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Jewish Democrats make their case for Obama

As the Democratic Convention in Charlotte gets underway, Jewish Americans put forward Obama as the “best president for Israel.”

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Obviously concerned with reports of dismay in the Obama administration among Jewish-American voters and nervous that a drop off in their historically strong support for the Democratic ticket could be fatal in key states this fall, Democratic leaders commenced their week-long convention here with a strong appeal to the Jewish community.

As delegates arrived to register for the convention that will renominate President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, a film was being shown on the president‚??s strong support for Israel.

‚??The film showed (Israeli President) Shimon Peres calling Obama ‚??the best president for Israel,‚??‚?Ě former State Sen. Bob Rovner of Pennsylvania, a leader in the state‚??s Jewish community and popular radio talk show host, told Human Events Monday. ‚??And it also had praise for the president from (Israeli) Defense Minister Ehud Barack, and noted (Obama‚??s) hard-line in dealing with (terrorist groups) Hezbollah and Hamas.‚?Ě

Rovner also quoted Ira Forman, who heads the Jewish outreach program for the Obama-Biden campaign, as revealing to delegates that he ‚??did not support Jimmy Carter for re-election in 1980.‚?Ě Because of what many Jewish Americans felt was insufficient support for Israel on the part of the 39th president, Carter suffered a major drop-off of votes from the Jewish community and lost to Ronald Reagan.

‚??Mr. Forman said that will definitely not be the case with this president, no matter what Romney and Ryan say,‚?Ě added Rovner. He was referring to the strong criticism Romney made of Obama‚??s support for Israel in his presidential nomination acceptance speech last week and to the Republican platform denouncing the administration for insufficient backing of Israel.

Along with Monday‚??s events, J Street, a young Jewish-American organization that seeks to promote an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict through a two-state solution, will host two receptions for delegates during the convention. J Street has been characterized as wanting to be ‚??the alternative to AIPAC (the American Israeli Political Action Committee)‚?Ě and its goal as ‚??wanting to show American Jews that (Israel‚??s right-of-center Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu is not the only political leader in Israel.‚?Ě

Rovner believes that the Jewish vote could be critical, ‚??especially in a state like Florida, where there are 600,000 Jews, or in Pennsylvania, with 280,000 Jews. Polls say both those states are tight now. Last time, Obama got 74 percent of the Jewish vote. This time, let‚??s say he‚??ll get at least 70 percent. That should be enough.‚?Ě

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Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as ‚??the man who knows everyone in Washington‚?Ě and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on what‚??s going on in the nation‚??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as ‚??Gizzi on Politics‚?Ě and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of ‚??Gizzi‚??s America,‚?Ě video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. John‚??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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