- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Morton Klein, the head of a major Jewish American group, believes he made an impact on his visit to Washington this week, as public opinion polls in the United States and in Israel show a growing dislike for President Obama and his Middle East policies.

Mr. Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), told Embassy Row on Wednesday that his meeting with former Congressman Robert Wexler, a Florida Democrat and now president of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, was especially useful.

After a scheduled 20-minute meeting Tuesday ran to an hour and a half, Mr. Klein, a conservative Jew who opposed Mr. Obama in the 2008 presidential election, and Mr. Wexler, a liberal Jew and strong supporter of the president’s, agreed on the danger of the continuing anti-Jewish rhetoric from the Palestinian Authority.

Mr. Wexler on Wednesday told Embassy Row that the Palestinian Authority needs to stop the “poisonous nature of the incitement” against Jews.

“Certainly I agree that the Palestinian leadership, in order to make a successful and strong case for a Palestinian state and to lay a successful foundation for negotiations with Israel, needs to address this urgent issue of incitement,” he said.

Mr. Klein said the hatred of Jews has grown so strong that the Palestinian Authority’s state-owned television station is running segments that describe Jews as the “enemy of humanity and Allah and [they] must be killed.” He also noted that schools, sports teams, streets and other public sites are increasingly named after suicide bombers.

“How do you get to peace when they are glorifying people who kill Jews?” Mr. Klein said.

Last week on a visit to the White House, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas insisted that his government has “nothing to do with incitement against Israel.”

In his visit to Capitol Hill, Mr. Klein cited several recent U.S. and Israeli public opinion polls that show a sharp decline in Jewish support for Mr. Obama, whose administration has been the most critical of Israel of any U.S. president.

A McLaughlin and Associates poll in April of 600 Jewish Americans considered “likely voters” found that 46 percent would oppose Mr. Obama’s re-election. That poll showed a stunning drop from the 2008 presidential election, when 78 percent of Jewish Americans voted for Mr. Obama.

“That result was shocking to me,” Mr. Klein said.

He also referred to a poll that found that 71 percent of Israeli Jews “dislike” Mr. Obama, with 47 percent of that number expressing “strong dislike.” That survey of 500 Israeli Jews by the Pechter Middle East Polls was conducted after the Obama administration criticized Israel for sending commandos to storm a Turkish ship trying to run the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas terrorists.


The Czech Republic this week approved a White House ethics lawyer to serve as the new U.S. ambassador in Prague.

The Foreign Ministry expects Norman Eisen to arrive in September, nearly 19 months after Ambassador Richard Graber, a political appointee of President George W. Bush, stepped down.

Mr. Eisen, who still needs Senate confirmation, was known as “Mr. No” for his work in drafting a strict code of ethics for the White House staff, although the code of conduct seems to have been flexible.

Even the organization he helped create, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), lambasted the White House for allowing top officials to meet with lobbyists in Washington coffeehouses to get around administration restrictions.

“The public is being suckered with lofty rhetoric about the evils of the same lobbyists White House officials are meeting with,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or e-mail [email protected]

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