Obama camp knows he has a problem with Jewish voters
President Obama's gut-level identification with the Palestinians has become obvious to voters, including many habitual Democrat supporters in the Jewish community. Billionaire big donor Haim Saban very publicly announced he will no longer contribute to President Obama, signaling to other Jewish donors that it is time to bail on a president who publicly calls for 1967 borders as the basis for a settlement.
This 30 second ad, produced by the Emergency Committee for Israel, is also giving heartburn to the Obamites, particularly because it uses pro-Israel Democrats to demonstrate Obama's position as out-of-step with the mainstream.
Publicly, the Obama camp will never admit to concern over Jewish voters and donors abandoning the Obama cause. But this Washington Post op-ed titled "Obama's commitment to Israel," written under Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's name, is ample evidence that there is a growing sense of concern in the Obama camp. A typcal excerpt:
As I listened to the president's speech on the Middle East, I heard him reaffirm his strong commitment to Israel's safety, security and prosperity. He said the U.S. relationship with Israel is unshakable. He said that the conflict cannot be resolved through unilateral actions or a U.N. vote establishing a Palestinian state but only through negotiations between the parties.
Blah, blah, blah goes the boilerplate. As Mayor of Chicago, Rahm should be spending all his time worrying about Chicago and all its problems. Obviously, he was asked to put his name on this, as he is the most famous Jewish political figure associated with Obama.
Ed Lasky points out that Rahm was one of two Jewish Congressmen that endorsed the Geneva Accords and was one of the sponsors of a Congressional Resolution in support of this initiative. (This link is from a pro-Palestinian website that praises Emanuel). The Geneva Accords were a plan hatched by left-wing Israelis and their Palestinian partners that would have led to Israel withdrawing to the 1967 lines, the division of Jerusalem, and with a limited right of return.
Although a small portion of the national electorate, American Jews are very important as donors to Democrats, and are in a position to swing Florida's electoral votes in a reasonably close 2012 election, as well as influence Pennsylvania's vote as well. New York, with the largest number of Jewish voters, is probably a lock for Obama, no matter what.