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AN AMERICAN JEWISH GERMAN INFORMATION & OPINION NEWSLETTER

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GERMANY EDITION April 12, 2012 Dear Friends: With Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, the first two Seders of Passover (For the Orthodox there are still two more to go) over and done, its back to normal life for most of us. When I ran the AJC Office in Berlin, between the German and Jewish holidays I could barely find enough regular days in which to do my work. I didnt complain. Even in this time of holidays the issues that are of interest to DuBow Digest have not quieted down. The Gnter Grass poem caused quite a bit of controversy (see below) and it looks as if there may be some movement on the Israel Palestinian peace front with a meeting between P.M. Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority P.M. Salam Fayyad scheduled for next week. The Jerusalem Post notes that the Palestinians have agreed to the meeting, if only because since they broke off the low-level talks in Jordan in January that lasted a month, they have pretty much been pushed off the worlds radar screen definitely not a place where they want to be. Who knows? Maybe something good will come of it. My best wishes for the holiday season. Lets get on with the news IN THIS EDITION GNTER GRASS The Jewish response to the poem. AMERICAN JEWISH DONATIONS TO ISRAEL How come American Jews keep the financial contributions flowing? ISRAEL & THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL Severing relations. Id do the same. HATING ISRAEL Isnt it strange that there is no much international hostility toward a small country with only 7 million citizens? What triggers it? 1

OBAMA & THE PEACE PROCESS: NOT THIS YEAR OR NEXT! Dont expect anything from Washington any time soon. WHO IS A JEW? The eternal question especially if your mother is not one. OBAMA & THE JEWISH VOTE Does this group which represents less than 2% of the electorate merit such interest? Obviously it does. GNTER GRASS In spite of the fact the German media has been replete with stories about Gnter Grass now famous poem; this edition would not be complete unless I, in some way, dealt with it. By this time you have probably read the Israeli Embassys reaction and know that Grass has been made persona non grata in Israel should he decide to visit there which, of course, he wont! Perhaps the best thing I can do is to report on some of the other Jewish reaction which has been practically unanimous in criticizing Hr. Grass. In that way you will get some sort of an idea of how the Jewish community feels about it. Benjamin Weinthal, a Berlin based American journalist writing in The Jerusalem Post noted, According to Mr. Grasss poem, Israel is the source of all bellicosity. He airbrushes the threats of Irans leaders to wipe Israel off the map, including with a nuclear strike, out of history. He further omits the blood-soaked repression of Irans regime against its own population. There is no mention of Irans judiciary hanging gays or stoning men and women. The tsunami-wave execution of Iranian adolescents is non-existent in Grasss world view and writings. Journalist Petra Marquardt also in TJP wrote, Gnter Grass would likely object to the idea that he is among those who demonize Israel as a Nazi-like perpetrator. Yet, he does so quite clearly when he refers to a possible Israeli strike against Irans nuclear program as a potentially genocidal crime that can be anticipated. His poem is his attempt to avoid any German guilt for this crime, since Grass worries Israel could use German-manufactured submarines to strike Iran. This concern stands in stark contrast to Grasss apparent silence about the role of German companies in facilitating Irans nuclear program. Ultimately, Grass demonstrates in his poem that the meaning of the pledge never again is very different for the historic perpetrators and their victims: for the former Waffen SS recruit, the most important thing is to be never again seen as a perpetrator and since he firmly believes Israel is eager to launch a devastating attack on Iran, he has no doubt who should be blamed as the perpetrator. David Harris the Executive Director of AJC wrote, Grass pulled the wool over the eyes of the German people and the world for 60 years, hiding his participation in the

