Dems in Congress get talking points to show Israel support

Ahead of midterm elections, a Democratic leader distributed talking points to fellow House Democrats stressing support for Israel by President Barack Obama and the party.

The July 22 memo from Rep. Howard Berman (D–San Fernando Valley), chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, declared that the backing from Obama and the House Democrats have been unprecedented.

“I think you will find [this document] useful to make the case that House Democrats and the President are as good if not better than any Congress or Administration that has come before,” Berman, who is Jewish, wrote in an e-mail to Democrats in Congress.

Republicans bidding for the Jewish vote in November’s elections are trying to tie Democratic Party candidates to Obama in the wake of months of tension over Israel’s settlement policies.

The approximately two dozen talking points emphasize that Obama has stressed the need for Palestinians to recognize the Jewish character of the state and that he has made Iran a top priority in every meeting with world leaders. They drew attention to Obama’s commitment to providing Israel with financial and military aid.

Leaders of pro-Israel groups do not dispute the enhanced defense assistance, but some say that Obama’s public disagreements over Israel’s settlement policies have handed leverage to Israel’s enemies and rivals. — jta