Fact Check: Ad Challenges Obama's Position on Israel

Claim: An advertisement endorsed by the Republican Jewish Coalition that is airing on KLAS-TV Channel 8 features remarks from Jewish Democrat Michael Goldstein, who said he voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 but won't do so this time. Goldstein said of Obama: "When he gave a speech about the ‘67 borders it was nothing that had come up in his campaign originally. That really changed my mind about him. When he had the prime minister of Israel, (Benjamin) Netanyahu, to the White House, he wasn't just the prime minister of Israel. He really represented all of us, Jews, Israelis, people throughout the world who believed in the state of Israel. And he was disrespectful to him to the point that I had never seen." Goldstein goes on to state that given a second term, Democrat Obama is "going to place Israel in a position where they are in danger."

Verdict: Partially true but mostly misleading. Obama last year upset many American Jews -- and many non-Jews -- when he urged Israel to work with the Palestinians to redraw borders that were changed as a result of the Six-Day War in 1967. Israel's borders were expanded as a result of the war to cover areas that included the Gaza Strip, West Bank, Golan Heights and Sinai Peninsula. The Sinai Peninsula was eventually returned to the Egyptians and Israel pulled out of Gaza. But Israel has held onto other territory from the war, maintaining it must do so to protect its own security. The misleading aspect of the ad is the claim that Netanyahu "represented all of us." Many American Jews who otherwise support Israel view Netanyahu as a divisive hardliner and an impediment to peace. The suggestion that all American Jews support Netanyahu simply falls flat, as do other ads that claim individuals of a certain religion, race or ethnicity are monolithic in their political views. This ad also doesn't provide evidence to back the claim that Obama would place Israel in a dangerous position, at least more than that country already faces. Many would argue that Israel has never been out of danger since statehood in 1948.


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