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November 8, 2016 3:00 pm

Clinton, Trump Campaigns Make Final Pitch for Jewish Vote

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Both the Clinton and Trump campaigns made made final pitches to Jewish voters ahead of Tuesday's vote. Photo: Tom Arthur via Wikimedia Commons.

Both the Clinton and Trump campaigns made made final pitches to Jewish voters ahead of Tuesday’s vote. Photo: Tom Arthur via Wikimedia Commons.

Before the polls opened on Tuesday, the campaign teams of both presidential contenders made a last-ditch pitch to the Jewish Insider about why Jews should vote for their candidates.

Calling the election a “wakeup call” for the US Jewish community, Laura Rosenberger — a Hillary Clinton campaign foreign policy adviser — said, “I am really proud that Hillary has stood up strongly against the BDS movement; she’s been very outspoken about antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism, and the anti-immigrant sentiment because we know that these are all interconnected, and this is something that is a testament to her in what she believes in, that she’s been such a forceful voice in speaking out [against] all this divisive and violent rhetoric.”

Regarding Clinton’s views on the Jewish state, Rosenberger said, “She knows the depth and the connection between the American and Israeli people, she knows how much we can learn from each other, and that bond is something that is really personal to her. When she was a senator, she was a fierce champion for Israel, something that continued when she was secretary of state.”

In addition, Rosenberger said, Clinton “has been very clear that she believes that Israel’s security is a direct and enduring national interest of the United States. She believes that America needs to be engaged in the Middle East to help bring about peace, stability and security, and she believes that there will always be differences that the two countries will have, but that we need to make sure that those differences are managed quietly, and that our adversaries are never able to drive a wedge between us.”

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Speaking to Jewish Insider on behalf of the Donald Trump campaign, attorney David Friedman — a senior adviser with whom the Republican presidential candidate regularly consults on matters related to the Jewish state — asked US Jews “to focus on two things” when voting — Israel and America’s standing in the world.

“The Republican platform, which could have never been enacted without the support of Donald Trump, is the most pro-Israel platform in the history of either party, in the history of this country,” Friedman said.

Some of Trump’s positions on Israel, Friedman said, “are frankly unique and massively better, not only than Hillary Clinton[‘s] but even when compared to George W. Bush — no daylight between the countries, Jerusalem as the indivisible capital of Israel, moving the embassy to Jerusalem, maintaining an overwhelmingly superior military profile for Israel relative to its enemies, and no longer burdening Israel, when it is called to defend itself, with obsolete notions of proportionate force. Also, rejecting the notion that Israel is occupying today in Judea and Samaria, punishing the BDS movement, not imposing on Israel a settlement against its will, and not funding the Palestinian Authority without absolute assurances that it’s no longer providing stipends to terrorists.”

Regarding broader US policy overseas, Friedman pointed to Clinton’s 2009-2013 stint as secretary of state, saying that the Democratic candidate has done “absolutely nothing during the course of her campaign to distinguish herself or to distinguish her presidency from an Obama presidency. The Clinton-Obama foreign policy has wreaked massive damage everywhere in the world…You can’t point to any place in the world which is safer, more secure, less of a threat than it was 8 years ago.”

The primary reason for this, according to Friedman, “is that America has projected weakness to the rest of the world. It’s a small world, and when the world is this unstable and risky, Jews everywhere are less safe and they’re less secure. The Trump administration is going to reverse all of that. We’re not going to lead from behind. We’re going to lead from the front. That should be very important to people everywhere, but it’s of course important to Jews, because when the United States is weak, Israel is weak, and frankly, Jews everywhere have reason to be concerned.”

In an interview with The Algemeiner last week, Friedman revealed that a Trump administration would ask the Justice Department to investigate coordinated attempts to intimidate Israel-supporters on US campuses.

On Monday, Malcolm Hoenlein — the executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations — told The Algemeiner that US Jews must get out and vote on Election Day if they want to continue to be heard by politicians on matters of concern to them.

“I hear too many expressions of indifference, or people who are confused and conflicted and therefore say they are not going to vote,” Hoenlein said. “That’s a decision, but it’s a bad one. It’s very important that people go out and vote their conscience…Many politicians may have limited capacities, but they can all count. And they know who votes and who doesn’t vote. You have to vote if you want to have a voice. If you fail to do so, don’t complain about the results.”

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