The Emergency Committee for Israel on Obama
by Sophie Taylor
In May, President Obama gave a set of speeches on the Middle East, urging Israelto consider pre-1967 borders in hopes of making progress on the peace process. After Obama’s first speech on the situation in the Middle East, Commentary columnist and Moment contributor Noah Pollak tweeted that he found “Obama’s line on Israel/Palestine borders basically identical to Bush admin” and that there was nothing in Obama’s speech that “Netanyahu will find surprising or even disagreeable.”
Yesterday, however, Pollak’s organization, the Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI), released an anti-Obama ad accusing Obama of having “sided with the Palestinians,” and thanking “members of Congress from both parties” for being “Israel’s true friends.” The 30-second ad, which is set to air on Fox, CNBC, CNN and MSNBC, shows Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) criticizing Obama’s call for a return to the 1967 borders and expressing a need to stand with Israel.
Although the ad makes much of thanking members of “both parties” for their support, releasing an anti-Obama ad as we approach election season feels distinctly partisan, and Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent points out that most Democrats (including those showcased in the ad) are criticizing “a position on Israel that Obama does not hold.”
A spokesman for the National Democratic Jewish Council told Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post that the ECI “is playing a dangerous game by continuing to politicize support for Israel at this critical time,” accusing ECI’s Bill Kristol of “exploiting any confusion [over Obama’s speech] for short term political gain.” (In a recent Moment column, Pollak explains how it is, in fact, liberals who politicized Israel.)