Waffen SS. Now he is trying to pull the wool over the worlds eyes about an Iranian regime that threatens to destroy Israel, and is building the capability to achieve its aim, said AJC Executive Director David Harris. Which country democratic Israel or authoritarian, bellicose Iran is the real menace to regional and world peace? It is Iran that has called for a world without Israel, not the other way around, said Harris. Why cant Grass see what is so painfully obvious? In his poem, Grass charges that Israels nuclear power endangers world peace, and claims that Germany, due to the Holocaust, refrains from criticizing Israel. Grass already has a published record of hostile positions on Israel, said Harris. The new Grass poem confirms that his thinking is inverted. He has reversed the aggressor and the intended victim. In doing so, he is totally out of step with his own country, and most of the world, when it comes to Irans nuclear program and designs on Israel. So that you will know where I stand, what follows below is what I myself wrote in the American Edition of DuBow Digest. History tells us that once youve written and published something its yours! You may wish youd never put it out there but something written and published is indelible. Its there for good. You may want to retract it but its too late. You may want to say you were misunderstood and maybe you were. However, why didnt you think about how it might be taken before you put it down in black and white? If all else fails blame the media. A time honored political dodge. Its equal in untruthfulness as, Im leaving office to spend more time with my family. The poem, by the overly self-importance and puffed-up ego of the morally questionable Gnter Grass should be criticized in the strongest possible terms. However, the poem itself and the articles surrounding it (even those that are critical of Grass) have appeal for those in Germany that market themselves as peace loving but have underlying feelings of hostility for Israel and for Jews. However, it is not the anti people that I am worried about. There is a strong feeling of pacifism in Germany in the general population as well as affection for Grass. Being opposed to Israel because of the Palestinian issue and now because of a possible Israeli strike against Iran does not help in strengthening support for the Jewish state. Not a happy thought during the Easter season when love for Jews is frequently at an all time low. No matter! What will happen politically, will happen! However, when something so vile appears, especially from a person with a soiled past, outspoken criticism is the appropriate course. I would be very interested in your opinion. If you will take the time to drop me a line at dubowdigest@optonline.net I would greatly appreciate it and, if you wish, Ill

publish it in the next edition. AMERICAN JEWISH DONATIONS TO ISRAEL When I was a boy in the 1930s & 1940s growing up in the Bronx I often stood in front to the local subway station with a small blue and white container (In Yiddish it was called a pushky) collecting money for the Jewish National Fund (JNF). The (mostly) coins were for the planting of trees in Palestine (It was not yet called Israel). I didnt love doing it but it was seen as an obligation which all Jewish kids had. Since that time, with Israel becoming a state instead of a dream, one would assume that the sense of obligation has diminished. Not so! In spite of the general thinking that voluntary contributions have begun to dry up, the truth is the exact opposite. Haaretz.com reports, Donations by U.S. Jews to Israeli nonprofits have doubled during the past 12 years, according to a first-of-its-kind study conducted by professors at Brandeis University. The study, scheduled to be completed in late April, disproves the widely held view by many Israelis that philanthropic donations from the United States have dropped over time due to economic and political reasons. In fact, the study - previewed last week during a hearing by the Knesset Subcommittee for the Relations of Israel with World Jewish Communities - suggests quite the opposite. In 2007, various Israeli organizations received $2.1 billion from U.S. donors through the Jewish Agency and various "friendship" associations, according to findings by professors Theodore Sasson and Eric Fleisch, of the Cohen Center of Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. This is double what U.S. donors contributed 12 years earlier, when only $1.08 billion was raised in the United States for Israeli organizations. While the research indicates that there was a 10-25 percent drop in donations during 2008 and 2009 - during the period of severe economic crisis in the United States - it suggests there was a substantial rise in donations in 2010, when the crisis began to subside. I dont think it comes as any surprise to anyone that there is a strong familial bond between Jews living in the Diaspora and those in Israel. Even if money was not needed, there would have to be some other method found to bind the two groups together. Its not that the groups are always of the same mind regarding policies. They are not. However, that doesnt make any difference. Family is family! Its that simple. ISRAEL & THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

The UN Human Rights Council, formerly the UN Human Rights Commission, has, over many years, spent a lions share of its time focusing on Israels alleged treatment of the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. This abnormal concentration of its time has come about because of the large number of Islamic and, especially, Arab countries that have been members of the Council. Currently such outstanding proponents of human rights such as Saudi Arabia, Cuba, and Kyrgyzstan are members. With all sorts of unrest and civil war breaking out in the Middle East, the Council, rather than focusing on some of the problems that have emerged in the region and in Africa, have once again decided to investigate the situation in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). The Israelis have had enough of the UNHRC and severed all ties with them. Israel Hayot reported, Israel is severing its ties with the U.N. Human Rights Council until further notice, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman declared on Monday. The decision was announced after the council, which has a highly disproportionate record of criticizing Israel, moved to establish a committee to study the ramifications of Judea and Samaria settlements on the human rights of Palestinians. Lieberman on Monday convened senior members of his office to discuss several potential reactions to the councils decision, and decided to take the drastic measure of cutting off contact. All of our ties with the Human Rights Council will be severed, he said. Israel will no longer cooperate with or aid any representative of the council who visits Israel. Liebermans decision means that Israels Ambassador to the U.N., Aharon LeshnoYaar, will not attend council meetings and will not even speak with council representatives on the phone. Lieberman also instructed Foreign Ministry officials to try to convince U.S. government officials to sever their ties with the organization as well, even if the attempt has very little chance of succeeding. Lieberman believes the decision to stop cooperating with the council will not have diplomatic repercussions for Israel. A senior Israeli diplomat said on Monday, The Palestinians are adopting a strategy of unilateralism to avoid any agreement. Their primary policy is to continue along this line in the hopes of eventually obtaining unilateral recognition in the U.N. Hamas leaders denounced Israels decision. The councils decision to investigate Israeli crimes proves that the Palestinians are justified, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said. Israel is perpetrating war crimes against the Palestinians and is trying to cover that up. The Zionist occupiers decision is another attempt to extort U.N. institutions and the international community.

