‘JTA’ reports that as much as 2/3 of Democratic money comes from Jewish donors

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I admire Ron Kampeas of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency for telling readers that he is a settler in East Jerusalem. Well Kampeas has also been more honest than other reporters about the role of Jewish money in the American political process. Here he says that the battle for Jewish money motivated the Democratic Party to name Deborah Wasserman Schultz as head of the DNC, and that Obama’s recent mild resistance to the Netanyahu government has encouraged Republicans to compete with Dems for big Jewish donors. But Obama and the Dems feel that they can drive a wedge on this issue, in the right-center, and keep Jewish support. When I say right-center, it is because Obama’s shills on this issue include Anthony Weiner, who doesn’t believe there’s an occupation, and because Wasserman Schultz has herself met with rightwing nut Sheldon Adelson. So the issue isn’t really politicized, everyone’s for settlements forever, and this is a backroom money fight. It shouldn’t be in the backroom. You’d think that other journalists would jump in now and explain how rightwing Jewish money has corrupted policy on this issue. By the way the percentage in my headline has been estimated at 60 percent by the Washington Post and, privately to me recently by someone claiming to know, 80 percent. Go figure. Kampeas:

“The White House has a very strong record to defend, and the objectives are misrepresented and in some cases maligned, so yes the White house is pushing back,” said Robert Wexler, the former Florida congressman who was Obama’s chief Jewish proxy during the 2008 campaign.

Wexler wrote one of two pro-Obama Op-Eds in the South Florida Sun Sentinel in recent days. Florida, a swing state with a substantive Jewish population, has been a key Jewish battleground in recent years…

Obama captured 78 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008, and estimates over the years have reckoned that Jewish donors provide between one-third and two-thirds of the party’s money.

…Republicans made clear that they see a new opening now given the “1967 lines” brouhaha.

“We’re stepping up our game with Jewish donors and other potential Jewish supporters that feel like Obama turned his back on them,” an RNC official who is not authorized to speak on the record told JTA.

Obama’s appointment earlier this year of Wasserman Schultz as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee came in part in response to concerns that Republicans were making headway among Jews. Wasserman Schultz also contributed an Obama defense to the South Florida Sun Sentinel over the weekend.

Where the Jews stand on Obama matters not just because of the Jewish vote, which is significant in key swing states such as Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio, but also because of Jewish money. The 2012 presidential election will be the first since a Supreme Court ruling allowing unlimited corporate giving to candidates. The Obama campaign has said it will need more money than ever because big business tends to lean Republican.

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