Subscribers to YWC!LI‘s newsletter are familiar with our recent focus on correcting the misinformation being spread about President Obama’s commitment to Israel. Each piece of the series attends to a particular myth that has been used to turn voters away from our president. This has particularly been true in Florida where the Jewish vote is of great importance and where, too often, voters can be influenced by the Republican campaign to damage the president in the eyes of Jews. On Tuesday evening, July 17, YWC!LI and Obama For America joined together, uniting with local Democratic clubs and organizations, to dispel the myths. Jarret Berg, OFA‘s New York Coordinator for Jewish Outreach, made a very informative presentation using video and print materials to present President Obama’s consistent and persistent commitment to Israel. Copies of the materials, with links to videos and articles, are available. Please write to me at email@example.com to receive the material. I think you will find it very helpful. Here are the first pieces of the series, Dispelling the Myths, that have appeared in our newsletter during July. Subscribe to our newsletter at the top of our website’s home page.
Using a familiar talking point, Mitt Romney resorts to repeatedly accusing President Obama of throwing Israel under the bus, stating the president will use the 1967 borders as the starting point for negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. What Romney intentionally omits is the completion of the president’s statement, with mutually agreed on swaps. Most revealing is that Romney and his staff know precisely what President Obama had said–a position taken by every recent president and recognized as standing American policy for the Middle East for decades. President Obama’s leadership toward a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has Israel’s core interests at heart. The President is working to address Israel’s security needs and ensuring Israel’s future as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people. His recognition that a final border will differ from the 1967 lines allows Israel and the Palestinians to negotiate a settlement that includes the vast majority of Israelis living beyond those lines. Consider a piece written by David Harris for the Jewish Press: Romney’s foray into foreign affairs may make for a good sound bite, but it is no substitute for sound policy. It reflects one of two options: Either he is willfully ignorant of the president’s record, or he’s planning to drive the U.S.-Israel partnership in reverse and undermine the security of the Jewish state. . . Let’s consider the facts.
President Obama has restored and increased Israel’s qualitative military edge, which eroded under his Republican predecessor. He has provided record levels of aid for Israel’s security and supplemented U.S. assistance with more than $1 billion in new funds for the Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow missile defense systems. He has committed American troops to the largest-ever joint military exercises with their IDF counterparts.
The president has said repeatedly that Israel must be able to defend itself, by itself, from any threat. Under his leadership, the United States is ensuring Israel has the means to do so.
It’s no wonder that Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has said he “can hardly remember a better period of…American support and cooperation and similar strategic understanding of events around us than what we have right now.” So that President Obama’s supporters will have the facts at hand, this newsletter will, in a series of articles, call out the Republican misinformation campaign that continues to circulate and will likely intensify as Election Day nears. More importantly, the facts of our president’s record will be listed.
Let’s start with Myth #1: President Obama is pressuring Israel more than he is pressuring the Palestinians.
Fact: President Obama has strongly objected to Palestinian plans to unilaterally declare statehood, condemned Palestinian incitement against Israel, and demanded that Hamas forgo violence and recognize Israel. · President Obama has strongly objected to Palestinian efforts to unilaterally seek statehood recognition through the United Nations: “Efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure [and] symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won’t create an independent state.” · The Obama administration has repeatedly condemned instances of Palestinian incitement against Jews and Israel: “We have repeatedly raised with the Palestinian Authority leadership the need to consistently combat all forms of de-legitimization of Israel including denying historic Jewish connections to the land.” · President Obama has repeatedly demanded that Hamas, a terrorist organization, forgo violence, honor previous agreements, and recognize Israel before being considered a potential partner in negotiations. He has supported Israel’s refusal to negotiate with a Palestinian government that does not meet these conditions.
This is the second of a series of pieces aimed at the misinformation campaign about Israel being waged against President Obama. Previously we exposed Myth #1 (July 1 2012): President Obama is pressuring Israel more than he is pressuring the Palestinians. Our intent is to provide readers with correct information that demonstrates President Obama’s consistent and persistent stance in support of Israel. Myth #2: President Obama has put forward parameters that weaken the Israeli negotiating position including forcing Israel to return to the indefensible 1967 lines.
- · In his speeches at the State Department and to the AIPAC annual policy conference, President Obama insisted that Israel not be required to return to the 1967 lines, and that any future border accommodate Israel’s security and demographic concerns: “The parties themselves — Israelis and Palestinians – will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967.”
· The formulation of 1967 lines with agreed territorial swaps has been the working assumption of every U.S. president and secretary of state since the 2000 Camp David negotiations, as well as former Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak, Israel’s most decorated soldier.
- · President Obama’s speeches clearly supported the importance of Israeli security in any peace deal: “Every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself — by itself — against any threat,” President Obama said.
