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October 22, 2012 6:25 pm

Foreign Policy Debate: What American Jewish Leaders Would Like to Ask the Candidates

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President Obama and Mitt Romney at the Oct 16th debate.

With hours to go before President Obama will go head to head against challenger Mitt Romney in the third and final presidential debate of the 2012 election, this time focusing on Foreign policy, The Algemeiner asked a select group of American Jewish leaders what pressing issues they would like to see clarified tonight by the candidates.

Among the subjects expected to be discussed this evening, are a number that are of great interest to the Jewish community, including Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Israel’s relationship with the U.S.,  and recent Middle East unrest.

Although historically, Jewish voters have typically leaned Democrat, it is believed by some pundits, that President Obama’s perceived hostility to Israel has provided an opening for Republicans to win over Jewish votes. According to today’s Algemeiner IBD/TIPP Daily Jewish Vote Aggregate Average Tracking Poll, President Obama leads Governor Romney 61% to 37% with 1.9% undecided. Tonight’s debate may be an opportunity for either candidate to score points with the Jewish electorate.

The responses are listed below in alphabetical order. Please leave your suggestions, on what you would like to hear from the candidates, in the comments section.

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Matt Brooks – Executive Director, Republican Jewish Coalition.

“What will you do to stop the advance of al Qaeda and Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East?”

Alan Dershowitz – Lawyer, Jurist, and Political Commentator.

“Red lines aside, are you prepared to tell the Iranian leadership that if they get close to producing nuclear weapons, you will order a military attack to prevent them from securing these weapons?”

Betty Ehrenberg – Executive Director, World Jewish Congress.

“It is important that the United States and Israel,  both  which have endured threats of attacks and destruction by Iran, have a common policy regarding opposing the  acquisition of the nuclear capability by Iran,  not only opposing the Iranian acquisition of a nuclear weapon, despite the differences of proximity to Iran, since it is not a  secret that Iran, in addition to enriching uranium, continues to develop more and more sophisticated missiles as delivery systems that can reach more distant targets. What is your position on this US policy?”

Abraham H. Foxman – National Director, Anti-Defamation League.

“Over the past few weeks, explosive devices have been used to attack a kosher restaurant in Montreal, a kosher store near Paris, and a Jewish community center in Sweden.  Fortunately, no one was killed in these three cases, but the use of explosives in anti-Semitic attacks is an alarming development.  What would you say to Jewish communities around the world, who see increasing threats to their safety?  And how would you address the increase in manifestations of anti-Semitism around the world?”

Morton Klein – President, Zionist Organization of America.

“Will you support military action if Israel’s red line on Iran is breached? Can the President please explain why should 1 billion dollars in US loans to Egypt be forgiven when Egyptian leaders are publicly questioning peace with Israel and even calling for Israel’s destruction, and Mr. Romney, do you support forgiving these loans?”

Daniel Mariaschin – Executive Vice President of B’nai B’rith International.

“Address the pending Palestinian move to unilaterally declare statehood—despite Palestinian intransigence on negotiations and an unwillingness of Palestinian leaders to crack down on incitement.”

William Rapfogel – Executive Director and CEO of Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty.

“Generally, I would like the two candidates to tell Americans, using the nexus of foreign and domestic affairs, where they would like the USA to be in 2016 when the 4 year term is over and how they plan to get us there.  More specifically, in foreign affairs, how would the next President juggle multiple crises and where does rapid change in the Middle East fit into international economic issues; matters of war and peace and anti-terrorist activities?”

Roz Rothstein – Co-Founder and CEO StandWithus.

“(On Iran,) I would like them to reassure the public that they have a plan. If the sanctions are beginning to work, then strengthen them.  If not, what are their intentions?”

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  • President Obama never visited Israel, but bow to a Saudi king, and gave wonderful speeches in Egypt and Turkey. Never treated Prime Minister Netanyahu well at all. Wanted Israel to return to pre-1967 borders, and Obama and his Secretary of State Clinton wouldn’t give any ‘red line’ considerations against Iran’s nuclear enrichment program. So why are American Jews still supporting Obama? You tell me!

    • hophmi

      President Bush never visited Israel during his first term, but hosted Saudi leaders many times and even helped bin Laden family members leave the country after 9/11. Obama never said Israel should return to the 1967 borders; he stated US policy, which is negotiation based on the ’67 borders. No US President would set red lines. Get your facts straight.

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