Israel and Monday’s Foreign Policy Debate


“Israelis on Obama” is a two-minute web video culled from hours of interviews conducted by Rabbi Susan Silverman in Israel over the last three months. The video features interviews with Israelis near the Gaza border, Jerusalem, Herzliya and Tel Aviv and includes experts on Iran, retired IDF officials, and academics. Each was asked what they thought Defense Minister Ehud Barak meant by his comments that President Obama was “doing more than anything he could remember in the past” for Israel’s security.

— by Steve Sheffer

With the election only three weeks away, the Romney campaign has violated a key tenet of pro-Israel advocacy: Support for Israel is and must remain bipartisan. His arguments against President Obama are based on distortions and outright lies.

Romney’s claim that President Obama went on an “apology tour” is false.

Romney’s claim that President Obama “threw Israel under the bus” reveals an astonishing ignorance of President Obama’s record on Israel.

Far from resisting or opposing sanctions, President Obama has imposed the toughest sanctions ever imposed on Iran, and has rallied an unprecedented international coalition against Iran.

President Obama never spoke of the need to create “daylight” between the US and Israel. In fact, Israeli leaders confirm that under President Obama, the degree of military and intelligence cooperation between the US and its “closest ally in the region” (in President Obama’s words) is unprecedented.

Romney’s politicizing of the Libya tragedy is collapsing on itself; yesterday the LA Times reported that there is no evidence of Al Qaeda participation and the Washington Post reported that CIA documents support Susan Rice’s initial account of the attack. Romney’s attacks are also hypocritical, especially given Romney’s own statements in defense of the Bush administration after 9/11.

You can read the details, plus more (including a summary of the President’s record and information about a Romney campaign group that includes critics of Israel and opponents of Iran sanctions) below after the jump.


Ehud Barak and Shim Peres agree: “Obama is the best President for Israel ever.”

The final debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney will be Monday, October 22. The topic is foreign policy.

There was only one foreign policy question asked during Tuesday’s debate. Romney took advantage of the opportunity not only to get his facts wrong on Libya, but to restate his favorite catch-phrases about the President’s foreign policy. Let’s get a few things straight:

Using Israel as a political football is unacceptable.

Dan Gelbar summed it up perfectly:

No less an authority than Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak called President Obama’s commitment to Israel’s security “all-encompassing and unprecedented.” Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon pronounced, “we have no better friend than President Obama.”

How do you reconcile these unequivocal statements of support by those most knowledgeable about Israel’s security with the television commercials Floridians are hearing this campaign season? How does Mitt Romney claim Obama has “put Israel under the bus” while former Israeli Mossad Director Efraim Halevy says Obama has shown “leadership of historic dimension?” How does the Republican Party run commercials suggesting Obama is a danger to Israel, when Israeli President Shimon Peres calls him “a great friend of Israel?”  

In a word: Politics.

With the election just weeks away and Romney hoping to reverse his fortunes, the Republicans have begun a totally fabricated drumbeat that Obama is bad for Israel. It is an argument based in part on distortion, in part on the fact that the Internet has no truth key, and in part on fear – and yes, prejudice.

But these political attacks are false in every way.


“The bonds between the United States and Isarel are unbreakable.” – President Barack Obama.

Read all of Gelbar’s article here.  If you still have even the slightest concerns, read this excellent article by Professor Steven Spiegel that appeared in the Times of Israel on October 19. It’s a must-read.

Ofer Bavley, the director general of the JUF Israel Office, writes that

Our alliance is based on shared values: democracy, individual freedoms, respect for human rights and the rule of law. This bond is neither a Republican nor a Democrat invention. It connects our two countries in a network of common interests that transcend party politics. Both parties have placed Israel at the top of their agenda whenever they were in power, at the White House or in Congress.  

Ofer concludes that

By using Israel as a wedge issue in U.S. elections, Israel loses its bipartisan place and becomes “another election topic.” By debating Israel, it ceases being a bipartisan point of consensus, it becomes a tool in a battle for votes and in the long run, as part of a political debate, Israel might lose some of the support it now enjoys with both parties. The danger is that Israel might become closely associated with one party or the other. Never mind a presidential term of four years, we can’t even afford to be in the political wilderness for one session of congress.

Bipartisan support for ever-strengthening American-Israeli relations is also cardinal if we wish to strengthen deterrence against our common enemies. They need to understand that no President and no party are “anti-Israel,” that all parties and all candidates stand strongly on the side of Israeli-U.S. relations as a matter of national interest.

