Welcome, Guest! - or
Easy to remember!  »  VinNews.com

Washington - Obama Fights For Jewish Support Amid GOP Attacks

Published on: December 5, 2011 04:21 PM
By: AP
Change text size Text Size  
Bookmark and Share
FILE -  An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man pauses to watch the speech by US President Baracjk Obama delievered in Cairo on 04 June 2009. EPAFILE -  An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man pauses to watch the speech by US President Baracjk Obama delievered in Cairo on 04 June 2009. EPA

Washington - President Barack Obama and his Republican opponents are clashing over U.S. policy toward Israel as each side jockeys for support from Jewish voters, who could be critical in the 2012 election.

Aiming to cast Obama as unfairly harsh toward Israel and soft on the Palestinians, Republican presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have called on the president to fire his ambassador to Belgium. The envoy, Howard Gutman, had said that some anti-Semitism stemmed from tensions between Israel and the Palestinians; Romney and Gingrich say his remarks unfairly blamed Israel.

The White House says Obama has a strong record on support for Israel, and quickly fired back with a statement condemning “anti-Semitism in all its forms.” The State Department said Gutman would remain in his job.

Republicans also challenged Obama’s assertion at a fundraiser last week that “this administration has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration.” Romney said Obama has “repeatedly thrown Israel under the bus” — an accusation the Republican National Committee repeated Monday.

Firing back, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz called Romney’s comments “outrageous” and questioned his own policies.

The fiery debate will likely continue Wednesday when the GOP presidential candidates attend a Washington forum hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition.

Obama campaign officials say they will be ready to respond. And the next day, Jewish leaders will be at the White House for briefings on Israel and a Hanukkah party, followed by an Obama speech next week to an expected audience of nearly 6,000 at a conference of the Union for Reform Judaism.

Such attention is all being paid in recognition that Jewish voters, though comprising only 2 percent of the electorate nationwide, are an important part of Obama’s base and could make the difference in battleground states including Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Nevada in a close election. Moreover, the Jewish community is an important source of donations, and Obama campaign supporters want to maintain that support as much as Republicans want to chip away at it.

“This campaign takes the Jewish vote very, very seriously,” said Ira Forman, the Obama campaign Jewish outreach director. “I’m confident this will be the most comprehensive effort in presidential campaign history.”

The White House outreach has increased since May when Obama caused a furor by calling for Israel’s 1967 borders, with agreed-upon land swaps, as a basis for resuming negotiations toward a two-state solution with the Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the ‘67 borders as indefensible and largely disregarded Obama’s emphasis on land swaps to account for current conditions.

Republicans seized on the dispute. And while Obama supporters say his argument was widely mischaracterized, damage was done. Now the Obama campaign and its backers say they are determined to respond rapidly to such criticism in future.

“We are trying to responsibly respond to all of these unsubstantiated or false allegations, but there are so many of them, and they are so frequently recited despite the fact that the people who are spreading them have to know that they’re false, that it’s hard to keep up with them,” said Alan Solow, an Obama fundraiser and longtime associate.

The effort involves using surrogates including Vice President Joe Biden, and use of the president’s own time in public appearances and private talks with donors and religious leaders, such as a conference call between Obama and rabbis ahead of the Jewish New Year this fall.

The Obama campaign also is going on the offense against Republicans. In conversations about the Jewish vote, Obama backers are quick to bring up comments by Romney, Gingrich and Rick Perry at a debate last month suggesting they would start foreign aid for all countries at zero. Obama supporters say would imperil funding for Israel, even though the candidates also sought to affirm their support for the Jewish state.

Democratic candidates typically enjoy a big electoral advantage among Jewish voters. Obama won 78 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008, compared with 21 percent for Republican John McCain.

But Gallup has found that Obama’s approval rating among Jews has fallen from 83 percent in January 2009 to 54 percent in late summer and early fall of this year. Still, that figure is much higher than his overall 41 percent approval rating, and the drop-off in support was about in line with other voter groups.

