After a convention that was marred by a bit of Israel-related platform tsuris, big-name Jewish supporters of President Obama are taking to Op-Ed pages to vouch for his commitment to Israel. (And they all seem to be quoting Ehud Barak!)
In The Jerusalem Post, former State Dpartment official Stuart Eizenstat vouches for the president on Iran:
I can say, as one who led the sanctions policy in the Clinton administration, that President Obama has done a masterful job at convincing the international community that it is in everyone’s interest to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. In an unprecedented achievement, President Obama has persuaded previously noncommittal nations such as Russia and China to support international sanctions against Tehran.
Because of US leadership, the European Union has joined in an unprecedented set of financial and insurance sanctions and has taken the extraordinary step of banning new imports of all Iranian petroleum, which represents almost 20 percent of its oil exports.
Furthermore, the President has recently signed into law the toughest-ever set of sanctions against Iran and pressed congress to extend an already tough sanctions regime against Iran. He has also taken the extraordinary step of sanctioning the Central Bank of Iran, which makes it virtually impossible for the Central Bank to process any dollar-denominated transactions.
Also in The Jerusalem Post, Chicago Jewish philanthropist (and longtime Obama backer) Lester Crown testifies that the president’s kishkes are kosher:
Four years ago, then-senator Obama was subject to unfounded attacks from Republicans attempting to prove that he was anti- Israel. In a desperate attempt to attract Jewish voters to the GOP, the presidential campaign of the Republican Party grossly exaggerated and distorted stories about Obama’s background. Their intention was to scare voters about his commitment to Israel were he to become president.
In response, I wrote a letter to my fellow Jewish leaders imploring them to understand that Barack had already passed the gut test. I explained that I had been sure that he was a strong friend of Israel ever since the day we met.
Again today, with elections near, the attacks on the president’s Israel record are on the rise. While governor Mitt Romney has made the economy the focal point of his campaign, his critiques of president Obama’s positions on Israel’s security have been wholly unwarranted. Under the theme of promising to do “the opposite” of Obama on Israel, Romney has attacked a president who has done more for Israel than any recent predecessor.
And in The New York Times last week, Israeli-American entertainment mogul and Democratic donor Haim Saban wrote that for whatever the president’s PR shortcomings, Obama has been a friend of Israel in deed:
Even though he could have done a better job highlighting his friendship for Israel, there’s no denying that by every tangible measure, his support for Israel’s security and well-being has been rock solid.
Mitt Romney claims Mr. Obama has “thrown allies like Israel under the bus,” but in fact the president has taken concrete steps to make Israel more secure — a commitment he has described as “not negotiable.”