The American Jewish allegiance to the Democratic Party is not as strong as it once was, nor as invulnerable as it may appear in the wake of Obama’s victory. Republicans can undermine it, but only if they revamp their party and realize that Israel is not the only issue that American Jews care about. By Dov Waxman They had the money (thanks to Sheldon Adelson), they had the belief, and they had the attack lines (“Obama throwing Israel under the bus”), so what went wrong? Why did the Republican Jewish establishment—led by the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) and the Emergency…Read More... | 6 Comments
Mr. Adelson, a friend and supporter of Prime Minister Netanyahu, poured almost 100 million dollars into six Republican campaigns, but saw only one of his candidates win. Sore losers: Israel Hayom, the free daily paper owned and published by American gambling billionaire Sheldon Adelson, didn't try to hide its disappointment over the results of the U.S. elections. This morning, a large headline in the news section declared that "America chose socialism." The sub-headline reads: "Obama's second term in the White House could lead to a greater economic crisis than that of 2008." Early this week, articles in Israel Hayom were still…Read More... | 14 Comments
Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni can win the January 22 election. If there is one loser in the U.S. election outside the U.S., it is Benjamin Netanyahu - and all of Israel knows it. No one is fooled by his denials that he backed Romney and opposed Obama as demonstratively as he possibly could. The widespread conviction, now that Obama has won four more years in the White House, is that Bibi has endangered Israel's relationship with America in a way that is unprecedented in its recklessness. No Israeli prime minister ever took sides in a U.S. presidential election like…Read More... | 20 Comments
The president gets a second chance to challenge the status quo on the Palestinian issue. But will his personal dislike for Netanyahu translate to effective pressure on Israel? I wouldn't bet on it. 1. Israel was mentioned 34 times in the final presidential debate, and in the end, it didn't matter. The Republican strategy in the last four years – going after the White House for "throwing Israel under the bus" – did not hurt Jewish support for the president. According to exit polls, Obama got 70 percent of Jewish votes, a slight decrease from 2008, overall matching the votes…Read More... | 13 Comments
It's true that there isn't much difference between the two candidates on foreign policy, and it's true we could use a little less American ambition globally. But if you're letting foreign affairs discourage you from voting, you're playing that same old imperial game, and you're doing it at the expense of much more immediate and crucial issues - especially women's rights. Here's a nagging feeling I've been having all day long: I appreciate many, many people feel badly disappointed by Obama, and especially by his conduct in the Middle East. (If I had any hopes of him when he was…Read More... | 9 Comments
According to an iVoteIsrael exit poll, half of the 160,000 eligible U.S. voters living in Israel voted absentee, of which an overwhelming majority selected Republican candidate Mitt Romney. That reportedly includes 7,500 registered in the swing state of Florida. iVoteIsrael - the campaign that has worked hard to get American citizens living in Israel to vote absentee in next week's U.S. presidential elections (and which I have been covering here since June and exposed to be a partisan, right-wing, anti-Obama initiative) - held a press conference Thursday afternoon in Jerusalem to announce the results of what they claim is the biggest exit poll of its kind ever conducted…Read More... | 38 Comments
President Obama's record on the Palestinian issue is so bad that the winner of the upcoming elections is irrelevant. Four years ago, I traveled to the United States to cover the Democratic and Republican conventions. It was an inspiring experience, largely due to the unique feelings that accompanied the candidacy of (now) president Obama. Judging from afar, it seems that much of this excitement is gone, and the current elections are a frustrating and rather cynical experience. Still, if I were an American living in the U.S., I probably would have voted for President Obama for many reasons – from…Read More... | 23 Comments
Americans should be scared to vote for Romney, but they're too scared and antagonistic toward Muslims for Obama to tell them why. Tonight's Obama-Romney foreign policy debate is no doubt going to go heavy on the issues of Iran and Israel. By rights, Obama has a powerful argument to make against his opponent, one that, in a more perfect America, could scare a lot of those "floating voters" who've deserted him into floating back to his corner. And it wouldn't be demagoguery - it would be taking a legitimate fear of a Romney presidency, one that's based strictly on the…Read More... | 8 Comments
The U.S. presidential race is entering its last two weeks. On Friday, President Barack Obama picked up a surprising endorsement from the Salt Lake Tribune, the official newspaper of the capital city of the predominantly Mormon state of Utah. Governor Mitt Romney, a Mormon, seemed like the natural choice, but as the Tribune noted, Romney does not deserve a chance. "Our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day. The president has earned a second term.…Read More... | 3 Comments
Last week, I published an in-depth report in the Daily Beast exposing the pro-Republican partisanship of a non-profit initiative urging American citizens in Israel to vote in the upcoming U.S. elections. The "iVoteIsrael" campaign - which I have been following and reporting on here since June - persistently maintains it is a get-out-the-vote drive with no bent or agenda. However its character, messaging and backing all clearly point to a right-wing effort aimed at swinging the election in Mitt Romney's favor. Just yesterday, another piece of the puzzle was exposed when a report by the American Sunlight Foundation found that the campaign…Read More... | 4 Comments
The second presidential debate was held Tuesday night at Hofstra University in Hempstead, Long Island. The moderator, CNN's Candy Crowley, chose questions that were submitted in advance by the rather small audience, all of whom were undecided voters. According to the CNN poll conducted immediately after the debate, 73 percent of respondents thought the president did significantly better than in the first one. Given that his performance in the first debate was widely acknowledged to have been a disaster, with Daily Beast uber blogger Andrew Sullivan predicting it would lose Obama the election, a cynic might say that the president…Read More... | 16 Comments
The political parties, along with media, will sell a story of a tight battle, but the Likud-led majority is as stable as it was four years ago. A quick breakdown of the upcoming elections, expected to take place in roughly ninety days. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday evening his intention to hold early elections in roughly three months. Elections were due to take place in November 2013 in any case, but Netanyahu estimates that he will have trouble passing next year's budget in the current Knesset. The following is an excerpt from Netanyahu's statement tonight: Today, I finished a round of…Read More... | 14 Comments
The most widely read paper in Israel believes that Romney basically told the truth about the '47 percent.' Except for the radical fringe of the Republican Party, there is almost an absolute consensus that Mitt Romney's "47 percent" remark was stupid and damaging to his candidacy. A story on Politico yesterday quoted the many attacks on Romney from leading right-wing columnists, among them Peggy Noonan, David Brooks, Bill Kristol, Jonah Goldberg, Michael Warren, David Frum and more. Yet in Israel, Sheldon Adelson's paper, Israel Hayom, chose to put a different spin to the affair. Quoting an interview by Ann Coulter…Read More...
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