Israelis split on support for Obama

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - 4:23pm

American and Israeli flags intertwine in a rally outside the US Embassy.
It is a show of support after protests and attacks against American diplomatic outposts across the Middle East but it is also a way to send a message to current and future US Administrations as the US Presidential election nears.
Leader: "and we are standing here to remind the administration that Israel is America's best friend in the Middle East."
to get some idea of how important issues involving Israel have become in the US election look no further than the political ad campaigns being trotted out in the all important battleground state of Florida.
There is a billboard that sends an alarming message to voter saying friends do not let friends get nuked stop Obama.
The rocket says Iran and it is aimed at Israel.
That anti Obama rhetoric is being countered by this new ad releasing in Florida but shot in Israel.
"President Obama saves lives. He saves the lives of Israeli pilots and Israeli soldiers by making Iran isolated."
And then there is the activity on the ground in Israel itself.
"Hi my name is Liora and I'm calling from Republicans abroad in Jerusalem, Israel yes we are very concerned about America's relationship with Israel."
This is a Republican effort by Israeli Americans to get through to undecided voters.
"No Republican President has ever won without Ohio so we are specifically targeting those independents in Ohio"
As for American voters in Israel the non profit group i-vote Israel estimates there are 160,000 potential US voters here. It expects at least 55,000 to vote.
They are interested enough to fill the hall when two men who are not even running for office debate the issues. 
 American voters in Israel: "First of all Obama does npt have any red lines and he does not have any red lights and we heard that from the Israeli Prime Minister and I will rely on his judgment on this because he knows more about this that anybody else in the world and this includes the US President."
"Romney has no special plan to stop Iran and if you think that Romney will come in and just bluff and say there is a new sheriff in town, this is from one of his aides, there is a new sheriff in town and then Iran would shake in its boots and change their minds. how naive can you be?"
Beyond the arguments in the debate there is controversy surrounding I vote Israel, which has sponsored the debates. 

A report by an American group called the Sunlight Foundation dedicated to transparency in Government said I-Vote Israel has ties to a wealthy American who supports Republican causes calling into question it is non-partisanship status.
Sunlight Foundation statement: "We are a non partisan organization. The reality is look at what we have done we have registered 10's of thousands of Democrats and 10's of thousands of Republicans."

With the Iran nuclear threat and US Israeli relations at issue in the US Presidential race some Israeli Americans think they just might have a chance to influence who wins
especially if they can tap into the psyche of undecided voters in the swing states
 

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