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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

ADL backs down on pro-Obama pledge

Jonathan Tobin reports that ADL Executive Director Abe Foxman is walking back his call for a 'unity pledge' that would take criticism of President Obama's Middle East policies off the Jewish community table for the 2012 election. This is from the first link.
But according to ADL head Abe Foxman, it’s all a big misunderstanding. He now says in a press release that the purpose of the pledge is “to put Israel ahead of politics” while “avoiding harsh and personal rhetoric or tactics in the form of attacks on political opponents’ positions on Israel.” But if that was all it was about, then perhaps that’s what the pledge would have said in the first place. The controversy over the pledge was not the result of what Foxman calls “distortion” by his critics; the fact is, he was caught red-handed in a thinly veiled partisan ploy.

The problem with the “Unity Pledge” is it echoed Jewish Democratic demands we have been hearing for years about shutting down Republican efforts to point out left-wing animus for Israel as well as the Obama administration’s predilection for picking fights with Israel. Obama’s decision to distance the United States from Israel, his stand on Jerusalem and his ambush of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in May were all factors in the Republican victory in the special election in New York’s 9th Congressional District last month. That result and polls showing a decline in Jewish support for Obama have panicked Democrats. The decision of the ADL and the AJC to issue a statement that would serve to legitimize efforts to silence debate about Israel by condemning its use as a “wedge issue” departed from not only their non-partisan status but also undermined their stance as Jewish defense organizations.

ADL’s subsequent statement in which they “strongly encourage measured and thoughtful expressions of different points of view regarding U.S. policy toward Israel” helps undo some of the damage their pledge has done. Foxman’s comments should also serve to chasten Democrats who seek to remove Obama’s record on Israel from public debate next year. As for the pledge, it should be amended to remove the line about “wedge” issues or scrapped entirely.
The fact that Foxman was forced to backtrack speaks volumes about the erosion of Obama's support in the Jewish community. It's actually quite surprising.

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At 7:28 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Well, it may just be about $$. These organizations have tax free charity status. There may be enough non-compliant donators to these organizations who may rummage about the legality of them being a marketing department for the democrat party... This may have been a little to blatent and public. But don't doubt that they are still with Obama and the dems. Zero change. The management doesn't care what the membership thinks and they have them pretty much intimidated with shunning for non compliance. So the members are silent.


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