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11 Oct, 2011

Obama’s Israel problem | Jordan Times

What is it about Israel that reduces America’s president to Jell-O? Why, for that matter, are all American politicians so afraid to be critical of Israeli policies? Is it fear of being called an anti-Semite? Or is it the “Jewish vote”?

On the face of it, Democrats don’t have that much to fear. Polls suggest that a majority of Jewish Americans (a mere 1.7 per cent of the US population) still vote for the Democratic Party.

When it comes to the so-called Israel lobby in Washington, which is well organised and very well funded, evangelical Christians play an important part as well. But they vote overwhelmingly for Republicans, so Obama would not seem to have much to lose there.

True, certain pro-Israeli organisations, notably the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), can generate a great deal of money to make or break political candidates, who are judged solely on their attitudes towards Israel. And money, given or withdrawn, as well as Jews refusing to vote for Obama out of pique, could make all the difference in crucial “swing states” such as Florida.

via Obama’s Israel problem | Jordan Times.