+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

WATCH: Netanyahu is poster boy of Florida anti-Obama ad

Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s persistent claims that he is not meddling in the upcoming U.S. elections, a TV commercial that will air on select Florida networks on Thursday stars the Israeli leader. Released by Politico one day ahead of its scheduled broadcast, the ad features a bit from the prime minister’s recent speech, in which he criticizes the U.S. government for failing to establish sufficient “red lines” on Iran’s nuclear program.

The ad is sponsored by an American nonprofit 501 c (4) called Secure America Now, an organization founded after the 9/11 attacks committed to impacting U.S. national security. A quick look at their website shows they are not big fans of President Obama or “Islam.” A story featured prominently on their website  reports a poll showing that 70 percent of Americans in Ohio and Florida “believe Iran would arm terrorists with nuclear weapons to attack us.”

Both Ohio and Florida are swing states that presidential candidates Romney and Obama are vying for. It is no coincidence that the ad starring Netanyahu will be running in Florida specifically – since it is not only a battleground state but one with the third largest Jewish population in the U.S. (behind New York and New Jersey) with over 630,000 Jews, nearly 5% of the Sunshine State.

The Republican Jewish Coalition has also targeted Florida: It recently put up billboards in Florida Jewish communities that read: “Obama Oy Vey, Had Enough?” According to JTA, the RJC is also responsible for launching a $5 million TV ad campaign aimed at Jewish voters in swing states like Florida, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

It is not clear whether Netanyahu was aware he would star in the ad, although he did insist earlier this week on CNN that his criticism of American policy on Iran is not an electoral but a security issue for both Israel and the U.S.:

This is not an electoral issue. It is not based on any electoral consideration. I think that there’s a common interest of all Americans of all political persuasions to stop Iran. This is a regime that is giving vent to the worst impulses that you see right now in the Middle East.

Considering the recent leak of a video in which Republican candidate Mitt Romney managed to insult both Palestinians, half of America and embarrass himself regarding regional geography (he thinks Syria borders the West Bank), this ad appears to be a concerted effort by pro-Romney groups to focus on the states the Republican may still have a chance in – and specifically where he can try and woo Jewish voters on Israel.

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article

    * Required


    1. Sharon Hansen

      Ignore Netanyahu. He’s trying to get America all riled up so we will think we have to attack Iran. We don’t. They want to but they want us to use our money and our troops to do their dirty work. We send them billions every year so they can take care of themselves. And just a short while back Netanyahu said Israel can take care of herself. Not political huh? He can’t get Obama to do it so he’s trying to get Romney elected because he will do it. I’m voting for Gary Johnson. He agrees with me. We should mind our own business.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Bronxman

      Israel will have great technical difficulties in taking on Iran by itself. The suggested motives of Netanyahu seem to be to move world focus from the Palestinian issue. I wonder what contingency arrangements Netanyahou has made for a possible Romney loss in November.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Susan

      The latest AJC poll of Jewish voters in Florida shows that that Obama leads Romney by 69%.

      Reply to Comment
    4. bob Burgess

      If we elect Romney, we’ll have two presidents for the price of one. And may God have mercy on the world.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Piotr Berman

      One problem with the focus on Iran is that it ignores the true threats that beset Israel on daily basis. I just checked Ynet.com.

      Threat number 1: piles of stones.

      Aryeh Savir, Tazpit
      Published: 09.20.12, 19:38 / Israel News

      A new form of terrorist activity has recently begun to plague the Jewish communities of the West Bank. These attacks take the form of piles of several stones placed on the road during the night, with the objective of causing car accidents.

      Threat number 2: peevish state comptroller.

      PM, his wife Sara plan NIS 80,000 holiday event for coalition members, but comptroller’s office says, ‘You cannot spend so much money when people don’t have anything to eat’

      This article informs us that not only people do not have anything to eat, but you cannot even offer them anything decent to eat. The details are murky because the numbers cited by Ynet do not add up: the plan to dine 50 people with their partners with 400 shekel dinners was supposed to cost 80,000 shekels, which suggests than an average Knesset member who can dine in the presence of scantily clad women has 3 partners (I am just making a guess why only 50 coalition members were to be invited out of more than 60). By reducing the number of guests to 100 and replacing Tornado Rossini – a combination of beef fillet, grilled foie gras & foie gras pâté in red wine & brandy sauce (249 shekels) with Beef tongue in beef bullion and champignon mushroom sauce (95 shekels) the cost of the party would be reduced to 25,000 shekels, and the bastards in Comptroller office still said no. (The article discloses that the dinner was to be catered from Canela restaurant of Jerusalem, so I am looking up their on-line menu). From what I know about American rules, bureacrats set a limit on food expenses for each city, and I think for Jerusalem it is something like 50 bucks or 200 shekels for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So by eliminating the first course of Calf’s brain in white wine, garlic, hot chili & cilantro sauce (89) there would be enough for a dinner of appetizer and the main course, but Comptroller still said no, and the guests had to do with appetizers only.


      This is pretty serious. Terrorist threats seem manageable, where I live you have worse obstacles on roads every winter. Imagine terrorists sweeping salt away from the road to create an ice patch.

      But comptrollers are worse. Imagine you want to bomb Iran, you plan it, you budget it, and then you want the expenses approved. And then you are told that you have to keep it under 20,000 shekels because people have nothing to eat.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Reuven

      The Use of phrases like “Oy Vey” etc. to target Jewish voters is offensive and perhaps borders on an almost anti-Semitic manipulation of Jews as if they are all of one opinion and one ideology.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Piotr Berman

      Ads seem to be working. Obama numbers improved in Florida and sevral other “battleground” states.

      Reply to Comment