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It Is the Policies

10:59 AM, Dec 28, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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As Allison Hoffman details in Tablet, the Obama administration seems to believe folks don't think it's pro-Israel because of a concentrated campaign from a small group of conservatives:

Ask anyone in Obamaland about what is now commonly referred to as the president’s Jewish problem, and the same answer will inevitably follow: “It’s not us, it’s you.” Or, more typically, “it’s them” — the vocal cadres of the Emergency Committee for Israel, the Republican Jewish Coalition, and similarly hawkish groups that, in the administration’s view, have turned Israel into an emotional wedge issue for Jewish voters, in much the same way right-wing groups used abortion to pull Catholics and evangelical Christians away from the Democratic Party in the 1980s. “To the extent we have a problem,” [Rep. Debbie] Wasserman Schultz told me last week, “it’s being created by individuals who know that Republicans can’t appeal to Jews on their domestic issues and are attempting to mischaracterize, distort, and lie about the president’s record to create enough distrust in the community to shave off a little bit of support here and there.”

It's no conspiracy, it's the policies. Jen Rubin offers this sharp response:

My word, you can’t buy PR that good. Is it true? Do ECI co-founders Bill Kristol, Rachel Abrams and Gary Bauer have the ability to hypnotize the masses? I guess all those voters in the NY-9 special election must be pretty stupid, huh? This is akin to blaming Politico for Herman Cain’s problem with women.

It was not ECI, of course, that “condemned” settlement building in Jerusalem. It wasn’t ECI that refused to embrace the Bush-Sharon exchange of letters, which was ratified by overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress. Nor did ECI shelter Ambassador Howard Gutman after his widely denounced comments on Israel. You get the idea. Hoffman, Wasserman Schultz and the rest of the Obama spin squad either honestly believe (or think voters are silly enough to believe) that there is no basis for the widespread antipathy toward Obama’s stance on Israel. (That Wasserman Schultz does not actually list any examples to back up her allegation that the ECI folks “mischaracterize, distort, and lie” is sort of a tip-off.)

The assertion, by the way, is quickly contradicted in Hoffman’s piece by the admission that there is, after all,“the seemingly endless series of diplomatic and rhetorical faux pas that has reinforced an anxiety among many Jewish voters—including lifelong Democrats—that Obama is somehow not on their side.” But it’s all lies from ECI, anyway, you see. (No, the whole thing really doesn’t hang together.)

Read Rubin's response to Hoffman's piece here.

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