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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Democrats frustrated over new Obama poll

On Friday, I reported on a new Smith poll that showed that President Obama's effectuated greetings for Prime Minister Netanyahu last week had convinced another 1% of Israelis that Obama is pro-Israel - raising him from 9% to 10%.

Jewish Democrats are frustrated by the difficulty in raising President Obama's standing in Israel.
Another Jewish organization leader, who asked to not be named, said the recent White House overtures to Israel – while welcome – still hadn’t fully registered. He also said, though, that relations between the two countries had been so strained it would take some time to recover.

“At the very least it’s going to take a while if those attitudes are going to change, because the shock to the system was quite pronounced,” he said.

National Democratic Jewish Council president David Harris contended that Israeli opinion would improve more dramatically once Obama visited Israel.

“As the Israeli people get to know the president better – including when the president has an opportunity to visit Israel in the future – I have every confidence that they will be as strongly supportive of him as the American Jewish community has been,” Harris said. “The fact is that as Israel’s leaders have noted repeatedly, President Obama has demonstrated that he is unshakably committed to Israel’s security, and he’s gathered an unprecedented global coalition to counter Iran’s nuclear ambitions.”

Other Democratic Jewish activists, including strategist Matt Dorf, charged that the poll was flawed.

“One should not draw any conclusions about President Obama’s standing in Israel from this poll,” he said. “This is like asking, ‘Did you ride the bus or buy your lunch?’” Dorf argued that surveys asking whether Israelis approve of Obama’s job performance and whether his policies are enhancing Israel’s security would provide accurate assessments of public opinion.

“This question [the poll’s] is designed to elicit a negative response,” he said.
I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for time to resolve Obama's problems with Israel. The problems are self-created. Here's a chart of results of the same poll over the last year and a half. Notice how much more favorably disposed toward Obama Israelis were before the Cairo speech (it seems that before that speech, it was only the Americans living in Israel who opposed him).

It doesn't look like a question of time but a question of Israelis being opposed to Obama's policies.

That's why things won't improve if Obama comes here to visit (which is why he's not coming). Would it really help him if he came to visit and 100,000 Israelis came out to demonstrate against him?

And the security argument doesn't help Obama much either. It's clear to us that all of the weaponry Obama now wants to give us comes at a high price: Turning over land to the 'Palestinians.' That's the real purpose for those weapons and not love for Israel. We can tell the difference.


At 11:10 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

In 2008, after Obama's AIPAC speech, the Israeli consulate people drooled (publically, in words) over his candidacy. Obama backtracked his position within days, which the American Jewish organizations (and was it 80% who voted for him soon after) ignored. The Israeli consulate never issued a correction or any recognition of the flip flop, therefore ignoring it, just as the American Jewish organizations (including AIPAC) did. Except that the Israelis and a fairly small group of American Jews did not swallow the bait and become permanently attached to Obama's attitudes. President Obama and his staff say the exact opposite from day to day regarding a full range of issues and they don't like it when someone doesn't just pick out the one they like (on whichever side) and "believe" that this is Obama's true position. If anybody wants to work outside the Dem structure, and doesn't want the risky tea parties to split the opposition vote, there is also the Jewish Republican Coalition. I recently figured out that they have no college division, but they do have good info on their website and they do have (adult, not university) conferences and lunches if you live in the big cities.


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