December 6, 2011 | 4:24 pm
The Israel Factor gives an Israeli outlook on American policy and politics, and ranks the players of the American political battlefield from an Israeli viewpoint.
Between 2010 and until the Presidential election of 2012, the Factor will rank all presidential contenders according to views they express and news they make that have impact on Israel.
Each month, a group of distinguished Israeli panelists, all of them experts on American policy and politics (go to the panel page to see who they are), will try to assess the candidates’ positions on various Israel-related issues, and deliver their verdict on whom they consider to be the best candidate for Israel.
Why are we doing this? The reason is quite obvious: As the U.S. is a major world superpower, the influence wielded by the American president impacts way beyond the borders of the continent. As a major recipient of U.S. aid and political support, Israel is one country for whom the positions and policies of the American president are crucial.
Like the rest of the world, Israelis closely follow the race for the presidency, acutely aware that the person who inhabits the White House will influence their future more that any other world leader - perhaps, even more than their own leaders.
From now, until the elections in November 2012, our panelists will answer a set of questions each month regarding the candidates.
Each panelist will award each candidate marks out of 10 (10 being “best” for Israel and 1 being “worst”) for each question.
A sum total rating for each of the candidates will appear on the Factor homepage.
We are starting with a large group of potential candidates, and will eliminate those who drop out of the race as we go along.
To get as balanced a picture as possible, our panel includes experts from the left and the right in Israel, for whom the question “What constitutes an Israel-friendly president?” produces often strikingly different answers. The panel includes both academics and former high-ranking government officials. We have collected background information on each panelist concerning their beliefs and political positions.
By building the panel in this way, we will be able to give you a more nuanced and sophisticated assessment of the candidates’ attitudes toward Israel. Once in a while, we will ask one of the panelists to answer specific questions - posed by us and by you - by inviting them to appear on “Rosner’s Guest” for a week.
The one thing that will remain confidential is how each panelist voted on each specific question. Apart from the monthly ranking, I will write a weekly analysis in which I will try to assess the possible factors and events that could influence the next panel vote.
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