After the vote in the council to investigate the influence of Jewish settlements on Palestinian rights, the ambassadors of Austria and Belgium in Israel received a verbal slap on the wrist from Foreign Ministry officials for voting in favor of the establishment of the committee, while other EU members voted against the move. Council President Laura Dupuy Lasserre called Israels decision very unfortunate. Lasserre said it was in Israels interest to cooperate with the investigation if only for Israel to be able to explain its policies and activities. The last go-around that Israel had regarding human rights with the UN took place after a Turkish based flotilla tried to crash through an Israeli blockade of Gaza. The UN report, as seen in Israel and by many others throughout the world, was very onesided. The Israelis do not want to see another such report with the results decided on before the investigation even begins. In the current instance, (Israel Hayom), United States Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said Monday that he understands Israel's decision to sever its ties with the UN Human Rights Council, following its decision to probe its settlements policies. During a meeting with students at Tel Aviv University, Shapiro said that the Council "obsessively focuses" on Israel, while neglecting other human rights issues that are far more important and urgent. Shapiro noted that the United States was the only member to vote against setting up the commission of inquiry, against ten European countries. It never pays to play in a game where the cards are marked or the dice are loaded. Pre-determined outcomes are something to be avoided and in this case the Israeli move seems quite justified. You should also read Israeli Deputy P.M. Danny Ayalons piece on the Human Rights Council. Click here. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/03/30/theater_of_the_absurd HATING ISRAEL I dont think Im too far out of line in saying that it is a general feeling among many Jews in the U.S. and elsewhere that there is an unfair, unjust widespread hate of Israel throughout many parts of the world. The popular thinking on the subject is that anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism have become intermixed in the minds of many and since the latter is so politically incorrect, it is easier and more acceptable to focus hostility on Israel rather than Jews. I often wondered whether, as the old Peggy Lee song goes, Is that all there is? Victor Davis Hanson writing in the Hoover Institutions Defining Ideas has some

additional thoughts. They are worth considering. He writes, Not long ago, the Economist ran an unsigned editorial called the Auschwitz Complex. The unnamed author blamed serial Middle East tensions on both Israels unwarranted sense of victimhood, accrued from the Holocaust, and its unwillingness to to give up its empire It is hard to fathom how a democracy of seven million people by any stretch of the imagination is an empire. Israel, after all, fought three existential wars over its 1947 borders, when the issue at hand was not manifest destiny, but the efforts of its many enemies to exterminate or deport its population. I would not otherwise know how to characterize the Arab promise of more than a half-century of pushing the Jews into Mediterranean. The Economist article is fairly representative of European anger at Israel, a country that is despised by most of the nations that make up the UN roster. What then are the sources for widespread hatred of Israel? Such venom cannot be explained just by political differences with its Arab and Islamic neighbors. After all, take any major issue of contentionoccupied land, refugees, a divided Jerusalem, cross border incursionsand then ask why the world focuses disproportionately on Israel when similar such disputes are commonplace throughout the globe. Does the world much care about the principle of occupation? Not really. Consider land that has been occupied in the fashion of the West Bank since World War II. Russia wont give up the southern Kurile Islands it took from Japan. Tibet ceased to exist as a sovereign countrywell before the 1967 Middle East Warwhen it was absorbed by Communist China. Turkish forces since their 1974 invasion have occupied large swaths of Cyprus. East Prussia ceased to exist in 1945, after 13 million German refugees were displaced from ancestral homelands that dated back 500 years. The 112-mile green line that runs through downtown Nicosia to divide Cyprus makes Jerusalem look united in comparison. Over 500,000 Jews have been ethnicallycleansed from Arab capitals since 1947, in waves of pogroms that come every few decades. Why are they not considered refugees the way the Palestinians are? The point is not that the world community should not focus on Israels disputes with its neighbors, but that it singles Israel out for its purported transgressions in a fashion that it does not for nearly identical disagreements elsewhere. Over 75 percent of recent United Nations resolutions target Israel, which has been cited for human rights violations far more than the Sudan, Congo, or Rwanda, where millions have perished in little-noticed genocides. Why is the international community so anti-Israel? A new sort of fashionable and socially acceptable anti-Semitism looms large. For much of the past two millennia in the West, hatred of the Jews was a crude

