The Democratic National Committee has a new commercial, called “The Facts,” that seems targeted at pro-Israel voters (I didn’t say “Jewish voters” for a reason). It reminds them that they shouldn’t listen to the mud being slung at Obama for supposedly abandoning the Jewish State.
Republicans are called out for violating the tradition that holds that the “bond between the U.S. and Israel is beyond politics,” by making claims that “ignore reality” (that last quote cited from the AP). The DNC’s strongest argument is made by Bibi himself in a clip from an AIPAC appearance in which he said that the security cooperation between the two countries during Obama’s presidency is “unprecedented.” There are other points as well, like Obama’s strong opposition to the Palestinian’s statehood bid at the UN, the coordinated message on Iran, and the billions offered to bolster Israel’s defense.
But the most telling aspect of the commercial is that it exists at all. These are points that wouldn’t have to be reiterated in this way if the Republicans hadn’t been doing a good job establishing a very different narrative. The worry, on the DNC’s part, is not, I think, Jewish voters. It’s those many millions more, evangelicals and others, who see Israel as an abstract cause, theological for many, and have been affected by the simplistic and patently false claim that Obama is somehow anti-Israel. The DNC clearly thinks that the Republicans will continue making this argument as we slouch towards November.
Gal Beckerman was a staff writer and then the Forward’s opinion editor until 2014. He was previously an assistant editor at the Columbia Journalism Review where he wrote essays and media criticism. His book reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review and Bookforum. His first book, “When They Come for Us, We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry,” won the 2010 National Jewish Book Award and the 2012 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, as well as being named a best book of the year by The New Yorker and The Washington Post. Follow Gal on Twitter at @galbeckerman