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How Obama Can Assure Israelis
Tue, 07/05/2011

We are pleased to see the report this week that President Obama plans to visit Israel. It’s about time.

According to The Jerusalem Post, U.S. Ambassador to Israel James Cunningham told Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin that the president “wants to visit Israel and will do so.”

No date was mentioned, but the ambassador said the trip is on the president’s agenda.

Some say the trip is being timed to pressure the Palestinians not to push for a United

Nations vote on statehood in September; others see it as an attempt to bolster Obama’s support among American Jews as he gears up for a re-election campaign.

Rivlin is quoted as telling Cunningham that “Israelis sense that the atmosphere in the White House has changed for the worse. The feeling is that Obama views Israel as a burden more than as a strategic asset.”

He noted that many Israelis were upset when Obama did not include Israel on his trip to the Mideast two years ago when he delivered his Cairo Speech to the Muslim world. (The president visited King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and spoke at the Buchenwald concentration camp during that June 2009 visit.)

Cunningham reportedly told Rivlin that the negative assessment was not accurate.

Like previous presidents, Obama has spoken of Israel as a great friend and ally, and insisted that the relationship between the two democracies is rock solid. Moreover, strategic and military ties between the U.S. and Israel today are as strong as ever, if not stronger.

But many Israelis and American Jews make assessments in their kishkes, or gut, when it comes to evaluating a president’s position on Israel. And this president doesn’t inspire confidence on that score.

Bill Clinton, a Democrat who tried hard to come away with a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians, was seen as a great friend and supporter of Israel. So was George W. Bush, a Republican who tried hard to leave Israel alone during his tenure. Two very different approaches, but Clinton and Bush, fervent Christians who have a special place for Israel in their hearts, were perceived widely as protectors of the Jewish state.

Not Obama. He’s seen as too pragmatic and even-handed in assessing the Israel-Arab equation, deeply concerned about how he is perceived in the Arab world and lacking in emotion when it comes to support for America’s most loyal Mideast ally, Israel.

But is that fair? A new Gallup poll indicates that for all of the controversy surrounding the president’s recent State Department speech that called for the 1967 Israeli borders to be the basis of future peace talks, a solid majority of American Jews continue to approve of him. His approval rate did dip last month to 60 percent, down from 68 percent in May and 64 percent in April. But it is generally consistent with how Americans in general feel about the president, while skewing higher. Thirty-two percent of Jews polled in June disapproved of the president’s overall performance, about the same level as it has been all year.

It is difficult to determine how much of that approval/disapproval rate depends on issues related directly to Israel.

Lost in the debate over the ‘67 borders was the fact that the president, in his May 19 speech, spoke of Israel as a “Jewish state,” a key point that Prime Minister Netanyahu has been advocating.

Surely, though, Obama has made serious mistakes in dealing with the Mideast dilemma. At the outset, he perceived the West Bank settlements as the crux of the issue, not the Palestinians’ refusal to recognize a Jewish state in the region. If nothing else, that miscalculation resulted in wasted time as the administration pushed hard for a settlement freeze. More recently the president has appeared to take a tougher stand with the prime minister of Israel than with Arab demagogues like Bashar Assad, the Syrian leader who continues to mow down his own people while Washington resists calling for his ouster.

The practical question in considering an Obama visit to Israel is what could he say or do to convince doubters of his sincerity? Praying at the Kotel, meeting with the family of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, and visiting Sderot (which he did as a presidential candidate three years ago) all make for dramatic photo ops. But we’d be more impressed by tangible steps that would indicate that Washington sees Jerusalem as a vital asset rather than a political problem. Those would include putting the onus on the Palestinians for the lack of progress on peace talks, making it clear that the Palestinian Authority will lose U.S. political and financial support if it goes ahead in its plan to form a government with Hamas, calling on the Arab states to recognize the reality and benefits of Israel in the region, and asserting that the Palestinian “right of return” is a non-starter for peace negotiations because it spells the end of a Jewish state.