prejudice, rich with state-sanctioned religious, economic, and social biases. By the same token, dissidents, leftists, and anti-establishmentarians once took up the cause of decrying anti-Semitism, an Enlightenment theme until well after World War II. No morewith the establishment of Israel, anti-Semitism metamorphosized in two unforeseen ways. First, it became a near obsession of the modern Left, which associated the creation of the Jewish state with a sort of Western hegemonic impulse. That Israel was democratic and protected human rights in a way unlike its autocratic neighbors mattered nothing. To the international Left, Israel was a religious, imperialistic, and surrogate West in the Middle East. After the 1967 war, when a once vulnerable Israel emerged victorious and apparently unstoppable, Jews lost any lingering sympathy from the horrors of World War II and Israel became a full-fledged Western over-dog, closely associated with its new patron, the much envied and hated United States. There was a second facet of the new anti-Semitism. The establishment of the state of Israel itself also served as a respectable cloak for anti-Semitism. Oil, of course, played an even larger role. By the 1960s, the West was heavily dependent on Persian Gulf and North African oil and gas, and by the 1990s, was in a rivalry with emerging economies in India and China to ensure steady Middle East supplies. After the deleterious oil cutoff of 1973, the Arab world proved not just that it was willing to use oil as an anti-Israel weapon, but also that it could do so quite effectively. On the flip side, since the 1960s, trillions of petrodollars have flowed into the Islamic Middle East, not just ensuring that Israels enemies now were armed, ascendant, and flanked by powerful Western friends, but through contributions, donations, and endowments also deeply embedded within Western thought and society itself. The terrorism of the last thirty years loomed large as well. Intellectuals are not moral supermen, and supposedly courageous muckraking writers and journalists prefer, we have seen, to live without fear than to accurately describe the situation on the ground in the Middle East. For many intellectuals, the choice of lauding or disliking Israel was not just based on careerist self-interest, but also on a careful calculus that Western nations, for all their talk of free speech, were as terrified of terrorists as were the latters targets. Criticize or caricature radical Islam, and a terrorist was more likely to get you than your fearful Western government was to protect you. Ask Salman Rushdie or Kurt Westergaard. Finally, Israel in the West has become analogous to something like the uncool image of Sarah Palina target of mindless and uniformed invective that nevertheless serves as a sort of cachet or membership card into the right circles.

Will the image of Israel ever be reversed? Only if the above criteria are altereda damning indictment that popular antipathy has little to do with the reality of Israels predicament. With the exception of seemingly equating Sarah Palin with Israel, I find myself largely agreeing with Prof. Hanson. Hating Israel is a multi-dimensional matter. I guess we just have to keep working at opening peoples minds. However, we also know it is a long slow and, maybe, a never ending battle. There is actually more to Prof. Hansons article. To read it all click here. http://www.hoover.org/publications/defining-ideas/article/112386 OBAMA & THE PEACE PROCESS: NOT THIS YEAR OR NEXT! I dont want to waste too much of your time with something that you probably already know that Pres. Obama is not going to do anything or commit any energy to the Israel Palestinian peace process any time soon.. With the American election coming up and the Palestinians still unable to come together as a unified political entity, the peace process has gone to the bottom of the Presidential priorities list. Not only is at the bottom of this years list but according to David Horovitz writing in The Times of Israel it may very well remain on the Things to Do Later list well into the Obama second term if, indeed, he is re-elected. Horovitz writes, The Obama administration, both Israeli and Palestinian leaders have concluded in the last few days, is deferring its hitherto intensive efforts to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement until after this Novembers US presidential elections, at the earliest. The administration will remain engaged, the two sides understand, and it remains concerned at the potential for frictions on the ground to spiral out of control. But it has internalized that the gulf between the sides, and the complex realities in the region with Arab states in ferment and Iran closing in on the bomb mean substantive progress is highly improbable. If he is re-elected in November, Obama may still not feel that he is in a position to use maximal leverage to seek progress, both sides further recognize; the postelection political realities may require greater compromise in all areas with the Republicans, who will be averse to heavy pressure on Israel. Thus, say officials on both sides, a new Obama-led push toward an accommodation and toward a Palestinian state based on the parameters he set out in that State Department speech may not be feasible until the second half of a second Obama term. And, they add, who knows how circumstances in the region will have changed by then? With the U.S. removing itself from the arbiter role, my guess is that the Palestinians will continue to push internationally for UN membership though Im not sure where that will get them. The Israelis with the Iranian nuclear situation to worry about will

