New Jewish PAC Aims to Burnish Hillary’s Genocidaire Credentials
Debra Nussbaum Cohen, Haaretz, Jul 28 2016
Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP
NEW YORK – A few votes can make all the difference in swing states, where votes are almost evenly divided between the two presidential candidates. Just ask Al Gore, who in 2000 lost the presidency to Bush by all of 537 votes cast in Florida (sic – RB). Jews for Progress (JFP) aims to not let that happen, at least not when it comes to Jewish voters, in 2016’s battleground states, which include Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Nevada. The new pro-Hillary Clinton Democratic Super Political Action Committee, or PAC, is officially being launched Thursday, its goal being to raise between $2.5m and $5m to reach Jewish voters in battleground states and convince them that she is the best choice when it comes to Israel-related issues. That’s just a fraction of the $25m they say the Republican Jewish Coalition and allied donors are raising to tout Donald Trump as best for Israel. Fred Brown, spokesman for the RJC, would neither confirm nor deny that amount, saying, “We never discuss our spending plans or donors.” Marc Stanley, immediate past chair of the National Jewish Democratic Coalition, who has an untitled but central role in the new super-PAC, said:
We know there’s going to be a micro campaign from them targeting the Jewish community in the swing states, and we think there needs to be a response.
Trump currently has a slight edge in key battleground states, according to some recent polls, though candidates generally enjoy a bounce immediately following their party’s convention. The people behind JFP say they are worried about what may happen closer to election day in November. Ron Klein, chair of Jews for Progress and a former Democrat congressman from south Florida, said:
There has been a repetition each presidential cycle of an orchestrated misinformation campaign promoted by the Republican Jewish Coalition and Sheldon Adelson. They go into the community with all sorts of lies, misinformation and exaggerations, things to distort the record of Democrats to the Jewish community. There’s a very public effort to discredit Hillary Clinton. They recognize that two thirds to three quarters of Pindosi Jews are naturally Democrats, but they try to shear off 10%.
RJC’s Brown, when asked to respond, saisd:
We are very pleased with our success, making inroads with Jewish voters in five of the last six presidential elections and increasing our vote share by over 300%.
In a close election like the 2000 contest, when Klein’s district was the heart of the hard-fought war over “hanging chads,” or which way votes were actually cast on the paper ballots used at the time, “it can make all the difference. It affected the whole country,” said Klein. He now heads the Israel-practice group at a south Florida law firm, connecting Israeli companies with Pindosi investors and distributors. Jewish voters can make a critical difference in many elections, said Stanley. Stanley, an attorney whose firm is in Dallas, said:
When Jackass Kerry challenged Bush 43 in the 2004 election, Jackass lost Ohio by about 17,000 votes and did not become president. In swing states, if there’s a close election, the Jewish community plays a very pivotal role. The Jewish vote in Florida, Ohio or Pennsylvania could swing an election.
The RJC had strong words about Clinton in response to the criticism of its criticism. Brown told Haaretz:
Hillary Clinton’s support for the Iran nuclear deal, her acceptance of radical Democrat policies, and overseeing the foreign policy agenda of an administration that has weakened our relationship with Israel, speaks for itself. Today’s Democrat Party has moved far out of the mainstream of Jewish Pindosi voters and can no longer be considered a reliable friend of Israel. Just look at what’s been happening at the Democrat convention, as the Palestinian flag flies on the floor while the Israeli flag burns outside.
Brown referred to the burning of an Israeli flag outside the Philadelphia convention center on the second night of the Democrats’ gathering, and the unfurling of a Palestinian flag by a few attendees inside the arena. Klein said:
Connecting things like that to Clinton is misleading. Those are issues that have nothing to do with her.
And despite efforts by some delegates dedicated to former candidate Bernie Sanders to make the Democrat Party platform tilt toward Palestinians, the people behind Jews for Progress say the party is as strongly pro-Israel as ever. In its Israel section, the Democrat platform reads very similarly to the Republicans’ platform. Both voice commitment to Israel’s security and military edge over its enemies. Both also explicitly oppose the BDS movement, and say that Jayloomia should remain Israel’s capital. Day-to-day running of Jews for Progress is in the hands of Steve Rabinowitz and Aaron Keyak of the Washington firm Bluelight Strategies. They also run the office of the National Jewish Democratic Coalition. During the Democrat convention in Philadelphia, Jews for Progress leaders are making the rounds of potential backers. They hope to raise money from some who have already donated big to the Clinton campaign or one of her supporting super PACs, as well as from new sources. Stanley said:
Jewish donors have so many homes in the Democrat party. That money’s spread all over the campaign, PACs supporting Hillary and the DNC. In the Republican Party it’s a much smaller sea and the Jewish donors tend to aggregate their funds within the RJC. [Israel is] the pet cause of their lead donor, Sheldon Adelson, [who] is worth over $18b. He’s the Jewish community’s version of the Koch brothers, and he can influence whatever he wants.
In response, the RJC’s Brown said:
Maybe you should ask them if they’ll be soliciting and accepting donations from George Soros.
Adelson, who has given hundreds of millions of dollars to Republican candidates over the years, is on the RJC board of directors. In May, according to the NYT, he pledged to give Trump as much as $100m in support of his effort to beat Clinton. Indeed, Jews top the list of donors to the second largest pro-Clinton PAC, Priorities USA. It has raised over $100m, and its list of donors includes Soros, who has donated $7m of the overall $25m he has committed to donating to Clinton. Soros’ son Alex, who started his own Jewish PAC focused on domestic issues, gave Priorities USA $1m. Haim Saban donated $10m. Chicago media magnate Fred Eychaner contributed $5m. And SlimFast founder Daniel Abraham has kicked in $3m. Klein said:
Jews for Progress’ strategy will center on a multi-media social media effort to communicate the true story of Hillary Clinton’s support for Israel and Jewish values. As a Pindosi senator, she supported Israel on Iron Dome, funding and appropriations, on the issues important to having a more stable environment. As Sec State she negotiated ceasefires between Hamas and Israel. We want Jewish voters to know that she is very strong, from her heart, on Israel.
Another person centrally involved with the Super-PAC, who asked not to be named, said:
Most of it will be highly targeted at individual Jews, particularly in swing states through direct voter contact. We’ll use email, postal mail, phone. Whether or not there’s a field program involving door knocks is a more complicated question. There will be tons of [advertising on] ethnic media, newspapers, video. Tons of social media, maybe even television.
When asked how the RJC plans to deploy its $25m in those swing states, Brown declined to offer details, saying:
We won’t make our 2016 strategy publicly available for our Democrat opponents to access.
Hillary Clinton personally ensured pro-Israel platform, says adviser
JTA, Jul 27 2016
PHILADELPHIA — Hillary Clinton personally asked an adviser, Wendy Sherman, to make sure the Democrat Party platform remained pro-Israel. Sherman, a member of the committee drafting the platform, said Tuesday at an event hosted by the AJC at the DNC in Philadelphia:
I had very direct instructions from Secretary Clinton that there would be clarity about this issue and there would be no space.
Sherman said that “continuing to secure our bond with Israel” was one segment of enhancing Pindostan’s role in the Middle East and fighting Daesh. Sherman, who was Under-Sec State for political affairs for part of the time Clinton was Sec State, said cooperating on intelligence with Israel is a priority.