Sid Dinerstein, chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party in Florida, predicted that Obama would be limited to around 60 percent of the Jewish vote in 2012. Obama backers say that won’t happen, but it could mean a potentially decisive difference of tens of thousands of votes in key states.

A candidate’s position on Israel may not be the top issue for most Jewish voters, who like others are more motivated by jobs and the economy. But it’s important to many, and Republicans see an opening, given the consternation over Obama’s 1967 borders speech, his administration’s rebukes of Israel for building settlements in disputed areas, and a recent incident in which Obama was overheard appearing to endorse criticism of Netanyahu from French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

“The reality is that the Jewish community understands that on a number of critical issues this administration has undermined not only the U.S.-Israel relationship, but has made Israel more vulnerable,” said Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

Brooks points to the recent upset in New York’s special election to replace Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner, in which Republican Bob Turner won in the heavily Jewish district. Brooks says this was a warning sign to Obama on his stance on Israel. Obama supporters say other factors were at play, including the heavily Orthodox and more conservative makeup of the district.

But even strong supporters are disappointed that Obama has not yet traveled to Israel in his capacity as president, after delivering a major speech in Cairo early in his administration. An Israel trip had been rumored to be in the works but seems unlikely to happen prior to the 2012 election.

Democratic Rep. Steve Rothman said he remains hopeful a trip will happen in the next year.

“No president has been perfect on every subject, though history will record that Obama has been the best president for Israel when it comes to military and intelligence support,” said Rothman of New Jersey.


More of today's headlines

Miami Beach, FL - Authorities say they are working to remove a Navy training mine that washed ashore on Miami Beach near an area dotted by numerous... Washington - The Obama administration says it has full confidence in the U.S. ambassador to Belgium, despite comments he made about anti-Semitism that prompted angry...

 

Total20

Read Comments (20)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Dec 05, 2011 at 04:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Oh yeah, the 20-year member of "reverend" Wright's antisemitic church has been just great for Israel.

His utter incompetence has helped spur a domino effect-like disintegration of Arab countries that used to have terrible governments, but at least they were terrible governments who were pro-U.S. Now as a result of idiot Obama's failures, those are now Arab countries with WORSE (i.e., islamic) governments, who on top of that are no longer pro-U.S.

Great going!

2

 Dec 05, 2011 at 04:31 PM MosheM Says:

Obama won't fire Gutman because he's a big fundraiser. Showing his true colors.

3

 Dec 05, 2011 at 05:56 PM anonymous Says:

Your argument is the same as the Republican put forth when Chiang-kai-Check lost in China. The Arabs became frimmer more Islamist and to uphold Mubarak you need U.S. intervention and lucky that Syria is not falling into the hands of the shiites . The current regime is not as frim but not radical islamist. The world is changing despite of Roger Norquist objections and stupid input. So far be happy the U.S. ha supplied heavy fortification bombs to Israel , helicopters and Germany Dolphin class submarines and we will supply Newt Gingrich or maybe Herman Cain. Are you willing to join the U.S. marines or Navy seals, you probably would not even enlist in the Givati or Golani brigade. At least Obama is a Harvard trained constitutional lawyer and better than the rest of the jokers

4

 Dec 05, 2011 at 06:18 PM Anonymous Says:

To the average secular Jewish voter, abortion rights and Obama Care are more important than Israel. Sorry to be so blunt.

5

 Dec 05, 2011 at 06:18 PM amerikaner Says:

anyone who votes for Obama after he snubbed the entire Jewish population in the whole wide world, not only Israel, has got to be STUPID. VOTE REPUBLICAN IN NOV 2012 - down the line. We need to take back America and become a proud and powerful nation again!

6

 Dec 05, 2011 at 07:41 PM anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
amerikaner Says:

anyone who votes for Obama after he snubbed the entire Jewish population in the whole wide world, not only Israel, has got to be STUPID. VOTE REPUBLICAN IN NOV 2012 - down the line. We need to take back America and become a proud and powerful nation again!