continue to strengthen and continue their building projects in the West Bank and try to put with the continuing rocketing from Gaza without a second full blown invasion. However, if the radicals continue the terrorist activity a greater military response might yet come to pass. In my introduction at the beginning of this edition I mentioned a new high level meeting next week. Perhaps something will come of it. However, Im not betting the family farm on it. Well see what happens. If you wish to read the Horovitz article click here. http://www.timesofisrael.com/a-us-push-for-peace-not-this-year-and-maybe-notnext-year-either/ WHO IS A JEW? There is much intermarriage in the Jewish community marriage between Jews and non-Jews. These couples have children. Are the kids Jewish? Answer: Not in all cases. Under Jewish religious law one is a Jew if ones mother is a Jew (matrilineal descent) or one undergoes an accepted conversion. If a child is the issue of a nonJewish mother and a Jewish father, the child, in the Orthodox and Conservative communities is not considered Jewish. However, in 1983 the Reform Movement in the U.S., facing growing intermarriage and losses in membership decided to accept the children on Jewish fathers (patrilineal descent) as Jews if, indeed, they were brought up in the Jewish religion. The Orthodox and Conservatives refused to accept this (what was seen as) radical change in religious law as did even some of the Reform Jews. Obviously, this split has caused considerable confusion and a not a little bit of trouble. Since Germany is governed religiously by Orthodox law the problem exists in Berlin, Germany as it does in Berlin, Connecticut. Naomi Zeveloff writing in The Jewish Daily Forward wrote, Rachel Brook, a 29year-old vocalist living in Brooklyn, was born to a Jewish Israeli father and a nonJewish mother. After her parents divorced when she was 3, Brook was raised by her father as a Jew in a Reform synagogue. Last year, she decided to apply to cantorial school at the Academy for Jewish Religion, but because AJR doesnt accept students with only a Jewish father, Brook was told she would have to convert. The administrators at AJR, a non-denominational school in the Bronx, told Brook that it was nothing personal. In order for its graduates to be accepted at Orthodox and Conservative institutions, AJR had to follow the traditional standard of Jewish law, which maintains that Judaism is passed down through the mother. AJR allowed Brook to go before an all-female beit din, or Jewish court, for her conversion ceremony. While converting ultimately felt meaningful, Brook bristled at the idea of

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others like her being asked to undergo a similar process. Its not worth losing Jews over, she said. Now, as the first children born since the decision are beginning to have families of their own, patrilineal descent remains one of the most controversial decrees in American Jewish history. As Jews today gravitate away from movement-based worship and toward pluralistic venues, the resolution appears to be taking on new urgency. Depending on whom you ask, the Reform movements acceptance of patrilineal Jews predated by 15 years by the Reconstructionist movement was either a boon to American Judaism or a harbinger of its demise. Officials in the Reform movement, now the largest denomination in America, say that their decision opened the door for mixed marrieds who were intent on raising their children as Jews. But critics from the Orthodox and Conservative movements, and even from within Reform Judaism itself, say that patrilineal acceptance has diluted the Jewish community beyond recognition, giving rise to a generation of half-Jews with tenuous religious ties. Furthermore, they contend that patrilineal acceptance drove a wedge through the heart of the Jewish community, creating competing definitions of what it means to be a Jew. There is much more to the story which you can access by clicking on the link below. Of course, there are good arguments on either side. However, the weight of decision is on the Orthodox Conservative side since Israel, like Germany and the other countries in Europe, is ruled by Orthodox law. Are we facing a genuine schism? Not yet. However, there is a genuine problem. No one ever said it was easy to be Jewish. Click here to read the entire story. http://forward.com/articles/154009/patrilineal-jews-still-find-resistance/? utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=The%20Forward%20Today %20%28Monday-Friday%29&utm_campaign=Daily_Newsletter_Mon_Thurs %202012-04-03 OBAMA & THE JEWISH VOTE We still have about seven months to go before the American election but the pollsters are out taking soundings on how various groups in the U.S. will vote in November. Though Jews are less than 2% of the population, they are (mostly) unequally distributed in just a few States (New York, California, Illinois & Florida) so how they vote on Election Day might actually have some impact. In the 2008 election then candidate Barack Obama received about 78% of the Jewish vote. He will not do as well in 2012 but he still stands to get about two-thirds of the Jewish votes cast.

