmy Carter and give him four more years of on-the-job-training’”.
      Same applies to Obama.

      Reply to Comment
    19. Kolumn9

      XYZ, yeah. The similarities are striking… When Obama gets voted out of office I expect him to enjoy a long post-presidency Carter-like career of pretending to be relevant.
      .

      I think you are right on the presidents. It is like there is a Middle East presidential handbook written by Dennis Ross that hasn’t been updated in 30 years. Every president tries to follow the handbook and eventually realizes that it is just a hazing ritual by previous presidents. What liberals don’t seem to realize is that Republican presidents actually have more leeway on Israel. In any case, even leaving the whole hating Israel thing out, Obama has been an absolutely terrible president both domestically and internationally. Domestically he has been frittering away several borrowed trillions with no result, and internationally he has been busy pissing away American influence. I have no idea how 64% of American Jews can think that a second term would be a good idea even on domestic considerations alone. How is it that a well educated, affluent community can be so obtuse when it comes to voting for a president?

      Reply to Comment
    20. Mitchell Cohen

      As an dual American/Israeli citizen living in Israel, I have ALWAYS told my family and friends (Jewish and not) living in the States to vote for whoever is best for America. I also did not vote in 2008, nor will I vote in these elections either. I guess the reason I will not vote is a combination of laziness (I am no longer registered to vote in the American elections due to my parents moving to another county) and being disconcerted with both (main) candidates. This is the same reason I didn’t vote in the last elections. When I did vote in the past (both in America and in Israel) I held no affinity towards either (main) party and voted back and forth between Democrat and Republican. In principle, if there was a candidate that WOWed me (i.e. a candidate that would be good for America) I would vote, as the rest of my family lives there and will probably die there. However, that candidate has not stepped up to the plate as of yet.

      Reply to Comment
    21. I have presented many facts and quotes above. No one has disputed then, while making many unsupported accusations.

      I wonder if anyone can dispute any of the following statements:

      A key concern is how will Israel avert renewed conflict, effectively address her economic, social, and environmental problems and remain both a Jewish and a democratic state without a resolution of her conflict with the Palestinians. Of course this will not be easy to obtain, but I believe it should be a priority, with conditions to provide security for Israel a prime concern.

      Additional factors that Jews should consider related to mainly domestic issues:

      1. Republicans are promoting policies similar to or often worse than those that had such disastrous results during the Bush administration, including converting a three-year major surplus, which was on track to completely eliminate the total federal debt, into a deficit, creating very few jobs, and leaving the country on the brink of a depression, with an average of 750,000 jobs being lost during its last three months.

      2. Republicans have obstructed efforts to get our country out of the tremendous ditch they left us in by voting no on and sometimes filibustering many Democratic proposals, some of which they previously supported and sometimes even co-sponsored.

      3.. Republicans support continued tax breaks for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans and highly profitable corporations, while basic social services are being cut.

      4. Republican legislators have voted against providing funds to save jobs of teachers, police officers, and fire fighters, providing unemployment benefits to long-time unemployed people, and providing medical benefits to 9/11 responders.

      5. Republicans are generally in denial about the tremendous dangers from climate change, in spite of a very strong consensus in peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals and statements by scientific academies all over the world, as well as the many wake-up calls we have been receiving in terms of severe storms, tornados, floods, heat waves, droughts, and wildfires, that climate change is a major threat, largely caused by human activities. Anyone who thinks that climate change is a hoax promoted by liberals should visit the website of the conservative “Republicans for Environmental Protection.” (www.rep.org)

      6. The Republican Party has moved far to the right under the influence of the Tea Party. There are very few moderate Republicans in Congress today.

      7. While far more needs to be done, Democrats have enacted policies that have turned the economy away from the possible depression that the Bush administration left the U.S. on the brink of. More net private-sector jobs have been created already during the Obama administration than during the entire eight years of the Bush presidency.

      While Democratic policies have not always lived up to our hopes, largely due to Republican obstructionism, a return to Republican rule would be a nightmare. Hence, it is essential to vote Democratic in 2012.

      Reply to Comment
    22. XYZ

      Kolumn9-
      Every President since Kennedy has said he is a “friend of Israel”. What does it mean to be a “friend”? What does it mean to be “pro-Israel”. Today, anyone who says Israel has a “right to exist” even while excoriating Israel for everything it does will say he is “pro-Israel” or is a “Zionist”. Shmuel Rosner correctly points out that to be “pro-Israel” has consequences regarding policy. For example, to support a vote in the UN against Israel can NOT be considered in any way, shape or form to be Pro-Israel (something J-Street did).
      TO be a friend means to be willing to go out of your way to help another friend in trouble. THus, I am mystified as to why George W Bush is considered a “good friend” of Israel. During the massive suicide bomber campaign his acolytes such as Colin Powell were constantly hectoring Israel to show restraint and they refused to criticize Arafat. Condi Rice was comparing Israel to the Jim Crow South. How is that being a friend? AFter the Democrats won the 2006 Mid-term elections, Bush dumped Donald Rumsfeld and adopted the policies that Obama merely continued after he came to office. The best true friend Israel ever had in the White House was Lyndon Johson who refused to force Israel out of the territories conquered in the Six Day War and greatly increased arms sales to Israel. He also pushed UN Security Council Resolution 242 which is quite favorable to Israel.
      Other Presidents who did not have particularly strong sentiments to Israel have helped when help was needed. Nixon sent the arms air lift during the Yom Kippur War, against Kissinger’s wishes. Gerald Ford, another person not particularly sympathetic to Israel greatly increased economic aid after Israel was bankrupted by the Yom Kippur War and gave assurances of American support for Israeli control of the Golan Heights.
      Even Obama vetoed the condemnation of Israel’s settlement policy.
      Thus, expect things to remain more or less the same no matter who wins.

      Reply to Comment
    23. Shmuel

      Rehmat – you are wrong. Michael Oren and all members of knesset must give up their US citizenship to hold office. Michael Oren even wrote about it being emotional to give him his US citizenship

      Reply to Comment
    24. Kolumn9

      @Richard, more Republicans this and Republicans that. It is impressive that you can write a long post that supposedly defends Obama’s record and not even mention his name once. The amazing thing here is that it is 2012 and not 2008 and Obama has been president for 3.5 years. Obama, not a random faceless Democrat is running for REELECTION. Obama, whose failure you blame elsewhere, but whose failure you seem to accept as real and whose future failure is almost assured if he wins a second term. So, your ideal president for the next four years is a man who achieves nothing as long as he can find someone else to blame? Now there is a strong case for reelection. “Vote for me because I already have a record of failure I blame other people for”. How about “Four more years of failure that I swear will not be my fault”. Or “Obama. Four more years of the buck stopping elsewhere.”
      .

      @XYZ, agreed.

      Reply to Comment
    25. Peter H

      “Shmuel Rosner correctly points out that to be “pro-Israel” has consequences regarding policy. For example, to support a vote in the UN against Israel can NOT be considered in any way, shape or form to be Pro-Israel (something J-Street did).”

      So, basically, by XYZ’s definition, every country in the world is anti-Israel except for the United States, Canada, & Micronesia.

      Reply to Comment
    26. David

      With each passing day, Israel becomes a bigger piece of doo doo on America’s shoe, a millstone around its neck. Fortunately, Americans are waking up and realizing what a huge geopolitical and economic liability Israel is. What goes around, comes around. The “special relationship” must and will end.

      Reply to Comment
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