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Michelle Kraus Headshot

Romancing American Jews for 2012

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ISRAEL GAZA OPERATION
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The GOP is yet again manipulating the American Jewish vote for the upcoming election. It sure feels like the mighty hand of mythmaker, Frank Luntz, working in stealth behind the scenes because this community is ripe to be played like a violin. Just as the Republicans did in the 2004 presidential election, they are pandering to this community big time and garnering support. The Orthodox are being whipped into a fervor over Israel; while the younger and often more modern Jews are having their heartstrings plucked about human rights and the Settlements. Sadly in this mix, Obama just can't catch a break of any kind. It is the message that is working, not actions, contrary to what the Wall Street Journal writer Dan Senor would like us to believe.

It is plain and simple to me. The president and his administration have stood and are standing with Israel. As we know, hawk Netanyahu and his people are not easy to work with under any circumstances. Israel is under constant siege and reactive because of that. The PLO is not meek or innocent. President Ahmadinejad of Iran is a real threat to Israel, the world and nuclear proliferation. France's President Nicolas Sarkozy is busy currying favors at the UN. Alas, this is the same sitcom that we saw eight years ago around then candidate George W. Bush. Remarkably, the GOP machinations somehow trumped the lifelong support of the then opposing Democratic Party, and their strong foreign relations candidate, Senator John Kerry. The facts seemed inconsequential and were buried. Bush had really not spent much (if any) time in Israel other than to fly over the region from Jordan. Kerry had served, and now chairs the all-powerful Committee for Foreign Relations (CFR), knew the region well, and had worked with many of their leaders. But that didn't matter then, and the facts might still not in 2012, particularly with the pundits and media stirring the pot.

Sadly, the facts really don't seem to matter in modern politics. Just listen to the Republican soothsayers like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, or more recently candidate Herman Cain. Collectively, they are all not big on factoids. New York's Brooklyn special election did not need to be portrayed as a bellwether for the Jewish vote in 2012. Truly, this may have been solely a referendum against bad behavior in Congress that is at a record low in approval ratings and former Representative Anthony Wiener. So, it is not surprising to know that these same folks are leading the Jewish voters astray with half-truths about the sanctity of the State of Israel.

See it, believe it and know it.