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Nathan Guttman writing in The Jewish Daily Forward notes, With the battle over the Jewish vote in full swing, a new poll suggests that Democrats have little reason for concern: Jews are firmly in President Obamas corner. And the reason, the poll suggests, has nothing to do with Obamas views on Israel or Iran. It is all about the economy and social justice. The reason for Democrats strong showing in the poll, which was released April 3, lies in deeply rooted views of American Jews on social issues, including traditional liberal stances on improving the economy and reducing the gap between rich and poor. Whoever wants to appeal to Jewish voters has to go through social values, said Robert Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute, the not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization that conducted the survey. Our poll shows that you cannot appeal to these voters through the single issue of Israel. For Democrats, the main takeaway from the poll was Obamas tight hold on Jewish voters, virtually identical to his standing in the community in a poll taken in June 2008. This is where Id expect him to be, so I think hes in a strong position said Democratic pollster Jim Gerstein, who predicted that Obama will add to his lead once the GOP chooses its candidate. Not so, argued Matthew Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition. He said that Obama should be at or near the 78% of the Jewish vote that he won in the 2008 election. This shows Obama has a real Jewish problem, Brooks said. The survey showed that 62% of Jewish voters planned to support Obama in the November election, compared with 30% who said they will vote for one of the four Republican candidates. In June 2008, a Gallup poll showed Obama with a 62% to 31% lead over Republican John McCain. Obama extended the lead to reach a 78% to 21% margin by November of that year. One of the new polls most pronounced findings was the very small number of Jewish voters who had lost their faith in Obama. According to the poll, just 7% of Jews who voted for Obama in 2008 now prefer a Republican candidate.

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While much of the political debate within the Jewish community has centered in recent months on the issue of Israel and on Obamas relations with the Jewish state, the poll suggested that the issue was overblown. It backed up previous poll data showing that Jewish voters did not view Israel as a deciding factor when voting for president. A majority of 51% pointed to the economy as the issue most important to their vote, followed by gaps between rich and poor (15%), health care (10%) and the federal deficit (7%). Only 4% of Jewish voters said Israel was the most important issue for them when deciding who should get their vote. Even when asked to name their second-most-important issue, Jewish voters gave the issue of Israel only marginal importance. The data would suggest that the Republicans focus on attacking both Obamas record on Israel and his troubled relations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was having little, if any, traction. Even conservative pundits concede that Jewish voters are swayed more by domestic issues, and the voters may be particularly sensitive to GOP candidates conservative rhetoric. Concerns about Obama and Israel have been trumped by the right-wing language of Republican candidates, said Frank Luntz, a Fox News contributor and Republican pollster. The Jewish community is looking at the fight over abortions and contraceptives and religion, and they dont like it. Polls and opinions change so I am not so sure that Pres. Obama will be able to get back to the 78% he received in 2008. It is probably true that once the Republicans agree on a candidate there will be more focus and the feelings of Jewish voters might change especially if the candidate (probably Mitt Romney) is perceived as very conservative. In addition, Im not all sure that the 4% importance rating those surveyed gave to Israel. I have the feeling (without scientific grounding) that the future of Israel rates a lot higher. Much depends on how the survey was worded. In any case, we have a long way to go until November. Ill be updating you as we move along. ************************************************************************************************ See you again in a few weeks. DuBow Digest is written and published by Eugene DuBow who can be contacted by clicking here Both the American and Germany editions are posted at

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