Israel Musings April 1, 2015: Netanyahu, Boehner meet in Jerusalem discuss US-Israel strong bond, Iran threat

ISRAEL MUSINGS

ISRAEL MUSINGS: OP-EDS & ARTICLES

Netanyahu, Boehner meet in Jerusalem discuss US-Israel strong bond, Iran threat

April 1, 2015

President Barack Obama might not acknowledge Israel and the United States’ “strong bond,” Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, R-OH has no problem expressing and did so in his amicable meeting and statement on…
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Full Text Israel Political Brief February 20, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Meeting with US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

PM Netanyahu Meets with US Sen. (R-FL) Marco Rubio

Source: PMO, 2-20-13
יום רביעי י’ אדר תשע”ג

Photo by GPO

 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, met with US Senator (R-FL) Marco Rubio. The Prime Minister said: “I appreciate your support. I appreciate the tremendous support of the American people, bipartisan support for our security and our quest for peace. It’s a daunting task, both security and the quest for peace, but we know we have your support and we appreciate it. I look forward to talking with you about our challenges.”

Sen. Rubio said: “Well, you live in a challenging neighborhood but the Israeli-American relationship is one of the most important ones we have, and certainly our commitment to that partnership is bipartisan and it should remain that way. And that’s why I’m pleased the President is coming here in March

Israel Political Brief November 20, 2012: Poll shows gap between Republicans and Democrats in backing Israel in Gaza

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ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Poll shows gap between Republicans and Democrats in backing Israel in Gaza

Source: JTA, 11-20-12

A CNN poll showed a considerable gap between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to backing Israel in the current Gaza conflict.

In the CNN poll published Monday, respondents were asked whether “Israel was justified or unjustified in taking military action against Hamas and the Palestinians in the area known as Gaza.” Among Democrats, 40 percent said Israel was “justified,” compared to 74 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of independents.

In all, 57 percent of those polled said Israel was justified in launching the operation in the Gaza Strip.The poll, carried out by ORC International in 1,023 phone interviews from Nov. 16 to Nov. 18, has a margin of error of 3 percentage points….READ MORE

Jewish Political Brief November 7, 2012: Fighting over every percentage point: Arguing about the Jewish vote and exit polls

JEWISH POLITICAL BRIEF

Jewish_Political_Brief

JEWISH POLITICAL BRIEF: JEWS & POLITICS

Fighting over every percentage point: Arguing about the Jewish vote and exit polls

Source: JTA, 11-7-12

President Obama earned 69-70 percent of the Jewish vote, according to exit polls, but it was a drop from his 2008 showing. Expect four more years of tussling between Democrats and Republicans as to why….READ MORE

Jewish Political Brief November 7, 2012: Congressional races: Republican Jewish hopefuls defeated, new faces for House Demcrats

JEWISH POLITICAL BRIEF

Jewish_Political_Brief

JEWISH POLITICAL BRIEF: JEWS & POLITICS

Congressional races: Republican Jewish hopefuls defeated, new faces for House Dems

Source: JTA, 11-7-12

In a generally rough night for Republicans, the GOP’s top Jewish congressional prospects all went down to defeat, but there are some new Jewish faces in the House Democratic caucus. Read more »

 

Israel Political Brief July 30, 2012: Republicans Likelier Than Democrats to Favor PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Gallup Poll Shows

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ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Republicans likelier than Democrats to favor Bibi, Gallup poll shows

Source: JTA, 7-30-12

Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to view Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu favorably, and President Obama’s Jewish support remains steady, according to polling by Gallup….READ MORE

Jewish News Brief June 1, 2012: Workman’s Circle Poll: American Jewish Voters Still Favor Obama Over Romney

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ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Poll: Jewish Voters Still Favor Obama Over Romney

New poll finds that Obama out-polls Romney by 59 percent to 27 percent among Jewish voters. Economics, not Israel, matters to voters.

Source: Israel National News, 6-1-12

President Barack Obama in Colombia

President Barack Obama in Colombia
Reuters

Jewish voters still prefer President Barack Obama over Republican nominee Mitt Romney, according to a new poll released on Thursday by the Workmen’s Circle.

The poll was conducted by a team led by Professor Steven M. Cohen.

Among Jews, the Democratic President out-polls the Republican candidate by 59 percent to 27 percent, with 14 percent undecided. If the undecided voters split similarly, Obama would out-poll Romney by a 68 percent to 32 percent margin among Jewish voters.

The issues driving the Jewish vote, according to the poll, are economic justice including regulating financial institutions, support for progressive taxation, and the argument that government should do more to help the needy.

