The Surprising Israeli Takeaway From the Presidential Debate

Precisely because Israel-based viewers are less engaged in details of this campaign than voters in America.  They are, therefore, arguably a better reflection of the less-engaged and still-undecided voters in America than the hardened political junkies whose impressions of the candidates were formed long ago.
The first Obama-Romney debate is over, and has been followed by predictable torrents of over-dissection and over-analysis.  So, why add more?  Because reactions in Israel may be surprisingly instructive in projecting the likely impact of this debate on the coming election.  Americans in Israel, as well as native-Israelis, make for an interesting group with which to measure the effect of the debate, especially on the impression made by Governor Romney. Continue reading

How not to read presidential polls: The increasing absurdity of media reports

This column was originally published by the Times of Israel.

While various statistical methods may be sound, all polling analysis depends on the quality of assumptions and data inputted.  Garbage in, garbage out: skewed data inputs lead to skewed poll results, no matter how brilliant any particular statistical methodology.  

At first, it was just a trickle, a misguided throw-away line here and there, easily ignored.  Then it started picking up momentum, showing up in one Israeli commentary after another.  And now, it is conventional wisdom in the Israeli press and public that the U.S. election is already over, that polls show President Obama’s reelection is inevitable, and that Republican Mitt Romney might as well throw in the towel now.
Of course, this is nonsense.  It is based on the most superficial reading of the most superficial polls.  Continue reading

The Democrats Were for Jerusalem, Before They Were Against it, Before They Were for it, Before They Were Against It

The Democrats’ 2012 platform omitted any endorsement of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.  Furthermore, it no longer calls for the creation of a democratic Palestinian state, no longer calls for isolating Hamas until it renounces terror and recognizes Israel, and opens the door to endorsing the so-called Palestinian “right of return” to Israel.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Are we really supposed to trust these people?
The outrageousness of the stories surrounding the Democratic Party platform’s now-you see-them, now-you-don’t sections relating to Israel and Jerusalem grows daily, exceeded only by the cynicism of the party spokesmen peddling them.  On the bright side, the entertainment value of the saga is pretty high. Continue reading

The Democrats of 2012: For Israel, Is the Party Over?

This column was originally published in American Thinker magazine.

While Israel faces existential doomsday, the Democratic party– certainly the convention — seems firmly under the control of those ambivalent about, if not outright hostile to, the Jewish State and its people.

As the Democratic National Convention proceeds, watching the degradation of a once-great, once pro-Israel party is as sad as it is alarming.  Continue reading

Tampa Journal: Observations from the Republican Convention

This column was originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

Israel is a hot topic here, and support for Israel (and criticism of President Barack Obama’s treatment of Israel) seems to run across the board. I’ve done radio interviews here with hosts who are more enthusiastic Zionists than I am–and I live there.

These are people with an attachment to Israel that runs deep, and they are excited discuss it. There is no better opening line in this group than saying, “Hi, I’m Abe, from Republicans Abroad Israel.”

It is fascinating to attend this year’s Republican National Convention as a representative of Republicans Abroad Israel. Continue reading

Barack Obama: No Better Friend in the World (to Russia)

This column was originally published in American Thinker magazine.

Since the “Reset,” Russia has blackmailed Europe and the Ukraine with periodic stoppages of critical natural gas shipments.  The Kremlin has repeatedly blocked or evaded sanctions against Iran and Syria while selling Iran advanced weaponry and ensuring that Syria is armed sufficiently to massacre its people.  Russian bombers simulate attacks against America while violating U.S. airspace, while armed Russian attack submarines operate in U.S. waters, and Putin turns human rights back a generation, liquidating and imprisoning political opponents. Continue reading

The “Opposite” of Obama: a Primer for Democrats

This column was originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

The Obama administration has distinguished itself by innumerable calculated insults and slights designed to show “daylight” between Obama’s America and Israel.  I ask those defenders of Obama’s Israel record: would you have a problem with the “opposite” of the following partial list of incidents?

In June, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told an audience of Christian conservatives that he would do the “opposite” of what US President Barack Obama has done in terms of Israel. “I think, by and large, you can just look at the things the president has done and do the opposite.” Romney explained that his “overarching” message was that “I would not want to show a dime’s worth of distance between ourselves and our allies like Israel. If we have disagreements, we can talk about them behind closed doors. But to the world, you show that we’re locked arm-in-arm.”

Did anyone not understand what Romney meant? Continue reading