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Jerusalem think tank: Don’t make Israel a partisan issue in the U.S.

by Madeleine Morgenstern, JTA

June 20, 2011 | 5:36 pm

A Jerusalem-based think tank urged Israel not to let Israel become political ammunition for partisanship between Republicans and Democrats.

The Jewish People Policy Institute recommended that the Israeli government make “every possible effort to prevent the Middle East conflict from becoming a point of contention between the Republican and Democratic parties,” according to a press release announcing a new report from the institute. The press release stated that the institute “discourages turning the political debate on U.S. policy toward Israel into a partisan wedge issue.”

JPPI’s president, Avinoam Bar-Yosef, and its chairman, Stuart Eizenstat, presented the institute’s annual assessment to the Israeli government on Sunday. Eizenstat, a former U.S. diplomat, is a supporter of President Barack Obama and has spoken out against what he views as Republican efforts to drive a wedge between the parties on Israel.

The JPPI report also encouraged the Israeli government to buy American-made products to, as the press release put it, “further strengthen Israel’s relationship with the United States at a time of economic strife in America.” It also recommended that the Israeli government encourage Israelis and Jews around the world to buy American goods and services and travel to the United States in order to strengthen the American economy.

“By preferring American products, we will be able to create many jobs in the United States and this is also very significant,” Bar-Yosef said in the press release.

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