Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Israel Factor: Ranking the presidential candidates

There is no denying the strength of the Jewish lobby in the States, though said influence has rarely been analysed despite the anomaly of 2% of the US population actually being Jewish. It is by all accounts a lobby and indeed a people who seem to excel at self preservation despite their small numbers. I find the biggest impact the lobby has is one of censorship - reading just a selection of topics on the power of the lobby, it seems anyone at all who dares to ask a question or broach the topic of their power has an anti-Semetic label thrown at them. This is a brandishing a Presidential nominee could not afford at any cost to have associated with them. A daily newspaper in Israel is undertaking a project ranking the candiates based on how good or bad they wil be for Israel and her interests. A select panel of Israeli analysts and academics discuss and vote anonymously each month with some analysis by the papers US correspondent. It will definitely be a page I return to in the following months.

Currently Guiliani with some choice words for Yasser Arafat in his profile is leading the table with Clinton coming in second, with comments on her defence of the security wall and objection to the International Court of Justice finding the wall illegal. Barack Obama is finding himself in the lowly position of being 'worst' for Israel with a score of 5 out of a possible 10. None of the selection of comments for any of the top 3 candidates mention a 2 state solution and the emphasis throughout is on recognition of Israel and its right to defend itself against terror. Obama's comments are certainly the weakest, his inexperience in issues of foreign policy has followed him around the campaign trail and it will be interesting to see how positions he presents on such topics. Of course there is no denying these are snapshots of what candidates say removed from context, however previous remarks and voting records inevitably come back to haunt candidates. Find the ranking here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Jewish lobby? considering the divest array of opinion - or lack of - within the American Jewish population with regrds to Israel surely you mean the Israeli lobby. Which you feel is over represented no doubt?