Remember how we talked yesterday about push polling Jewish voters? Politico is running a piece today which expands on that original report. We now understand that the conservative Republican Jewish Coalition is behind this effort, placing 750 calls to Jewish voters in five states asking questions about Obama designed to flesh out the best strategy to help McCain win the Jewish vote. From Politico:
(The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn, who received a call, said) that he was asked how six different statements would affect his vote:
• Obama has had a decade long relationship with pro-Palestinian leaders in Chicago
• the leader of Hamas, Ahmed Yousef, expressed support for Obama and his hope for Obama’s victory
• the church Barack Obama has attended is known for its anti-Israel and anti-American remarks
• Jimmy Carter‘s anti-Israel national security advisor is one of Barack Obama’s foreign policy advisors
• Barack Obama was the member of a board (sic) that funded a pro-Palestinian charitable organization
• Barack Obama called for holding a summit of Muslim nations, excluding Israel, if elected president
Most of the statements are true, at least in part. Obama was friendly with pro-Palestinian leaders in Chicago in his early days in politics, but they denounced him years ago for his support of Israel. Obama’s church bulletin ran articles sympathetic to the Palestinian cause; Brzezinski is an informal advisor to Obama; the Woods Fund, whose board he served on, gave a grant to a community center in Chicago founded by Palestinian activists; and he did propose a summit of Muslim nations.
But the poll – and the Republican Jewish Coalition’s material more generally – leaves out virtually all of Obama’s recent record, which includes a stance on Israel that has won him praise from the main pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC, and attacks from Palestinian leaders.
He has pushed legislation, for instance, that would force companies to divest from Iran, and has backed Israel’s right to aggressively fight Palestinian militants. He’s also had a good relationship with Chicago’s Jewish community.
“Mr. Obama’s commitment to Israel, as he has articulated it so far in his campaign, is quite moving and a tribute to the broad, bipartisan support that the Jewish state has in America,” the fiercely pro-Israel New York Sun editorialized earlier this year.