It is not about a proud and powerful nation but rather the bigger piece of pie and who shall the biggest piece of pie and the warnings of President Eisenhower a Republican came true. In New York million dollar apartment are renting fast,
Americans are ordering Italian suits and the tailors arrive in New York, and special scotch is ordered by the caskets while American kids go hungry to bed, VOTE RDPUBLICAN so this can continue and China, India will take over the U.S.

7

 Dec 05, 2011 at 10:28 PM MidwesternGuy Says:

Reply to #6  
anonymous Says:

It is not about a proud and powerful nation but rather the bigger piece of pie and who shall the biggest piece of pie and the warnings of President Eisenhower a Republican came true. In New York million dollar apartment are renting fast,
Americans are ordering Italian suits and the tailors arrive in New York, and special scotch is ordered by the caskets while American kids go hungry to bed, VOTE RDPUBLICAN so this can continue and China, India will take over the U.S.

Can you find just one example of a person who starved to death due to lack of food? The poor get at least two full meals in public schools, plus food stamps.

Now Michelle Obama wants to end childhood obesity. This is because even the poor are now obese. So where is one single starving child? The answer is that there aren't any.

8

 Dec 05, 2011 at 11:13 PM Anonymous Says:

I watch the freakish ideas and comments by the Democrats that feel they owe Obama their lives. Shame, shame. Ignorance knows no limits. Fact is that there has never been a sitting US President that publicly snubbed Israel as much as Obama. Clinton tried, but he was more reserved, and Obama in his 3 years has outdone Clinton's 8. Carter probably scores much worse that Obama, but most of his **** was spewed after he left office. Regardless, American Jews increasingly perceive Obama as anti-Jewish and anti-Israel, and this status has gained momentum. He never thought that it was wise to recognize that Israel owes the Palis nothing, and that it is barbaric to keep pressing Israel for concessions while never personally condemning terror or moving to stop it. Fool. I hope he plans well for his retirement; may we merit seeing him move out of the White House soon.

9

 Dec 05, 2011 at 11:24 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
anonymous Says:

Your argument is the same as the Republican put forth when Chiang-kai-Check lost in China. The Arabs became frimmer more Islamist and to uphold Mubarak you need U.S. intervention and lucky that Syria is not falling into the hands of the shiites . The current regime is not as frim but not radical islamist. The world is changing despite of Roger Norquist objections and stupid input. So far be happy the U.S. ha supplied heavy fortification bombs to Israel , helicopters and Germany Dolphin class submarines and we will supply Newt Gingrich or maybe Herman Cain. Are you willing to join the U.S. marines or Navy seals, you probably would not even enlist in the Givati or Golani brigade. At least Obama is a Harvard trained constitutional lawyer and better than the rest of the jokers

Poster #1 didn't make the argument you attack - your post is red herring (spoiled herring, in fact.) He simply pointed out a series of pathetic Obama geopolitical failures, all of which are dangerous for Israel. (zay azoy gut: ershte lern zich leynen)

Actually, ALL of Obama's geopolitical moves have been failures - the killing of Osama bin Laden the notable exception, of course, but that was ONLY possible due to the infrastructure previously put into place by GW Bush, under policies that candidate Obama relentlessly attacked. Had the course of action advocated by candidate Obama (and other defeatist dhimmi-crats) been followed, the infrastructure he (as president) grabbed on a silver platter (given to him by Bush) would never have been there in the first place.

Obama: bad for the U.S., bad for Israel, good for dhimmi-crat party hacks.

10

 Dec 06, 2011 at 12:20 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
MidwesternGuy Says:

Can you find just one example of a person who starved to death due to lack of food? The poor get at least two full meals in public schools, plus food stamps.

