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Rabbis see Clinton as top Israel backer

A plurality of rabbis named Hillary Clinton as the presidential candidate most supportive of Israel.

A synagogue innovation and leadership organization called STAR, Synagogues: Transformation and Renewal, surveyed 200 rabbis of all denominations in its second annual pre-Rosh Hashanah survey.

“Eight in 10 rabbis (82 percent – unchanged from last year) say they are more inclined to back political candidates who are pro-Israel over those who are not viewed as pro-Israel,” the surveyors concluded. “When asked which party is more supportive of Israel, almost half, 49 percent, say there is no difference in parties, 21 percent point to the Republican Party as more supportive, down from 35 percent last year, whereas 16 percent cite the Democratic Party as more supportive of Israel, a slight increase from 14 percent last year.”

Asked which candidate is most supportive of Israel, 41 percent said they were unsure. Sen. Clinton (D-N.Y.) polled highest, at 22 percent, followed by former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a Republican, at 16 percent, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at 3 percent. Clinton also was ranked as most supportive of Jewish causes in America in general with 24 percent, followed again by Giuliani with 10 percent and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) with 3 percent.

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