Obama loses trust of Israel backers

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“I do not think that the relationship has been damaged yet,” said George S. Naggiar, chairman of the American Association for Palestinian Equal Rights.

However, Mr. Naggiar noted that “because the United States wants to maintain an image of power and credibility among Arabs and Muslims and because Israel’s refusal to end settlements will undermine that image, such refusal has the potential to damage the U.S. relationship with Israel.”

Mr. Naggiar said American Jews, while strongly linked with the Democratic Party, are not single-issue voters and only a small minority are fiercely devoted to maintaining and expanding Jewish settlements.

But Jeff Daube, director of the Zionist Organization of America’s Israel office, said he thinks the president’s positions have taken a toll.

“There is no doubt that it has damaged the relationship,” Mr. Daube said of Mr. Obama’s call to halt settlements.

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