Now Michelle Obama wants to end childhood obesity. This is because even the poor are now obese. So where is one single starving child? The answer is that there aren't any.

watch last week sundays 60 minutes broadcast about the rising number of homeless children

11

 Dec 06, 2011 at 12:21 AM Anonymous Says:

.ברוך אתה יי, אלוקינו מלך העולם, שלא עשני דמוקרט

12

 Dec 06, 2011 at 08:02 AM Berl Says:

Uvda, Al taam Vreiach ein lvakeiach, It is a fact ,one can not argue on taste or smell, Bari Shabazz AKA Barry Soetoro AKA Barak HUSSEIN Obama IS a JEW hater, he has humiliated our PM so many times, he showed us the bottom of his shoes (his feet up on the Resolute desk while talking to Netanyahu, that is also disrespectul to Americans, that desk is not his property) he has sent his slugs SWILLary Klinton and Leon Pinocchio Panetta to slap us in the face, he has allowed(probably encouraged) Iran to build the bomb, he back-stabbed Mubarak, went after Qaddafi but ignores Assad and Ahmadinejad, and the list goes on and on and on! Any Jew who votes for him deserves to be put into CHEREM!

13

 Dec 06, 2011 at 08:27 AM anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
MidwesternGuy Says:

Can you find just one example of a person who starved to death due to lack of food? The poor get at least two full meals in public schools, plus food stamps.

Now Michelle Obama wants to end childhood obesity. This is because even the poor are now obese. So where is one single starving child? The answer is that there aren't any.

How bad do you want it . Americans are wasting food by the tons, however 60 minutes featured a child who had hunger pain a gnawing pain in the stomach which I am familiar. Here Americans are ordering scotch whiskey by caskets from scotland and just make the rounds of weekly fresserei or Kidush and watch how much food is wasted. Saturday and Sunday there is no school unless you step in fulfill their food requirement. These "conservatives" are greedy who wish to prserve their priveleges and to Hades with everybody else or maybe they will graciously relinquish some crumbs. It is greed and deception masked by llove for America and a better future for their grandchildren.

14

 Dec 06, 2011 at 08:50 AM anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
MidwesternGuy Says:

Can you find just one example of a person who starved to death due to lack of food? The poor get at least two full meals in public schools, plus food stamps.

Now Michelle Obama wants to end childhood obesity. This is because even the poor are now obese. So where is one single starving child? The answer is that there aren't any.

Midwestern guy that obesity is due to sodas and not food. Yes there are groupswho are not up to par in standards but your house is cleaned by them, the dishes of your caterer is washed or removed by them and the waiters serving the big plates of cold cuts are served by them. Just remember the raw materials for pharmaceuticals are produced either in china or india, the parking lots are full Audis, BMW, Mercedes and Toyotas, Siemens just completed a new factory for the production of hydroelectric turbines, and Krupp Thyssen and main elevator provider, Siemens is competing successfully with GE for scanning devices, echocardiogram machines and ultrasound equipment. Your guru Grover Norquist will flush down this country into sewage and don't forget the Koch brothers who funded a "presidential" candidate and one lady stated she had a 14 year affair and proof . Greed is greed however it is presented.

15

 Dec 06, 2011 at 09:43 AM Buchwalter Says:

Reply to #7  
MidwesternGuy Says:

Can you find just one example of a person who starved to death due to lack of food? The poor get at least two full meals in public schools, plus food stamps.

Now Michelle Obama wants to end childhood obesity. This is because even the poor are now obese. So where is one single starving child? The answer is that there aren't any.

The fact is the all German industrial corporations, Siemens, Krupp-Thyssen, Mercedes have a Union rep on their board of directors, or Aufsichtsrat and compete successfully in America, Russia, and China and South America. It is not the size but the quality of government. I saw the flames of the crematoria and successfully after retiring from the government continue my scientific work from home. The malaise of the USA is that we are a service nation instead of serving plates corned beef we serve as a financial channeliing service selling toilet paper. The innovative industrial capacity is in China. China just build the world most fastest and biggest computer and not IBM.

