AIPAC Attendees Positive After Obama Address

May 22nd, 2011 at 1:21 pm | 8 Comments |

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After Obama’s address to the AIPAC policy conference Sunday, sales attendees generally thought the president left the building with more friends than when he walked in. In fact, nurse the vast majority of the dozen attendees FrumForum talked to immediately after the speech were positive, health largely based on happiness over the president’s clarifications of his controversial remarks regarding pre-1967 borders as a starting point for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

In fact, only two of the attendees surveyed by FF had anything negative to say about the President’s address.

“He definitely left with more friends, yes. He squarely addressed the issue of the 1967 borders… there is no question of returning to the borders before the 1967 war – that there will be land swaps,” said Richard Ravitz of California.

“I liked what he said, he was very optimistic… he probably left with more supporters because of his clarification [about the 1967 border comment],” added attendee Marissa Herzog.

The president had mentioned in his speech that the media had misrepresented him, and that the controversy around 1967 borders had been overblown, something that attendees did not seem to buy. And yet this was not enough for one conference delegate to rate his speech as bad.

“His speech was good … he clarified his reasonable positions, and while I don’t think that the media misread him, as he claimed, people took his speech as sincere,” added Mort Lowenthal of Connecticut.

His reaffirmation of his commitment to the security of Israel was positive, added another attendee. “It was nice to hear an explanation and more details about what he said on Thursday. It is clear that he supports the existence of the state of Israel, which is nice,” said Julie Marder.

Others had been skeptical following the president’s speech on Thursday, but were swayed by the address today. “He assured me,” said Julia Kristmundsdottir of Florida. “I walked out more assured that his previous policies are still intact. Like so many, I questioned his speech on Thursday but am back to being convinced that the president fully supports Israel.”

But even that may not be enough for Kristmundsdottir, who voted for the president in 2008. “I’m not very happy with this decision,” she said, and won’t vote for him again “unless he has a horrible opponent.”

Not all the attendees were happy with the President’s speech, however. Two spoke out against the speech as tired rhetoric. “I don’t think he walked out with more friends, no,” said Floridian Sharon Deligdish. “He repeated a lot of the standard rhetoric and excuse-making for what he said the other day [during his Middle East address].”

The other negative comment came from Herzel Kranz, who criticized the president for even believing that negotiations with Palestinians were possible. “We have to deal with reality.  [There’s] the reality that [Obama] tries to set up, that these people really mean peace, but look at what they do: they want all of Israel.  How could you have peace?” said Kranz.

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8 Comments so far ↓

  • rbottoms

    But David said they hated him, what gives?

    The other negative comment came from Herzel Kranz, who criticized the president for even believing that negotiations with Palestinians were possible. “We have to deal with reality. [There’s] the reality that [Obama] tries to set up, that these people really mean peace, but look at what they do: they want all of Israel. How could you have peace?” said Kranz.

    It’s a shame we’ve abandoned you so.

    Oh wait, $60 billion dollars.

    India and Pakistan hate each other too, do we shape every nuance of our public policy on what they think? No.

    It’s entirely possible for the Palestinians to be hateful fools who seemingly would rather fume and suffer in the desert than cut a deal, AND for Netanyahu to be a jerk who has the nerve to insult the guy giving him $60 frigging billion dollars a year.

    I wish someone hated me that much.

  • srgolub

    It’s closer to $3 billion per year, but nevertheless your point is well taken

    • rbottoms

      That’s cash, and the entire US military at your disposal for protection.

      Patriot missile batteries? Hello?

      A democratic (by comparison) ally and historically friendly nation, who leaders seem to think they can come take a dump in the Rose Garden if we don’t kiss their fanny sufficiently.

      You can’t build settlements, Apartheid-style roads, and crush rebellion with mass punishment forever. However justified your case, you are a little island in a big sea of nasty neighbors.

      Eventually you cut a deal, that deal will look a lot like 1967 borders so why put off the inevitable.

      And horrors, Obama didn’t shoot down the Palestinian fantasy of right of return, big deal. Do you begin negotiations by saying the other side doesn’t have a prayer of getting any of what they want?

      I am sick of this Muslin darkie hates Israel bullshit. How about he’s the president who extracts us from Iraq & rebuilds his military & fixes the economy so we can be a credible defender of freedom again president.

      I’d say that would be a lot more help to the Israelis than licking Netanyahu’s shoes.

  • Rabiner


    It’s dubious at best to attribute the American military presence in the Middle East to Israeli aid considering most of it is probably aimed at protecting oil than Israel.

  • Traveler51

    Peace is never going to happen there. This is a 6000 year old feud that began with two half-brothers each believing they inherited the land from the creator through their Father. Eventually one of them will win(?) and the other will be annihilated. There is no reasoning to ever be found in this millennial battle. We can only hope to continue to keep it at a low simmer.

  • midcon

    Since 1949 the U.S. has provided approximately $114 B in direct aid to Israel. This does not include credits and other types of aid which may not have a direct dollar value. This direct aid helps to ensure Israel’s security and facilitates them acting as our proxy in the Middle East.

    Obviously, Israel no longer needs the U.S. to provide for its security AND they have never acted in our interests. So the purposes for which we provide direct aid are not being met by that direct aid. It would seem prudent to revisit both the objectives and the aid.

  • Graychin

    AIPAC likes what they hear. So does the ADL.

    Just about the only critics of the Obama speeches are Obama’s political opponents – Romney’s “under the bus” comment for example.

    Oh – and Bibi. He didn’t like it either. But it’s hard to please Bibi.

    I’ve given up on having a loyal opposition in America. I would settle for a sane one.