“These are extremely significant polling numbers. They offer a snapshot of the American Jewish community regarding the values and issues that are the highest priorities, though these are not the issues that are front and center in our communal debate,” Madelon Braun, the president of the Workmen’s Circle, said in a statement Thursday….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief May 17, 2012: US Senate Republicans Stall Iran Sanctions for being Too Soft

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ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Republicans Stall Iran Sanctions for being Too Soft

Senate Republicans: bill needs to say United States will use force to stop any nuclear weapons program.
Obama with USAF Col. Michael Minihan

Obama with USAF Col. Michael Minihan
Reuters

Senate Republicans blocked package of sanctions against Iran on Thursday because the bill’s wording was not tough enough in their opinion. The GOP senators said that besides listing economic sanctions, the bill needs to say that the United States is prepared to use force to stop any nuclear weapons program.

“I just want to add one simple line that says we recognize what the president was saying that military force is also an option,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on the floor during the debate over the bill.

Republicans agreed that the bill as it is worded at present would signal a step back from Obama’s stated policy that he would do “anything necessary” to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.

According to The Hill, Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.), who has sponsored a separate use of force resolution with Graham and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), said the senators should be able to reach agreement sometime Thursday on necessary changes to the bill.

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) urged Republicans to pass the bill in its present form but agreed that the Senate should be on record as determining that Iran must not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons.

If it passes Thursday, the bill’s timing will send a message to Iran just days before next week’s talks in Baghdad between Iran and the five permanent U.N. Security Council members plus Germany.

Israel Political Brief May 1, 2012: Obama’s Jewish Numbers On The Rise

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Obama’s Jewish Numbers On The Rise

Source: The NY Jewish Week, 5-1-12

President Obama at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum last month. getty images

President Obama at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum last month. getty images

President jumps to 61 percent of vote from 45
in September, but observers cautious on AJC poll results.

Does President Barack Obama have his Jewish mojo back?

Did the rightward tilt of the Republican presidential primaries, where culture war issues surged to the top of the GOP agenda, scare off potential Jewish voters?

Or is Election Day simply too far in the future for a poll in April to carry much significance?

Those are some of the questions to emerge as analysts dissect the data from the latest opinion poll of American Jews by the American Jewish Committee.

The survey of 1,074 people who identify as Jewish, taken between March 14 and March 27, found that in the prior six months, the president — who has spent much of his term trying to beat back criticism from the Jewish right that he is anti-Israel — has seen his appeal to Jews spike to 61 percent, from 45 percent in September.

And if the election were held today, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee, would receive just 28 percent of the Jewish vote.

Obama’s share of 61 percent is virtually identical with the 62 percent Jewish approval rating found by the Public Religion Research Institute a month earlier. (Those figures are well below the 78 percent he garnered in the 2008 election, but Jews continue to support Obama more than almost any other group in the country). It sampled 1,004 self-identified Jewish adults between Feb. 23 and March 5….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief March 25, 2012: US Congress lift holds & release $88.6 million in aid to Palestinians

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Congress frees up some PA funds

Source: JTA, 3-25-12

The United States plans to release $88.6 million in development funds for the Palestinian Authority.

Congress members announced the planned release Friday to the grudging gratification of the PA, which needs the money to stay fiscally afloat.

In August, Republican lawmakers froze $147 million in U.S. aid to protest the PA’s attempt to sidestep stalled peace talks with Israel and win statehood status at international forums.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), chairwoman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, limited the release to $88.6 million.

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad called the release “very important” but told reporters, “The entire sum must be sent … in order to support the Palestinian Authority’s budget.”

Video Israel Political Brief March 6, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Visits the US Congress Meets with Leaders

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ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

PM Netanyahu’s visit to the US Congress

Israel Political Brief March 6, 2012: In Washington, everyone loves Benjamin Netanyahu

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

In Washington, everyone loves Benjamin Netanyahu

Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner listen as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in the Capitol March 6, 2012. | Reuters

In the FourSquare of American politics, Netanyahu is the mayor of Washington this week. | AP Photo

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is an “old friend,” Mitt Romney told folks at the American Israel Public Affairs Conference in Washington Tuesday.

Rep. Howard Berman, the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, edged in close enough at a Capitol press conference to be photographed with Netanyahu.

And Sen. Mark Kirk, who recently suffered a stroke, put out a press release and video to mark Netanyahu’s wish that the Illinois Republican would recover quickly. Kirk isn’t Jewish, but a lot of folks in his old Chicago-area House district are.

In the FourSquare of American politics, Bibi Netanyahu is the mayor of Washington this week….. READ MORE

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) can’t agree on much, but they joined arms to embrace Netanyahu for a private lunch meeting with Berman and other lawmakers who have a hand in foreign policy.

