Open Zion

10.16.12

Florida, Obama and Israel

The Israeli government goes to great lengths to explain to anyone who'll listen that the threat of a nuclear Iran would not just affect the Jewish state, but the world as a whole. Someone, though, forgot to tell right-wing pro-Israel Republicans in Florida. Or at least that's the message you get driving up I-95 a few miles north of West Palm Beach, Florida. Over the weekend, a billboard appeared alongside the highway urging voters to "Stop Obama!" A reader snapped this photo:

The crude illustration shows a nuclear missile, helpfully labeled "Iran," impacting a map of Greater Israel (no Palestine here!) emblazoned with the star and bars of the Israeli flag. The text reads: "Friends don't let friends get nuked!" It's the latest in a line of ads encouraging voters to side against President Obama and with Israel, which is to say, with Mitt Romney—a boorish, partisan tug at the heartstrings of voters who care about the Jewish State.

The group behind the "Stop Obama!" billboard is American Principles SuperPAC. At the group's website, you can find all manner of anti-Obama ads, ranging from the standard attack on "you didn't build that" to a billboard blaming Obama for gas prices that features a picture of the president bowing to the Saudi King. The "events" page only lists one soirée: a town hall gathering with Tea Party Congressman Allen West (R-FL). (A call to American Principles for comment was not returned by press time—we'll update if we hear back.)

Jewish voters in Florida, according to a report in the Forward, are less than enthused about this presidential election. Hence all the attention to rile them up. This week also saw the launch of another anti-Obama television spot—and a $300,000 ad buy in Florida—featuring Benjamin Netanyahu's speeches on Iran. Again, someone forgot to tell Republicans that Netanyahu insists he wasn't butting into U.S. elections. 

Many Israel supporters in the U.S.—notably including many Democrats—claim they don't want Israel issues to be politicized. The GOP seems to have no compunctions about it.