Overall, Obama should indicate that he understands full well that only a confident and secure Israeli people will be willing to make the deep sacrifices required for a peace deal with the Palestinians and that it is his job as president to make Israelis feel safe.

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....................................Only the far left "Jewish Week" can claim Barack Hussein Obama as a friend of Israel.

.......................... I guess the love of the DEMOCRATIC PARTY overrides common sense. One would think there is a limit to PARTY loyalty,.......... but not at the "JEWISH WEEK".

Interesting article from Washington Post on how Republicans are trying to demonstrate a wedge issue citing poling data from U.S. Jews
Posted at 11:09 AM ET, 07/13/2011
Laughably bogus poll tries to `prove’ Obama is losing Jewish support
By Adam Serwer

Republicans are touting yet another poll that purports to predict the end of the Jewish allegiance to the Democratic Party. Citing a new poll by Republican John McLaughlin and Pat Caddell, the GOP’s favorite “Democrat,” they have convinced themselves that this time, Obama really is in trouble among Jewish voters.

At National Review, Tevi Troy exults that “only 43 percent of Jews plan to vote to reelect Obama in 2012.” Terrible! Except a plurality (48 percent) say they’d “consider” voting for someone else, not that they’d vote for his opponent or that they refuse to vote for him.

McLaughlin’s and Caddell’s poll is laughably bogus. Not only does their sample skew conservative, (only 64 percent of respondents voted for Obama, as opposed to the 77 percent of Jewish votes he actually got) but many questions in the poll are phrased in as leading a manner as possible. Indeed, given the wording of the questions, it’s actually surprising that 63 percent of respondents overall approved of Obama.

Here’s their phrasing for a question on Obama’s policy on Israel:

Considering what President Obama has proposed for Israel just over a year before his 2012 re-election campaign — a return to the 1967 borders, dividing Jerusalem, and allowing the right of return for Palestinian Arabs to Israel — how concerned would you be about President Obama’s policies towards Israel if he were re-elected and did not have to worry about another election?

Prior to being asked this question, respondents were primed by the query: “Should Israel be forced to return to its pre-1967 borders which were susceptible to attack at points where the country was only 8 miles wide?”

Again: Obama hasn’t proposed “a return to the 1967 borders.” He proposed that negotiations begin along those lines with “agreed upon land swaps,” which by definition does not mean a return to the 1967 borders. It’s a position the administration and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had agreed upon months before Netanyahu manufactured a fake controversy over it.

What’s surprisnig is that only 67 percent of Jewish voters in the poll said they were concerned about Obama’s policy towards Israel should he be reelected — this, even though McLaughlin and Caddell invented out of thin air the idea that Obama supports a “right of return” for Palestinian Arabs. Supporters of Israel oppose right of return for Palestinians because they believe that would lead to Israel ceasing to be a Jewish state as a result of demographic changes. This question seems to have been designed to elicit panic about Obama among the poll’s staunchly pro-Israel respondents, but even that wasn’t enough to do it.

The phrasing in this poll is comically skewed towards eliciting the most negative responses possible. As always, the game is to perpetuate the sad conservative meme that this time, really this time, American Jews are going to abandon their liberalism and vote Republican because Obama is a huge anti-Semite. The only thing this poll reveals is how badly some want to keep this storyline going.

Update from Greg Sargent: I asked Washington Post polling manager Peyton Craighill to assess the value of this poll. His answer was unequivocal:

“This is a clear example of advocacy polling. They’ve generated leading questions to elicit a desired result to prove a point. In no way does this represent neutral, independent research.”

The only thing this poll reveals is the lengths some folks will go to in order to keep alive the storyline that Obama is forever on the verge of losing Jewish support — a claim they evidently hope will become a self-fulfilling prophesy if they repeat it often enough.

the fact that so many american jews are still foolish and misguided enough to believe obama's statements never ceases to amaze me. the fact that this newspaper's editorials are still slanted to show obama in a favorable light still surprises me. jews consider themselves as intelligent but when it comes to poliitcs they follow the democrats like lemmings, and wil find themselves going over a cliff with no net at the bottom to catch them when obama throws israel to the wolves.