No matter who Americans vote for in the coming elections, Israelis know that the U.S. and Israel will stand firmly together. Let us hope that support for Israel is kept in everyone’s heart-and out of the political debate.


President Obama gained the support of Russia, China and other nations to pass United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929 imposing the most comprehensive and crippling sanctions the Iranian government has ever faced.

President Obama never went on an apology tour. Politifact awarded Romney a “Pants on Fire” rating for his absurd claim that President Obama went on an apology tour. Here is what Politifact concluded:

Once again, Romney has accused Obama of beginning his presidency “with an apology tour.”

Our reviews of Obama’s 2009 foreign travels and speeches showed no such thing. While he criticized past U.S. actions, such as torture practices at Guantanamo, he did not offer one apology.

It’s ridiculous to call Obama’s foreign visits and remarks “an apology tour.” We rate this statement Pants on Fire!

The Washington Post awarded Romney four Pinocchios (the maximum) for the same claim.

Romney and Ryan’s claim that President Obama resisted the sanctions imposed by Congress is wrong.  Politifact rated the claim “mostly false” instead of “false” because, in its words, Ryan employed a “sliver of truth in service of a misleading impression.” Here is the reality:

Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent, nonpartisan think-tank,  told PolitiFact earlier this year that[Obama’s pushback against Congress was] not evidence the Obama administration had a weak stance on Iran, it’s just that Obama resisted letting Congress dictate the terms.

“Flexibility is the watchword,” he said. “It’s really hard to argue that this administration hasn’t brought strong pressure to bear on Iran.”…

James Jeffrey, a deputy national security adviser in the Bush administration and ambassador to Iraq and Turkey under Obama, said this kind of back-and-forth between Congress and the executive branch happens all the time. Congress wants to exert unilateral pressure, and the executive needs room for diplomacy with its allies.

You could just as easily characterize what Ryan calls watering down as the Obama team “strengthening the ability to enforce” sanctions against Iran, he said.

In fact, the United States and European Union, among others, are now putting so much economic pressure on the country that “many judge that Iran might soon decide it needs a nuclear compromise to produce an easing of sanctions,” according to the Congressional Research Service’s September report.

In other words, it was never about President Obama’s commitment to Iran
sanctions. As Ron Kampeas wrote, it was about the executive prerogative, stupid.

President Obama never spoke of the need to create daylight between the US and Israel. You can search all you want, but you’ll never find President Obama saying that. What you will find are people who claim they heard from anonymous sources that the President said that in a closed-door meeting with American Jewish leaders. But read this from Nancy Ratzan, the immediate past-president of the National Council of Jewish Women, who was there:

For many elections we have seen various attempts to peel off the traditionally Democratic Jewish vote. The recently released video “Perilous Times” is perhaps the most insidious and misleading effort to date to use propaganda to divide the Jewish community. The video is designed to make Jewish voters feel insecure about President Obama’s commitment to Israel by distorting and misappropriating the truth about the president’s and, indeed, America’s, unwavering alliance with Israel.

Early in the video the narrator alleges that when President Obama met in a private meeting with Jewish leaders in June of 2009, there was “stunned silence” as the president spoke about his administration’s vision regarding the Middle East.

I was one of the Jewish leaders in that meeting. I remember precisely what happened; it was not as represented in this video.

The truth is that President Obama spent an hour with 16 Jewish leaders from a wide spectrum of the American Jewish community. We dialogued with the president about ensuring the security of Israel, plans for advancing peace in the Middle East and strategies for ending Iran’s growing nuclear capacity.

The president was clear, unequivocal and passionate. The president articulated that he and his administration are resolutely committed to the security and safety of Israel, to the survival of Israel as the Jewish homeland, and to the pursuit of sustainable peace in the Middle East, a peace that secures Israel.

I, along with many other Jewish leaders, left that meeting confident about President Obama’s commitment to Israel and promising vision for moving towards peace in the region. I left a proud American and a secure Jew.

President Obama has called Israel America’s “closest ally in the region.” It’s amazing that this was even questioned in the first place.  Click here for just a few examples.

Romney’s politicizing of the Libya attacks are factually wrong and hypocritical. The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that “the assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi last month appears to have been an opportunistic attack rather than a long-planned operation, and intelligence agencies have found no evidence that it was ordered by Al Qaeda.”

