Obama re-election campaign defends president’s record on Israel

Laura Rozen
September 20, 2011

President Barack Obama's re-election campaign began aggressively defending Obama's record of protecting the state of Israel and pro-Israel policies on Tuesday, unveiling a new website and dispatching surrogates to talk to Jewish activists.

The new website--Jewish Americans for Obama--was disclosed Tuesday in a call to Jewish community activists. It features a video testimonial from Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon saying Israel "has never had a better friend than President Obama."

Two key Obama campaign surrogates--Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida) and former Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Florida)--joined the call to Jewish activists.

Obama "believes that pursuing a two-state solution--a Jewish state of Israel and a viable, demilitarized Palestinian state, are in the best interest of all of the parties and the United States," Wexler, now president of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, told the Envoy in a telephone interview. "And he is going to pursue that objective."

The president is attending the United Nations General Assembly opening session in New York this week. The session is expected to be dominated by the diplomatic drama surrounding Palestinian plans to seek enhanced international recognition. The Obama administration has vowed to block the Palestinian efforts, if necessary by exercising its veto power at the Security Council.

Some Democrats were spooked earlier this month by the party's loss in a special election in New York's ninth Congressional district to a Republican who accused Obama and by association, his Orthodox Jewish Democratic rival, of not being sufficiently supportive of the Jewish state.

Rick Perry, the Texas governor and a leading Republican presidential candidate, gave a speech in New York Tuesday in which he attacked Obama's policy towards Israel as "naive and arrogant."