16

 Dec 06, 2011 at 12:28 PM MidwesternGuy Says:

Reply to #14  
anonymous Says:

Midwestern guy that obesity is due to sodas and not food. Yes there are groupswho are not up to par in standards but your house is cleaned by them, the dishes of your caterer is washed or removed by them and the waiters serving the big plates of cold cuts are served by them. Just remember the raw materials for pharmaceuticals are produced either in china or india, the parking lots are full Audis, BMW, Mercedes and Toyotas, Siemens just completed a new factory for the production of hydroelectric turbines, and Krupp Thyssen and main elevator provider, Siemens is competing successfully with GE for scanning devices, echocardiogram machines and ultrasound equipment. Your guru Grover Norquist will flush down this country into sewage and don't forget the Koch brothers who funded a "presidential" candidate and one lady stated she had a 14 year affair and proof . Greed is greed however it is presented.

You don't know a thing about me.

But I know something about you. You just used a whole lot of words to ascribe to me things that I didn't say and beliefs that I don't share.

Next time, please have a point.

17

 Dec 06, 2011 at 01:27 PM Avreich1 Says:

Reply to #3  
anonymous Says:

Your argument is the same as the Republican put forth when Chiang-kai-Check lost in China. The Arabs became frimmer more Islamist and to uphold Mubarak you need U.S. intervention and lucky that Syria is not falling into the hands of the shiites . The current regime is not as frim but not radical islamist. The world is changing despite of Roger Norquist objections and stupid input. So far be happy the U.S. ha supplied heavy fortification bombs to Israel , helicopters and Germany Dolphin class submarines and we will supply Newt Gingrich or maybe Herman Cain. Are you willing to join the U.S. marines or Navy seals, you probably would not even enlist in the Givati or Golani brigade. At least Obama is a Harvard trained constitutional lawyer and better than the rest of the jokers

" ... and to uphold Mubarak you need U.S. intervention ... "

It would seem to have evaded your notice that Mubarak was overthrown in Egypt last January and that he has been locked up and on trial in Egypt for several months since then.

So upholding Mubarak just ain't going to happen.

18

 Dec 06, 2011 at 01:30 PM Bemused Says:

Reply to #3  
anonymous Says:

Your argument is the same as the Republican put forth when Chiang-kai-Check lost in China. The Arabs became frimmer more Islamist and to uphold Mubarak you need U.S. intervention and lucky that Syria is not falling into the hands of the shiites . The current regime is not as frim but not radical islamist. The world is changing despite of Roger Norquist objections and stupid input. So far be happy the U.S. ha supplied heavy fortification bombs to Israel , helicopters and Germany Dolphin class submarines and we will supply Newt Gingrich or maybe Herman Cain. Are you willing to join the U.S. marines or Navy seals, you probably would not even enlist in the Givati or Golani brigade. At least Obama is a Harvard trained constitutional lawyer and better than the rest of the jokers

Where have all these Jewish Obama-haters sprung from all of a sudden?

May I remind you that, in the last Presidential elections, no less than seventy-eight per cent (78%) of all the eligible Jewish voters voted for - guess who - Barack Obama?

19

 Dec 06, 2011 at 03:35 PM awacs Says:

Reply to #7  
MidwesternGuy Says:

Can you find just one example of a person who starved to death due to lack of food? The poor get at least two full meals in public schools, plus food stamps.

Now Michelle Obama wants to end childhood obesity. This is because even the poor are now obese. So where is one single starving child? The answer is that there aren't any.

Correct. Children go to bed hungry because they have raised by people with miserable parenting skills. All the gov't aid in the world won't cure that.

In Japan, on the other hand:
http://tinyurl.com/7fubgwy

apparently people DO starve to death. For shame.

20

 Dec 06, 2011 at 04:12 PM anonymous Says:

Reply to #16  
MidwesternGuy Says:

You don't know a thing about me.

But I know something about you. You just used a whole lot of words to ascribe to me things that I didn't say and beliefs that I don't share.

Next time, please have a point.

Correct I don't know anything about and I don't ascribe anything to you . My statement meant to higlight the mentality of the Republican party which has as its driving force Grover Norquist and those representatives gave an oath opr affirmation to follow his dictations. Whom do represent Norquist or the Republican party. Your posting seem to me you do ascribe to the conservative mentality

21

Sign-in to post a comment

Scroll Up
Advertisements:

Sell your scrap gold and broken jewelry and earn hard cash sell gold today!