Also yesterday, the Washington Post reported that CIA documents supported Susan Rice’s description of the Benghazi attacks.

In other words, Romney’s opportunistic attempts to exploit the tragedy for political gain were, surprise, surprise, not based on facts. As John Marshall concludes after reviewing the facts, “only in the final weeks of a presidential campaign, with one candidate desperate for an America under siege Carteresque tableau to play against, would this ever remotely have been treated like a scandal or cover up. A bunch of reporters basically got played and punk’d.” Read Marshall’s article here.

Romney’s attacks are also hypocritical. There were 12 embassy attacks during the Bush administration, but Romney never said a word. One of the worst attacks on Americans on foreign soil, the Beirut bombing, occurred on Reagan’s watch.

And in 2004,”Romney was asked to address the 9/11 Commission’s finding of serious intelligence failures on the part of the US government in the run-up to the attacks. He responded that it is easy, but ultimately not particularly helpful, to blame different parts of the government for the attack.” Read the details here.

It’s ironic, if not hypocritical, that many of the Republicans now complaining the loudest voted to cut funds for diplomatic security.

Another tangible sign of the unprecedented level of military and intelligence cooperation between the US and Israel: This week, Israeli and US military forces will participate in the largest ever joint missile defense exercise of its kind.

Another example of the double-standard applied to President Obama. I’ve written previously about the double-standard some of our Republican friends apply to President Obama when it comes to Israel.  And as Meir Shalev wrote, if President Obama treated Israel the way Reagan did, Obama would be impeached.

Now we’ve found out that the Romney campaign’s recently-formed “Arab-Americans for Romney” committee includes several staunch critics of Israel and opponents of Iran sanctions:

“The fact that the Romney folks have an anti-Israel activist like George Salem and a guy like Grover Norquist, who has been widely criticized, including by Republican members of congress, for long standing ties to terrorists and supporters of terrorists groups, affiliated with their campaign is pretty troubling,” said one official with a Jewish organization. “If this were the Obama campaign, you can only imagine the howls of outrage that we would be hearing from Conservatives – and rightly so.”

Read the article here.

If this is “throwing Israel under the bus,” then we need a lot more buses like this:  President Obama has called for the removal of Syrian President Assad, ordered the successful assassination of Osama bin-Laden, done more than any other president to stop Iran’s illicit nuclear program, restored Israel’s qualitative military edge after years of erosion under the Bush administration, secretly sold Israel the bunker-busting bombs it requested but did not receive during the Bush administration, increased security assistance to Israel to record levels, boycotted Durban II and Durban III, took US-Israel military and intelligence cooperation to unprecedented levels, cast his only veto in the UN against a one-sided anti-Israel Security Council resolution, opposed the Goldstone Report, stood with Israel against the Gaza flotilla, and organized a successful diplomatic crusade against the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.

Want more facts? The Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs is the most-respected bipartisan pro-Israel PAC in the Chicago area, and is one of the best sources of good information in the country. Read its fact sheet here.

Want to get in the mood for Monday night’s foreign policy debate? Click here for Mitt Romney’s easy five-step approach to foreign policy.

Reprinted courtesy of the Chicagoland Pro-Israel Political Update. Subscribe here

Binders and Blinders: You Didn’t Build That Binder

A Poll of a lie used to perpetuate and justify a lie, is still a lie.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

— by Steven Bradley

How to make a lie look like a reality – take a poll

  • Say a lie that engenders people to you.
  • Get a “focus group” to hear your lie during a Debate.
  • Poll the effect of your lie on their opinion after the Debate.
  • Declare the lie as insignificant and the Poll representing a shift in women’s opinions.
  • Use the Poll later to sway opinions and discount further examination of the truth.

Has anyone been following this “binders of women” issue on the news? It has begun to have a life of its own hasn’t it?

But does pointing a lie out after the fact have the same effect as pointing it out at the time it occurs? Will conservative pundits point out lies by their own kind or just cover them up?

About 65 million people watched the second Debate where Mitt Romney lied about the “binders of women” as being one of his own initiatives to hire and place women in his Cabinet.

Most people who listened to the Debate will never know the truth. The truth that, both candidates during the race for Governor in Massachusetts were given binders and signed an agreement with a woman’s action organization to hire women in their administration. They were both given binders of women to draw from in filling positions at a time long before the election occurred. It wasn’t Mitt Romney’s initiative at all that put women in his administration…

More after the jump.