And both leaders sent out transcripts of their remarks at the joint press conference.

“Now is the time to stand together,” Boehner said. “We are here today to tell the prime minister that Congress intends to do so.”

Netanyahu tried to return some of the congressional love during his press conference on Tuesday in the Capitol.

“I don’t think there is a place anywhere else on earth where we can match the clarity, courage and wisdom than … the halls of this institution,” Netanyahu said. “I go back to Israel feeling we have great friends in Washington.”

Israel Political Brief March 5, 2012: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Democratic and Republican Congressional Leaders Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell Address Bipartisan Gala

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Israeli Prime Minister, Democratic and Republican Leaders to Address Gala

Source: AIPAC, 3-5-12

While Washington, D.C. is increasingly consumed with bickering between Democrats and Republicans, the U.S.-Israel relationship remains the one issue that transcends the partisan divide. In a display of this bipartisan spirit, more than half of Congress will attend tonight’s Gala, along with representatives from 51 countries, administration officials, congressional candidates and other VIPs.

Due to the extraordinary number of attendees, the Gala will take on a different format this year. All 13,000 Policy Conference delegates will fit in Halls D/E, where they will be treated to a pre-Gala concert featuring musical guests from the U.S. and Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will deliver the keynote address. The prime minister’s speech will come a few hours after his meeting with President Obama.

In addition, two longtime supporters of the U.S.-Israel relationship—Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Democratic Leader of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)—will speak at the Gala.

The Gala will be the end of a full day of Monday programming. The morning kicks off with an address by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

After the morning plenary, delegates will head to panel discussions on topics affecting the U.S., Israel and the Middle East, as well as lobbying workshops, where they will learn from AIPAC’s top experts how to make the case for Israel on Capitol Hill tomorrow.

Israel Political Brief September 20, 2011: US Congressional Republicans Tightens its Bond with PM Benjamin Netanyahu

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

House G.O.P. Tightens Its Bond With Netanyahu

Jason Reed/Reuters

The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has influence with American lawmakers, which can complicate policy.

Source: NYT, 9-20-11

When the Obama administration wanted to be certain that Congress would not block $50 million in new aid to the Palestinian Authority last month, it turned to a singularly influential lobbyist: Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

At the request of the American Embassy and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mr. Netanyahu urged dozens of members of Congress visiting Israel last month not to object to the aid, according to Congressional and diplomatic officials. Mr. Netanyahu’s intervention with Congress underscored an extraordinary intersection of American diplomacy and domestic politics, the result of an ever-tightening relationship between the Israeli government and the Republican Party that now controls the House.

On Tuesday, one of President Obama’s potential rivals in 2012, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, delivered a speech in New York criticizing Mr. Obama’s stance toward Israel as “naïve, arrogant, misguided and dangerous.” Mr. Perry said that he would be a guest soon of Danny Danon, the hard-right deputy speaker of the Israeli Parliament.

The relationship between the Israeli government and the Republican Party has significantly complicated the administration’s diplomatic efforts to avert a confrontation at the United Nations this week over the Palestinian bid for full membership as a state, limiting President Obama’s ability to exert pressure on Mr. Netanyahu to make concessions that could restart negotiations with the Palestinians….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief August 22, 2011: Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu Meets With US Congressional Delegation

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ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Meeting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Republican Congressmen delegation headed by Eric Cantor in Jerusalem.
Photo: Amos Ben Gershom GPO

Source: The Prime Minister of Israel, 8-22-11

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today (Monday), 22.8.11, in Jerusalem, met with a delegation of 25 Republican members of the US House of Representatives, led by Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price.

Prime Minister Netanyahu emphasized the direct links between the terrorists in Gaza and the Iranian regime and said that, “Those who fire missiles at Israel are supported by Iran with weapons, money and training.  They constitute a forward Iranian post on our borders.  Just as Iran threatens us, so too it threatens the US.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked the US and the Congress for their strong support of Israel.  He noted the successes of the Iron Dome system in intercepting missiles and added that he intends to station additional batteries in order to defend Israeli cities.

מפגש ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו עם משלחת חברי קונגרס מארה”ב, 22 אוגוסט 2011

ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו נפגש היום בירושלים עם משלחת של 25 חברי קונגרס אמריקאים מהמפלגה הרפובליקנית. בראש המשלחת עומדים מנהיג הרוב בקונגרס, ח”ק אריק קנטור וראש הוועדה הרפובליקנית למדיניות, ח”ק טום פרייס.