· President Obama called for a non-militarized Palestinian state and stated that “the full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign, non-militarized state. And the duration of this transition period must be agreed, and the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated.”
This is the third of a series of pieces aimed at the misinformation campaign about Israel being waged against President Obama. Previously exposed: President Obama is pressuring Israel more than he is pressuring the Palestinians; and President Obama has put forward parameters that weaken the Israeli negotiating position including forcing Israel to return to the indefensible 1967 lines. The intent is to provide YWC!LI members with correct information that demonstrates President Obama’s consistent and persistent stance in support of Israel.
Myth #3: Obama is forcing Israel to give up Jerusalem or the Western Wall.
Fact: President Obama has not made declarative statements about the final status of Jerusalem and he has repeated that resolution of the core issues of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict will be reached through direct bilateral negotiations between the two parties. · President Obama believes that “it is up to the Israelis and Palestinians to take action. No peace can be imposed upon them — not by the United States; not by anybody else.”
· Obama recognizes the importance of Jerusalem to the Jewish state and during his AIPAC speech said, “When I touched my hand against the Western Wall and placed my prayer between its ancient stones, I thought of all the centuries that the children of Israel had longed to return to their ancient homeland.”
A video that all should watch and pass along is America and Israel: An Unbreakable Bond. It includes interviews from the Israeli Prime Minister, Defense Minister, President, and Ambassador. Post it to your facebook; send it to friends and family; let people see for themselves what the Israeli leadership thinks of President Obama. This is a useful tool to send to our staunchest critics and detractors; it may even sway or silence a few of them.
This is the fourth and fifth in a series of pieces aimed at the misinformation campaign about Israel being waged against President Obama. Previously exposed: President Obama is pressuring Israel more than he is pressuring the Palestinians; President Obama has put forward parameters that weaken the Israeli negotiating position including forcing Israel to return to the indefensible 1967 lines; and Obama is forcing Israel to give up Jerusalem or the Western Wall. The purpose of of series is to provide YWC!LI members with correct information that demonstrates President Obama’s consistent and persistent stance in support of Israel. Today, given the weekend, I’ve included two myths that the neocons continue to spread.
Myth #4: Obama is soft on Hamas.
Fact: President Obama has repeatedly spoken out forcefully to condemn Hamas. · “It is a sign neither of courage nor power to shoot rockets at sleeping children, or to blow up old women on a bus. That’s not how moral authority is claimed; that’s how it is surrendered.” · “The slaughter of innocent Israelis is not resistance-it’s injustice.” · “Palestinian leaders will not achieve peace or prosperity if Hamas insists on a path of terror and rejection.” · “No country can be expected to negotiate with a terrorist organization sworn to its destruction. And we will continue to demand that Hamas accept the basic responsibilities of peace, including recognizing Israel’s right to exist and rejecting violence and adhering to all existing agreements…”
Myth #5: Obama is not doing enough to prevent a nuclear Iran, the largest threat to Israel’ security Fact: President Obama is determined to prevent a nuclear Iran and signed into law the toughest sanctions against Iran; Obama was praised by Netanyahu for his work.· President Obama is determined to prevent a nuclear Iran. Because of his efforts to form an international coalition of partners including China and Russia, the United Nations Security Council passed the most comprehensive and biting international sanctions Iran has ever faced. · In addition to multilateral sanctions, President Obama worked with Congress to pass the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act, the most far-reaching package of American sanctions against Iran, which makes it harder for the Iranian government to buy refined petroleum and the goods it needs to modernize its oil and gas sector. Already close to $60 billion in energy-related projects in Iran have been put on hold or discontinued. · President Obama has also reinstituted sanctions against Iran-allied Syria and strongly condemned Syria’s transfer of arms to Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy in Lebanon. · Prime Minister Netanyahu praised President Obama in his speech to Congress for President Obama’s hard-nosed efforts to prevent Iranian nuclearization and for defending Israel’s right to protect itself against Iranian proxies: “President Obama has said that the U.S. is determined to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The president successfully led the Security Council at the UN to adopt sanctions against Iran.” · “A series of U.S. and international sanctions imposed over the past year have slowly undermined Iran’s ability to conduct trade by targeting the country’s access to international banking, insurers and transportation companies… At the same time, the United States has backed international efforts to lower global petroleum prices, bringing the collateral benefit of stripping Iran of revenue that it has used to offset the economic costs of sanctions… The sanctions are having unparalleled success in creating significant hardships for key Iranian industries. The impact of the sanctions on banking and transportation companies will be immediate and prolonged.”
This series of pieces will continue to be published in our newsletter. To subscribe, click at the top of our website’s home page and enter you email address. New issues will be received within a day or so. We generally publish three issues each week. Old issues are archived on our home page, by topic and by date.