Another reason to be disgusted with the direction NBC is taking with their morning shows. They are now pandering to the largest conservatives, their owners.

MSNBC might be progressive at night but it isn’t in the morning.

The exchange between Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on “Morning Joe” (MSNBC) October 18, 2012 is a prime example of what these “Conservatives” really think of women.

Mika was an “island of reason” surrounded by an “old boy network”. She was attacked for speaking out about Mitt Romney’s lies. I could just picture these guys saying dumb blond jokes in the locker room later after the show.

Joe Scarborough the host of Morning Joe belittled Mika Brzezinski and her opinion as not being representative of women in general regarding this binder issue and its importance to the election. Joe based his argument on an MSNBC poll taken right after the second Debate on Romney’s popularity among women by NBC.

“A Poll of a lie used to perpetuate and justify a lie, is still a lie.”

The MSNBC focus group Poll was based on women hearing Mitt Romney’s presentation at the Debate and not knowing about his blatant binder lies.

In sales terms this is called; “Closing the deal before they figure out the truth.”

This is how Conservatives do it. They lie and then back their lie up with another lie and discount the value of you, your opinion, or even the truth. Pretty soon you don’t know what to believe anymore.

How can you ignore the impact that the truth would have had on a women’s opinion had they known?

Conservatives use lies and double down on them and then challenge anyone who would dare speak out against them. It’s called “being a bully” and it was clearly demonstrated on the Morning Joe Show.

Also, have you noticed Mitt Romney’s pattern when it comes to public appearances lately?

After the Republican Convention and each of the Debates Mitt Romney has held off his appearances until his “morning conservative allies in media” have had a chance to spin the story his way and build up momentum. They don’t want anyone questioning Mitt Romney too soon and spoiling their marketing plan.

It looks like people within NBC are exploiting their own polling to shape opinion rather than report it.

Joe Scarborough has no shame.

That should be a clue to you women out there about listening to him and any of these “conservatives.”

I find the Conservative disdain for women absolutely disgusting.

More power to you Mika Brzezinski for speaking out and trying.

It looks like Joe Scarborough is Rush Limbaugh’s surrogate now.

Second Debate Further Clarifies the Jewish Values Choice

— by David Streeter

Tonight, President Obama showed that he stands with the Jewish community on a wide range of issues from keeping America safe and fighting for economic justice to protecting a woman’s right to choose and supporting legislation like the DREAM Act,” said David Harris, President and CEO of NJDC. “Once again, Governor Mitt Romney demonstrated in tonight’s debate that his views are completely out of step with the values of Jewish voters. In so many cases, the right-wing policies of the Romney/Ryan ticket are exactly the opposite of the views of a vast majority of Jewish voters.

Examples of how Governor Mitt Romney’s values are out of step with the Jewish community follow the jump.

  • Israel
       
    • Governor Romney has tried time and time again to mischaracterize President Obama’s relationship with Israel, ignoring that the relationship between these two countries is stronger than ever.
         
    • Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak shares this belief, stating: “The unshakable bonds between Israel and America and their respective defense establishments under the guiding hand of President Barack Obama are stronger and deeper than ever and we are very thankful and appreciative of that.” To learn more about Obama’s record on Israel, click here.
         
  • Iran: Romney’s attacks that President Obama has failed to be tough on Iran is completely unfounded.
       
    • President Obama has made stopping Iran’s nuclear ambitions a crucial part of his foreign policy plan, putting in place the most stringent Iran sanctions ever.
         
    • This past month Iran’s currency dropped in value by 40% proving that the sanctions are in fact working.
         
    • As of October 1, the rial was valued at 35,000 rials to one dollar.
         
    • President Obama stood in front of the U.N. and stated that a nuclear Iran was unacceptable, doubling down on his promise that all options are on the table.
         
  • The Buffett Rule
       
    • The 2012 Jewish Values Survey showed that 81% of Jews favor increasing the tax rate on Americans earning more than $1 million a year
         
  • Choice
       
    • According to the same survey, 88% of Jewish voters believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases
         
    • Romney, on the other hand, wants to defund Planned Parenthood and promises to be a “pro-life president.”
         
  • Lilly Ledbetter Act
       
    • While gender equality has long been an important concept in the Jewish community, Governor Romney failed to take a stance on how he would vote on fair pay legislation.
         
