The foregoing are facts, not opinions—and they are supported at www.njdc.org.
President Barack Obama captivated America during the 2008 campaign when he successfully rallied a country that was facing the largest economic crisis in recent times while simultaneously entrenched in two long and costly wars. The young, the old, the poor, and the rich all understood in the most fundamental sense that he was the leader best suited to lead the nation at that vital time—and the overwhelming majority of Jews were no exception.
In his first term, the President achieved landmark accomplishments domestically such as healthcare reform—which now allows millions of citizens to afford health insurance; rescuing the auto industry—which helped many Americans keep their jobs and even find new ones; and repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that unfairly hurt and discriminated against many courageous men and women who bravely fight for our freedom. President Obama has also fought for the rights of women to keep control of their bodies, rights that Republicans would like to see vanish. All of these successes resonate with most in the Jewish community because of our deep commitment to social justice and shared political values.
For many of us though, our concerns reach much further than our country, which is why I’m proud to say that this President has been a true friend of the Jewish state.
President Obama has provided unprecedented amounts of American military aid to Israel and has been there when Israel needed him the most. One example of his commitment to Israel’s security is the Iron Dome system that intercepts Hamas’ rockets from Gaza—in addition to other missile systems currently being developed and tested jointly between the United States and Israel. The individuals who blatantly and vigorously deny the facts of President Obama’s record—those who even lie about his powerful pro-Israel support—do Israel no favors by falsely claiming that he is anywhere but in Israel’s corner.
However, President Obama has done much more than providing historic military support for Israel. The President has amassed a number of diplomatic triumphs that demonstrate that he is a pro-Israel president through and through. When America’s United Nations delegation worked against the Palestinian’s bid to unilaterally declare a state, it was President Obama who emerged as Israel’s most vocal advocate. Indeed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the President that he wore his support for Israel as a “badge of honor.” Moreover, when Israel’s embassy in Cairo was under attack, it was President Obama who effectively exercised American diplomatic power in order to help Israel’s diplomats escape unharmed—which earned tremendous praise from Prime Minister Netanyahu and key Jewish leaders, beyond the thanks that the rescued diplomats gave him.
But that’s not all. When it comes to dealing with the single most important threat to American and Israeli security—a nuclear-armed Iran—the President has been at the forefront of the global effort to stop Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon. The international sanctions movement led by President Obama has put Iran’s economy on the brink of collapse. Israel’s own leaders acknowledge that the sanctions are biting and are hoping—like the President—that the tenuous economic situation will yield a diplomatic breakthrough. Should diplomacy be insufficient, President Obama is fully prepared to use American military force to prevent Iran from constructing a nuclear weapon.
Those who doubt and question the President’s commitment to protecting Americans should ask Osama Bin Laden for his thoughts on the subject.
Quite simply, we have two candidates vying for the presidency who could not be more different. One of them has the luxury of being able to say and promise whatever he wants—regardless of the truth of these statements or the lack thereof, and free of the responsibilities that come with governing. The other is a leader who has four years of Oval Office experience and a track record that speaks louder than the people who are trying to discredit him.
For these reasons and many others, the sweeping majority of American Jews will be supporting President Barack Obama this November.
Marc R. Stanley is the Chair of NJDC
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