Fact Check: Republican Jewish Coalition Ad Blasts Obama

By Steve Kanigher

Published 10/04 2012 04:52PM

Updated 05/25 2015 02:25AM

Claim: A new advertisement from the Republican Jewish Coalition that is airing on KLAS-TV Channel 8 features a woman who states: "I don't think Barack Obama is a friend of Israel at all. I think pressuring Israel to move to the ‘67 borders would be a total disaster. It would start the end of Israel."

Verdict: Partly true, partly misleading and partly speculative. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, proposed in a May 2011 speech that Israel return to roughly the same borders it had before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war as a way to kickstart peace negotiations with the Palestinians. This would include handing over territory in the West Bank that Palestinians covet. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly opposes this approach because he has said it would leave his country defenseless. The New York Times quoted sources as saying that Netanyahu had an angry phone conversation with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton prior to the speech in an unsuccessful bid to have the 1967 border reference cut from Obama's address.

But the ad is misleading because Netanyahu hardly speaks for all Israelis on this issue. This is what then-Israeli opposition leader and former foreign minister Tzipi Livni told CNN at the time: "An American president that supports a two-state solution represents the Israeli interest and is not anti-Israeli. President Obama's call to start negotiations represents Israel's interests." The Jerusalem Post on Thursday reported that Livni is among the potential opponents to Netanyahu in elections that are scheduled to take place next year. The ad is also speculative because no one can say for certain what the impact on Israel would be if Obama's proposal is pursued by the Israelis and Palestinians.

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