  • Immigration and the DREAM Act
       

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter On Presidential Debate

— Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter

The win tonight soundly goes to President Obama who laid out a clear vision to create more jobs on top of the 5.2 million jobs created in the last 31 months. Tonight we also saw the real Mitt Romney-not the phony ‘moderate Mitt’ we’ve seen in recent days, spewing lies that Americans with pre-existing conditions will be covered after he repeals Obamacare, pretending he has a plan to pay for $5 trillion in new tax breaks slanted towards millionaires and outsourcers, or pretending he won’t raise taxes on middle-class families by $2,000.

More after the jump.
We heard the self-professed ‘severely conservative’ Mitt who wants to ‘get rid’ of Planned Parenthood and gut funding for Pell Grants-the guy who was caught on tape behind closed doors with fellow millionaires deriding nearly half the country as freeloaders not worth ‘worrying’ about. The real Mitt Romney’s plan to restore the failed policies of the past that would be devastating for the middle class today.  

The President was clear in his position on violence in America and reaffirmed his commitment to banning assault weapons, while Mitt Romney never answered the question and appears to not even realize that there is violence in America. President Obama understands the issue of violence in cities like Philadelphia, while Mitt Romney has never acknowledged that. ‘Make Believe Mitt’ showed up at the debate tonight-and the President showed him what someone who really cares about the middle class looks like.

Politifact Gives Thumbs Down On Paul Ryan’s Iran Sanction Claims

— by David Streeter

Politifact’s Ruling (emphasis added):

Ryan argued that ‘this administration watered down sanctions, delayed sanctions, tried to stop (Congress) from putting the tough sanctions in place.’ He’s right that the Obama administration compromised with Russia and China to earn their backing in the U.N. Security Council, and pushed for legislative waivers and other flexibility from Congress as it organized an international coalition to counter Iran.

But just because the administration resisted plans in Congress does not mean it failed to get tough sanctions imposed. In fact, that international diplomacy has resulted in ‘what many now consider to be “crippling” sanctions.’ In fact, there’s now so much economic pressure on Iran that Congress’ research arm reports Iran may soon decide to seek a nuclear compromise.

That’s the opposite of what Ryan’s critique suggests. He employs a sliver of truth in service of a misleading impression. We rate his claim Mostly False.

 

VP Debate Shows Why Obama Is Choice of Most American Jews

(NJDC) In last night’s debate, Vice President Joe Biden and Republican challenger Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) demonstrated the clear contrast between the policies of the two campaigns. In a discussion that covered issues ranging from Iran to health care, Biden showed once again that it’s President Obama and the Democratic Party who share the values of the majority of Jewish voters.

  • With 35 years of foreign policy experience in the Senate, Biden shut down Ryan’s smears against the president’s record on Iran. The Vice President affirmed that

    “We will not allow the Iranians to get a nuclear weapon” and said about sanctions,

    These are the most crippling sanctions in the history of sanctions, period…The ayatollah sees his economy being crippled… he sees the world for the first time totally united in opposition to him getting a nuclear weapon… That’s why these crippling sanctions, which [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu says we should continue… the fact of the matter is, he says they’re working.

    On the relationship between the U.S. and Israel, Biden reiterated the historically close relationship between the two countries, stating, “The Israelis and the United   States, our military and intelligence communities are absolutely the same exact place… there is no difference between our view and theirs.”

    In addition to Politifact exposing one of Ryan’s blatantly false Israel claims, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg added his voice to the chorus of journalists and experts noting that the Romney/Ryan ticket offers little difference from the Obama Administration on Iran by tweeting:

    Ryan is quoting President Obama verbatim on why Iran shouldn’t be allowed to have a nuclear weapon

  • Biden reiterated the importance of this election on the future of the Supreme Court, reminding viewers that the next president will likely get to nominate up to two new justices and that Republican challenger Mitt Romney would likely “appoint someone like Scalia or someone else on the court far right that would outlaw abortion.” He also mentioned that Romney’s legal advisor is Robert Bork, who has previously attacked Supreme Court Justice (then nominee) Elena Kagan over her admiration of a distinguished Israeli Supreme Court Justice.
  • Ryan admitted during the debate that his and Romney’s Medicare plan entails telling seniors to “choose your plan, and then Medicare subsidizes your premiums,” which Biden pointed out is the definition of a voucher system. Ryan also agreed with moderator Martha Raddatz that he had previously stood by President George W. Bush’s plan to privatize social security and would continue to do so.
  • NJDC’s Honorary Co-Chair Senator Ron Wyden (D-O) pushed back forcefully on Ryan invoking his name to defend his plans for Medicare. Wyden wrote in a Facebook post:

    The Romney/Ryan plan on Medicare pulls the safety net out from under the poorest and most vulnerable seniors, taking away the opportunity for nursing home care from seniors who need it and have no other options.

