Democrats historically have attracted the bulk of support from Jewish voters — 78 percent of them voted for President Barack Obama in 2008. But Republican strategists see an opportunity to draw more of them away in the wake of Obama’s speech on the Middle East last week, The Hill reports.
|Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with President Obama (AP Photo)
Obama’s statement that negotiations for peace between Israel and Palestinians should use Israel’s 1967 borders as a starting point roiled Israel’s government and Jewish voters.
To be sure, that’s the same stance of previous American presidents, although they never announced it publicly.
Some American Jews now see Obama as more sympathetic to Arabs than to Israelis, creating an opportunity for the Republican Party to gain Jewish votes.
“I think it is likely to impact the Jewish vote — it was an unnecessary wound, a self-inflicted wound, and a wound that will not heal very quickly,” said Ari Fleischer, a member of the Republican Jewish Coalition’s board of directors. Fleischer also served as press secretary under former President George W. Bush.
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