ראש הממשלה הדגיש בדבריו את הקשר הישיר בין המחבלים בעזה ובין המשטר האיראני ואמר: “אלו שיורים טילים על ישראל נתמכים ע”י איראן בנשק, בכסף ובאימונים”. עוד הוסיף כי “הם מהווים שלוחה קדמית של איראן על גבולותינו. כפי שאיראן מאיימת עלינו כך היא מאיימת על ארה”ב”.

ראש הממשלה הודה לארה”ב ולקונגרס על תמיכתם האיתנה בישראל. נתניהו ציין את הצלחותיה של מערכת “כיפת ברזל” ביירוט טילים ואת כוונתו להציב סוללות נוספות להגן על ערי ישראל.

Israel Political Brief August 8, 2011: 55 Republican, 26 Democratic congressmen to arrive for week-long trips sponsored by American Israel Education Foundation

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

Source: Jerusalem Post, 8-8-11

Eighty-one congressmen, or about 20 percent of the US House of Representatives, will visit Israel over the next three weeks during Congress’s summer recess, with the first group of 26 Democrats scheduled to arrive on Monday.

The Democratic delegation will be followed by two Republican ones, bringing a total of 55 Republicans.

RELATED:
US Affairs: The GOP and Israel
The Israel Factor: The Republican presidential candidates

Most of the representatives are freshmen congressmen, with 47 – or fully half of the freshmen Republicans voted into office in 2010 – making the trip.

For many of them, this will be their first trip to Israel.

The week-long trips are sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation, a charitable organization affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which brings large delegations of congressmen here every other August.

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) will head the Democratic delegation, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) will lead one of the Republican groups.

Hoyer, in a statement, said he looked forward to “returning to Israel to continue learning firsthand about the evolving security situation in the Middle East, the deep challenges facing Israel, and the role the US can play in the region during this time of uncertainty.

I’m pleased members of Congress have this opportunity to study American interests in the Middle East and gain a deeper understanding of the issues involved in increasing stability in the region.”

The delegation will visit both Israel and the West Bank, and is scheduled to meet with President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

Among those on the delegation arriving Monday are Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., Ohio’s Betty Sutton, and Pennsylvania’s Mark Critz.

In a related development, The Israel Project will be bringing a group of 18 Washington-based ambassadors from Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America to Israel on Monday for a weeklong tour and high-level meetings. Like the congressmen, they will also go to Ramallah, for a meeting with PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Among the countries represented on the trip are Albania, Barbados, Belize, Burkina Faso, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Macedonia, St. Lucia and Uganda.

Some of these countries have been mentioned by officials in Jerusalem as likely candidates to either vote against, or at least abstain, when the vote on Palestinian statehood comes before the UN in September.

Douglas M. Bloomfield: Can Republican love translate into votes?

Washington Watch: Republicans’ support of Israel does not put American Jewish voters in their pockets.

Source: Jerusalem Post, 7-14-11

The Democrats are running scared, the Republicans are delusional, and the Israeli government should be worried.

A new Gallup poll shows 60 percent of American Jews approve of Barack Obama’s overall performance – well below the 78% he got in 2008. That number may be 14 points ahead of his approval rating among all voters, but it’s giving Democratic operatives heartburn and Republicans high hopes for a mass exodus of Jews to the red side of the ballot.

PM Netanyahu, US President Obama at White House
Photo by: Avi Ohayon / GPORepublicans – focusing on the 60% and ignoring Obama’s 85% approval rating among Jewish Democrats in the same poll – have been predicting a sea change in Jewish voting for as long as I can recall.

In 2008, some were confidently predicting Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), with a solid pro-Israel voting record and popular in the Jewish community, would be the first Republican to win a Jewish majority. To make sure that happened, the Republican Jewish Coalition spent millions on a fear-and-smear campaign against the Democratic nominee, painting him as the Muslim Manchurian candidate.

Fortunately for Obama, that strategy snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, especially in the key state of Florida, and helped assure a large Democratic turnout.

I don’t know if they’re smart enough to avoid trying that again.

Not that Obama isn’t vulnerable.

Although his administration has given stronger support for Israel’s security than its predecessors, even providing advanced technology such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that the Bush administration refused, and has supported Israeli positions on Hamas, Iran and the Palestinian UN strategy, many feel there is something missing.

There’s none of the warmth that friends of Israel have come to expect. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu couldn’t get along with Bill Clinton either, but Clinton and George W. Bush demonstrated a warmth toward Israel that Obama lacks.

He just doesn’t have it in his kishkes.

Obama is “pretty low on the trust and confidence scale” with Israel and the Jews, said Aaron David Miller, a Mideast policy advisor in several administrations and currently a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center. He isn’t an enemy of Israel, but “he’s not in love with the idea of Israel” either….READ MORE

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