    The Wyden-Ryan white paper strengthened the safety net for these dual eligibles. The Romney/Ryan version shreds it. The republican ticket knows that neither I, nor any other Democrat, would support these policies.

  • CNN exposed one of Ryan’s major misleading statements regarding the effects of Obamacare on seniors. Their analysis can be viewed in the video on the right.
  • Biden closed the debate by staunchly defending the separation of church and state, particularly regarding a woman’s right to choose, stating that despite his personal views as a Catholic, he would not impose those views on others, and that regardless of religion, “I do not believe that we have a right to tell… women they can’t control their body.”
  • Overall, Ryan spouted off at least 24 myths during his debate performance, according to Think Progress.

As DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement, “Tonight’s debate… showcased two very different approaches to facts, details and core convictions: Vice President Biden understands they matter, and Congressman Paul Ryan obviously does not.” This debate has shown yet again why President Obama and Vice President Biden are the clear choice for most Jewish voters.

Click here to read a transcript of the debate

Video of debate follows the jump.

Mock Debates: Saturday Night Live and Stewart v. O’Reilly

Saturday Night Live
In SNL’s satire of the Denver debate, Jay Pharoah played the role of Obama while Jason Sudeikis played Romney, and Taran Killam played moderator Jim Lehrer. “Barack Obama forgot to get Michelle an anniversary gift and couldn’t handle Denver’s high altitude, which is why he stumbled in his first debate against Mitt Romney,” according to the SNL satire.

The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium.
Mock journalist Jon Stewart from Comedy Central’s Daily Show “debated” Bill O’Reilly from Fox’s O’Reilly Factor for 90 minutes at the Lisner Auditorium on the campus of George Washington University in Washington.

Videos follow the jump.
Saturday Night Live

Stewart v. O’Reilly

There Will Be No Rematch

The last time Romney and Santorum faced off head-to-head was February 22 at the Arizona Debate, but Mitt Romney sees nothing to gain by engaging his rivals face to face on the issues.

CNN cancelled its Super Tuesday Debate which had been scheduled for March 1 after Mitt Romney announced he was pulling out. This left only one debate left on the primary calendar: The PBS/NPR Debate, next Monday, March 19 in Portland, Oregon. However, today Romney announced he will not participate in that debate either.

Walter Shapiro writes in The Oregonian:

How unfortunate. Republican voters need to hear more from the candidates than stump speeches and dueling calculations of delegate arithmetic. Newt Gingrich has had this one right from the beginning — more debates are always better. Now that the Republicans have been given (and not cursed with) the gift of time in choosing a presidential nominee, it would be folly if the debates — and the serious policy discussions — ended just as the race entered the home stretch.

GOP Candidates Maintain Their Distance from Most Jews in AZ Debate

— Max Samis

In the first Republican presidential debate in nearly a month, one thing became clear: little has changed when it comes to the distance separating the GOP candidates from most Jews. The four candidates on stage in Arizona last night took their turns reminding most American Jews why they support the Democratic Party, in addition to wrongfully attacking President Barack Obama’s work to stop Iran’s nuclear program.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) wrongly attacked Obama’s leadership of the international movement to sanction Iran. As NJDC has noted, the Obama Administration recently implemented more sanctions that have essentially cut off Iran’s central bank from the global economy — and they’ve already made an impact. In addition, the Iranian steel trade has grinded to a halt, and the Iranian oil flow has taken a massive hit. While Romney and others assert otherwise, the fact remains that the President and his Administration are keeping all options on the table when it comes to stopping Iran. As The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg wrote before the debate:

The Obama Administration, through its stalwart opposition to the Iranian nuclear program, has narrowed Iran’s maneuverability, and forced the regime to make some obvious errors … It is precisely because the Obama Administration has constructed a sanctions program without precedent, and because the Obama Administration has funded and supported multinational cyber-sabotage efforts against the Iranian nuclear program, that Iran is panicking and lashing-out.

To get the facts on Obama’s work to stop Iran’s nuclear program, click here.

The New York Times, Politifact, and National Journal fact checked Romney on Iran. Click the hyperlinked publication to view their findings that debunk Romney’s falsehoods.