Obama campaign does not shy from his record on Israel
Obama campaign believes that many U.S. Jews are not aware of the depth of President Obama's support for Israel.
(Haaretz) -- by Natasha Mozgovaya --
There are still 14 long months before the U.S. presidential election, but last week's confrontation between the White House and the speaker of the House of Representatives over the schedule of President Obama's address to a joint session of Congress that was eventually moved to Thursday, so as not to coincide with the Republican candidates television debate, was just a harbinger of the season where just about everything the president says, does - or does not say or do - might be used against him.
Last week, Ira Forman, former CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council, assumed his new position in Obama's election campaign as its director of Jewish outreach. In 2008, this was the role of Dan Shapiro, who was sent to Tel Aviv this summer as the new U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
An Obama campaign activist thinks that the campaign must publicize Obama's record on Israel in order to make the Jewish community - where Obama's approval rating is still around 60% - less uncomfortable about his candidacy, after the Washington-Jerusalem rifts over the past two years.
"I have found time and again when people come to me and ask - and I explain [Obama's] record of support with regard to Israel, his record of military cooperation and assistance - and doing everything possible to prevent a nuclear Iran, people say: 'Gee, I didn't know that'," said a "Haaretz" source involved in the campaign who also worked closely on Obama's 2008 campaign. "I believe that the most important thing the campaign needs to do - especially in the Jewish community - is to get the record out, and the record is a superb one."
"One expert on the Middle East said to me about a month ago that this a president who's done more than the other presidents for Israel and got the least credit for it. I think that's true, and the Jewish community doesn't understand to which extent this president is a friend of Israel. Those of us who are engaged in the campaign feel that the most important thing we can be doing now is basically getting his record out, whether it's with regard to the Middle East or with regard to any of the other accomplishments that he's achieved."
"And despite the mischaracterizations of his record and the fact that there are those in Congress who are prepared to do whatever they can to oppose anything he supports, he's been a very effective and successful leader. He's been a terrific friend of Israel. He's presided over policies that have led to unprecedented levels of military assistance and security cooperation. He restored America's ability to work with the international community to obtain the type of cooperation that is crucial to the success of the U.S. policies, including those that are very important to Israel."...
"He (President Obama) is doing what he possibly can - I don't know what more he could do," said the same source. "He made clear that if the Palestinians go to the Security Council the U.S. will veto the resolution. I think that his actions in the context of what does or doesn't happen in September have been as supportive of Israel as they possibly could be, and I think he'll get credit for that. I don't want to get into hypotheticals - I can only say that the actions he is taking are completely consistent with what friends of Israel would like him to do, he is doing everything he can to be helpful."...MORE...LINK
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