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FACTDROP: RJC video accuses Obama of trying to 'weaken' Israel
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2/17/2012

RJC video accuses Obama of trying to 'weaken' Israel


Πηγή: Politico
By MAGGIE HABERMAN
Feb 16 2012




The Republican Jewish Coalition is going up with this web video accusing the White House of trying to "weaken" Israel and of slashing the U.S. missile defense fund aid to the Jewish state.

The video notes the current threat from Iran against Israel, and says Hezbollah is arming itself with 40,000 rockets.

"President Obama's rhetoric would have you believe he's doing all he can for Israel's security," the video narrator says. "The reality is that he wants to slash American support for Israel's critical defense."

The Jerusalem Post wrote about the issue today, after Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is, among other things, a prominent Mitt Romney surrogate, and California Rep. Buck McKeon of California released a letter to the White House.

White House aides and Democrats have said it's a straw man issue, saying the overall defense budget from the U.S. to Israel has been put at a record-high $3.1 billion, on top of the missile program, despite the U.S. economy struggling, and they've said they developed the spending plan in concert with Israeli defense officials.

But the RJC argument is one that may be echoed on the campaign trail in the coming weeks, as the focus of the primary has been ticking away from the economy and toward foreign affairs, as well as social issues.

UPDATE: Former Florida Rep. Robert Wexler, who was a major Obama backer in his state in 2008 and is now the head of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace in Washington, D.C., called to say the GOP argument is "just not factually accurate in the broader context."

Wexler, who has spoken out in defense of Obama on Israel - a topic over which some American Jews remain leery of the president, and which the White House has been trying to address - cited the overall increase in the defense assistance to Israel. He also said it was "created in coordinated with the Israeli defense establishment, and [they are] more than satisfied with the president's (budget)."

"The Republicans' claims are just blatantly false for political purposes," he said, arguing it's "actually dangerous, because the worst thing that could happen is the people in Tehran could read the Republicans' allegations and (believe) them."


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