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Republicans and Democrats falling over each other to please Israeli lobby

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oc2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:31 PM
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Republicans and Democrats falling over each other to please Israeli lobby

There is a story in the Post about how the policiticians are tripping over themselves to get money from the Israeli Lobby-AIPAC.

A story of how both parties are dominated by whores who just want to sell to the highest bidder, in this case AIPAC.
But elsewhere, the competition for Jewish support is playing out in some less visible but surprising ways.

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), a conservative Roman Catholic, is also looking for a boost from the Jewish vote in his uphill campaign for reelection. Trailing in the polls, Santorum has seized on the explosion of Middle East violence to emphasize years of support for Israel and many of the state's 280,000 Jews, who live mostly in and around Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

He recently brought state Jewish leaders to a series of private meetings in Washington with top Republicans, including presidential national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley. He blasted his Democratic opponent, Bob Casey Jr., for failing to speak out forcefully enough in defense of Israel. "At a critical time in the America-Israel relationship, when you are a candidate for one of the hottest Senate races in the country, you have an obligation to step up and speak into this moment," Santorum said in an interview. Instead, he said, Casey shows "weakness."

A number of Jewish donors, especially those in the Orthodox community, are assisting Santorum and others behind the scenes. In the short term, the biggest political benefit of the GOP's outreach to the Jewish community has been financial, Democratic and Republican officials said.

Gary Erlbaum, owner of Greentree Properties in Ardmore, Pa., and other Jewish fundraisers have helped raise well over $1 million for Santorum and rally support for him in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. "If he could get a majority of Jewish voters in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, he would win the election, but there is nothing assured about that," said Erlbaum, who is raising money for some Democratic candidates, also. Erlbaum is major backer of the Orthodox community in his state.

"In conversations with friends of mine who tilt to the left . . . Rick Santorum could be the No. 1 savior of Israel and they would not vote for him," he said. However, he added, "I think generally speaking, the Orthodox community is more supportive."

But it might take years for Republicans to benefit in elections.

Researchers commissioned by the American Jewish Committee found that the group most receptive to the GOP message is Orthodox Jews. They are much more likely to base their political decisions on a candidate's view on Israel than other Jews, researchers have found.

The number of Jewish adults between 18 and 29 who describe themselves as Orthodox is 16 percent, nearly double those ages 30 to 39, the AJC-commissioned study found. The percentages are believed to be even higher among Jews under the age of 18, who account for about 20 percent of the overall Jewish population, according to Nathan Diament, director of public policy at the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. These Jews, who regularly attend synagogue and tend to be conservative on social issues, are also having children at a higher rate than other Jews, Harris said.

In many ways, their views are in sync with those of Christians who attend church regularly, which is one of the most reliable indicators of how a person votes in politics today. The more frequently a person attends church or synagogue, the more likely he or she is to vote Republican, polls show.

"Suddenly the Jewish landscape, based on current trends, will look very different," Harris said. "That has implications for voting patterns party affiliation."

Democrats agree Republicans under President Bush are making inroads among Orthodox Jews. "Absolutely it is problematic," said Ira Foreman, of the National Democratic Jewish Council. "But I would much rather be where we are." Foreman and others said Republican efforts to shake overall Jewish allegiance to Democrats have largely failed because of domestic issues such as abortion rights and concerns about the blending of religious and government activities.

"If you are not a very strong supporter of Israel, you are disqualified" from getting much, if any, of the Jewish vote, said Steve Rabinowitz, a Democratic strategist. "Once you reach that threshold, for the vast majority of the Jewish community, it switches to domestic issues on which Republicans routinely get killed."

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kurth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:38 PM
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1. So... it's government by Orthodox Jews and for Orthodox Jews?
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EST Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 03:51 PM
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2. You ain't far wrong.
This also explains a lot of why Gore was pressured to take Lieberman on as running mate in 2000.
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