Bipartisan Courting Of The Jewish Vote

It’s nice to be popular and have your admirers compete to be your BFF.

That’s what’s going on in the House subcommittee on foreign operations appropriations this week. Republicans and Democrats can find little else to agree on but both want to be able to say they support fully funding Israel’s $3.075 billion aid package for Fiscal 2012.

Republicans are trying to turn support for Israel into a wedge issue for next year’s elections even though polls show it only ranks eight on the priority lists of most Jewish voters.

The Republican chair, Rep. Kay Granger of Texas, and the ranking Democrat, Rep. Nita Lowey of New York, have both said Israel’s aid package will be fully funded

Meanwhile, former Mayor Ed Koch is trying to turn the September 13 special election to replace former Rep. Anthony D. Weiner into a referendum on President Obama’s support for Israel. Hizzoner has endorsed Republican Bob Turner, 70, a retired cable TV exec, over David Weprin, 55, a Sabbath-observant Modern Orthodox Jew, "as a rebuke to Mr. Obama for saying that Israel’s pre-1967 border should be the basis for a peace agreement," reported the New York Times.

Does that mean a Weprin victory is tantamount to an endorsement of Obama’s position on borders, which just happens to be essentially the same as that of all presidents dating back to LBJ?

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.