The comments here of the permanently blinded, Obama-worshipping tembels shine in incandescent foolishness. Our ancestors made foolish choices aplenty in times past - the hopelessly liberal devotees of the Obama religion are simply displaying to us all how it is that our ancestors fell hook, line and sinker for Shabtai Zvi. They were deluded fools, and their descendants live today, spouting inanities. May Hashem protect us from their blithering stupidity.

I don't know how you people make the leap that Obama is visiting Israel from his spokesman saying that he wants to but their are no plans to right now.

Obama is not a friend of Israel.

As I read the heading of this article all I could think of was that Obama's visit to Jerusalem will just create major traffic jams, blaring sirens from security vehicles accompanying him wherever he will visit but no change in my opinion, or that of many others here who don't trust the man.

The "Jewish Week's" pro-Obama political predilections couldn't be clearer, even though they're reflected in what the publication chooses to avoid saying. The opening paragraph should make it abundantly clear that the most compelling reason for Obama's sudden desire to visit Israel are his falling poll numbers among Jews. In 2008, he received a stratospheric 82% of the ever-masochistic Jewish vote. But the in-office experience hasn't lived up to expectations, at least for those Jews for whom Jewish interests matter. Obama knows he's got a problem when his approval ratings among Jews are only in the 60 percentile. A drop off of 20% in Florida could mean the loss of that state, especially in tandem with much reduced Hispanic enthusiasm for a president who hasn't delivered on open-borders. Jews also count in states like Ohio and PA. But of course Obama is chiefly concerned with a loss of Jewish money, which plays a huge role in financing the Democrats. So, necessity makes him a reluctant pilgrim to Israel. It's on a par with and no different from his release of his birth certificate. But the blind Jews will kvell about his trip in any event.

When considering whether or not to support Obama, even with his negatives, one should consider,
I believe, what the Tea Party-dominated Republican Party represents today, with virtually no moderates
only one Jewish congressional member, and policies far from Jewish values. Also how the Bush
administration got us into a tremendous ditch and left the country on the brink of a depression, and now
doing everything possible to prevent us from getting out of the ditch so that they can return to power,
even though they have no solutions to today's problems. Republicans are now holding the nation
hostage again to benefit the wealthiest Americans and highly profitable corporations, rather than
average Americans.

Here is a pondering to help me with, who are the wealthiest? When I think of the wealthiest I think of that show, something ,"The Rich and Famous" and those big beautiful mansions surrounded with beautiful landscaping with a pool running with water running from the pool under the French doors into a breathtaking pool just inside the French doors.
Then their was my aunt and uncle who, in my eyes, were very wealthy. They owned a big beautiful home and lived in a town known to have" well to do families living there" and the store they owned.

Then my family, my father owned an oil truck and worked very hard delivering heating oil to homes to be sure these families had heat during cold New England winters. We weren't rich but I never knew it.

My point is who are the rich? My aunt and uncle would probably fit the rich category and if they were taxed what would it mean to them? They may have to cut back, would that mean less money for their employees or letting some go.

Also, how did these rich people get that way? Sure some inherited it but how many got there working hard and what if they decide to move out of the country?

I voted for him but I can't believe him. If he wants re-election do more for Israel now.

Obama recognizes that, as Israeli president Shimon Peres put it, that Israel is approaching a wall,
in terms of the upcoming UN General Assembly declaring a Palestinian State in September, and is
trying to prevent it. I fear that, without the resolution of the Israeli/Palestine conflict that Obama
is promoting, Israel will
face another Intifada and/or very harmful war, will not be able to adequately respond to its many,
economic, environmental, and other domestic problems, and will not be able to remain both a Jewish
and a democrat state.

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