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November 3, 2012

Don’t take my word for it: What do others say about President Obama’s record?

http://www.jewishjournal.com/opinion/article/dont_take_my_word_for_it_what_do_others_say_about_president_obamas_record

President Barack Obama in Mentor, Ohio, on Nov. 3. Photo by REUTERS/Jason Reed

President Barack Obama in Mentor, Ohio, on Nov. 3. Photo by REUTERS/Jason Reed

True friendship is measured in actions and deeds, in promises made and promises kept. It is judged by what we do and how we act when the chips are down and the stakes are high.

I support President Obama and have spoken often of his strong leadership in support of the U.S.-Israel relationship, in preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons and on a host of domestic issues throughout this campaign.  So has the President himself.

However, as the chair of the Democratic Party, you don't have to take my word for it. And you don't have to be convinced by the President's own, honest words.  Instead, let's listen to two of our nation's top independent judges of President Obama and former Governor Romney on issues of concern to the American Jewish community.

When it comes to Jewish voters, there is no one more objective than Mayor Ed Koch or Professor Alan Dershowitz.  They are both unabashed, outspoken pro-Israel stalwarts and have, at times, even disagreed with President Obama.  And on social issues, they have both long been equally outspoken arbiters of justice, driven by a sense of Jewish values.

Faced with a choice between Governor Romney and President Obama, both Mayor Koch and Professor Dershowitz endorsed President Obama.
 
Take it from Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard Law professor who wrote The Case for Israel and The Case for Peace.  He points out in his latest op-ed in the Jerusalem Post that the President "has strongly supported Israel’s security by helping to construct the Iron Dome anti-rocket system,” which has already saved countless Israeli lives.

In the same piece, Professor Dershowitz continues, “with regards to Iran, which poses the most immediate threat to the security of the United States and its allies, most especially Israel, the policy of the Obama administration is crystal clear: It has taken containment off the table and kept the military option on the table." And in an interview  just over a week ago, Dershowitz told the Times of Israel that President Obama "has been clearer and firmer than Romney on the Iran issue."

In explaining his decision to endorse President Obama in the Jerusalem Post, Professor Dershowitz also expresses his concern for "our future and the future of our children" since "the composition of the U.S. Supreme Court over the next 30 years may be decided during the next four years."  And that "the case for Barack Obama includes his record in appointing moderates rather than right-wing ideologues to the judiciary, and most especially to the Supreme Court."

Or take it from former New York Mayor Ed Koch, a champion of U.S.-Israel relations for more than four decades. In a video message he recorded just last week, Mayor Koch  explains that "I'm proud to stand with President Obama because he's listened to the Jewish community and proven himself a true friend of Israel."

Mayor Koch says in his endorsement video  that "like so many in the Jewish community, I was moved by the President's speech at the United Nations in support of Israel, the strongest statement of its kind ever made by a United States president."  The Mayor says, "I'm confident President Obama will continue his unambiguous commitment to the Jewish state in his second term.” Further, in a recent op-ed in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel he writes that President Obama “was committed to preventing Iran from developing a nuclear bomb – not simply to a policy of containment – made clear to me his absolute commitment to the security and defense of the State of Israel.”

Concerning domestic issues, the former New York mayor reminds us in his video last week that President Obama is the "clear, best choice on domestic policy" and has noted that "on every single domestic issue, the Republicans are dead wrong and the Democrats are dead right." And that  "those aren't just American values, they're Jewish values too."

You can even take it from Israel's leaders, who do not endorse American officials but have made clear that President Obama has strengthened our bilateral partnership like never before.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted in a speech last year to AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, that "our security cooperation is unprecedented" and again on September 21 that President Obama deserves  a "badge of honor" for his defense of Israel at the United Nations.  And Defense Minister Ehud Barak told CNN this summer, “honestly that this administration under President Obama is doing in regard to our security more than anything that I can remember in the past.”

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