NEW PRO-ISRAEL SENATOR TIES OBAMA IN POLL FOR PRESIDENT
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Republican pro-Israel Senator-elect Scott Brown, who shocked the Obama administration with a stunning victory in a special election last week, tied the President in a new poll by Newsmax/Zogby. The Republican Senator-elect received 46.5 percent support from respondents who were asked if they would vote for him or U.S. President Barack Obama if elections were held today. President Obama received backing of 44.6 percent.
The immediate effect of Brown’s victory is that the Democratic party no longer has enough senators to stop a filibuster, which the Republicans are likely to enforce to prevent passage of President Obama’s health reform bill in its present form. A longer-term effect is Brown’s strong pro-Israel stand, which apparently found sympathy among voters that elected the first Republican senator from Massachusetts in decades. The special election was held following last year’s death of Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy.
Former Bush strategist Mark McKinnon told Newsmax, “The real problem for Obama is that he has lost the middle, and losing the middle means losing independents . . . if you lose independents, you’re going to lose the presidency.” An overwhelming number of voters classifying themselves as independents voted for Brown.
Jewish and non-Jewish support for President Obama’s Middle East policies has fallen sharply since his “reaching out to the Muslim world” speech in Cairo last June, when he called Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria “illegitimate’ as well as illegal. He also called for Israel to halt all building for Jews in the same region as well as in eastern Jerusalem.
The President admitted last week that he raised expectations in the Arab world, which now refuses to settle for less than the American administration offered.
Senator-elect Brown’s position paper on Israel states, “I stand steadfastly behind Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from state and non-state actors alike. I oppose the rising tide of efforts worldwide aimed at undermining this fundamental right. The United Nations’ commissioned Goldstone Report is a blatant manifestation of such an effort. Deeply flawed from the start, the ‘report’ accuses Israel of war crimes with little reference to the fact that Israel held its fire for years while thousand of rockets were fired at innocent civilians.
“I also firmly support the security barrier erected by Israel which has proven to be enormously successful at defending and protecting Israeli civilians against waves of deadly terrorist attacks… I unequivocally support the recently executed ten-year memorandum of understanding between the United States and Israel which will provide $30 billion in military aid to Israel until 2017.”
The Republican senator backs the “two-state solution” that calls for turning the Palestinian Authority into an independent state, but only on condition that it is “premised on security for Israel and is not imposed by outside parties, recognizes that a strict return to the 1967 borders is both unrealistic and unsafe and reaffirms Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel.”
Concerning Iran, he has stated that it “represents the biggest threat to Israel. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a Holocaust denier who has threatened to wipe Israel off the map. Meeting with him confers legitimacy when the only correct response is to treat him as an outcast.” His Democratic opponent in the senatorial contest backed a meeting with the Iranian president.
“A personal meeting with Ahmadinejad, as suggested by my opponent, would embolden him and be used as a propaganda tool to strengthen his position,” Brown said.