Potential for Obama to Lose Jewish Voters Over Handling of Israel

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: May 19, 2011 11:43 AM

Why the Jewish demographic voted for Barack Obama in 2008 is beyond me considering Obama's "I will negotiate with Iran," stance and his close ties to anti-Isreal Louis Farrakhan, Rev. Jeramiah Wright and domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. But Obama's handling of U.S.-Israeli relations in the bigger Middle East policy picture could cost him votes in 2012.

Jewish donors and fund-raisers are warning the Obama re-election campaign that the president is at risk of losing financial support because of concerns about his handling of Israel.

The complaints began early in President Barack Obama's term, centered on a perception that Mr. Obama has been too tough on Israel.

Some Jewish donors say Mr. Obama has pushed Israeli leaders too hard to halt construction of housing settlements in disputed territory, a longstanding element of U.S. policy. Some also worry that Mr. Obama is putting more pressure on the Israelis than the Palestinians to enter peace negotiations, and say they are disappointed Mr. Obama has not visited Israel yet.

Robert Copeland, a Virginia Beach, Va., developer, who has given large donations to many Democrats, has already decided he won't vote for Mr. Obama in 2012. "I'm very disappointed with him," he said. "His administration has failed in Israel. They degraded the Israeli people."

Israeli press has indicated Obama will call for the country to go back to its 1967 borders. If true, the suggestion is likely to backfire not only among Jewish voters, but independent voters as well.