President Obama has united Democrats and Republicans on a single issue: Israel. That's the premise of a new Emergency Committee for Israel ad targeting the special election in New York's 9th Congressional District:
The Emergency Committee for Israel is running the following ad in a significant cable news buy, thanking “Israel’s true friends, Democrats and Republicans alike,” for supporting Israel when “President Obama sided with the Palestinians.”
Emergency Committee for Israel executive director Noah Pollak has written a letter to Ambassador Dennis Ross, urging him to use his upcoming address to the liberal lobbying group J Street “to explain why the Jewish State is not just one of our closest allies, but a country that fully deserves the admiration and moral support of all Americans.” If Ross does just this – express his support for Israel – he may not be received well, but “There are few moments when someone with [Ross’s] experience and credibility is invited into the anti-Israel echo chamber and provided an opportunity to dispel myths, combat falsehoods, deliver much-needed moral clarity – and state clearly that the United States stands with Israel.”
Ben Smith reports: "The Emergency Committee for Israel, which has been pounding away at Democratic candidates -- notably Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania -- has launched a new independent expenditure PAC that can solicit unlimited contributions and and play even more directly in elections."
Now we know who constitutes the real Israel lobby: the American public. Especially the Republican-leaning part of it.
Consider the results of a new poll, a survey of 1000 likely voters done October 3 to 5 by McLaughlin and Associates for the Emergency Committee for Israel. (The complete survey results, including cross-tabs, are available at committeeforisrael.com.)
Ben Smith reports today that Joe Sestak is distancing himself from the J Street sponsored, "infamous" (in the words of the Orthodox Union), anti-Israel letter accusing Israel of "collective punishment" for defending itself against Hamas terrorists bent on murdering Israelis. Collective punishment is specifically designated as a war crime by the Geneva Conventions, and the term's use was rejected by all but 12 percent of the House, all Democrats now known as the Gaza 54. That number dropped to 53 when Yvette Clark distanced herself from the letter almost immediately after it was sent to President Obama.
The Emergency Committee for Israel has released another political ad, this time taking aim at Democratic Connecticut congressman Jim Himes. Greg Sargent has the scoop and quotes Bill Kristol: "You can't just say you're pro-Israel, you have to be pro-Israel." Here's the spot: