US President Barack Obama’s hopes for a second term in office were given a boost as leading pro-Israel group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), praised the often-criticised leader for his “steadfast” support of Israel.
In an unprecedented Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) statement Sunday, the organisation likely improved his reputation with the US Jewish electorate, as Obama’s lead over Republican rival Mitt Romney has slipped in recent weeks, by paying tribute to “the close and unshakeable partnership between the United States and Israel”.
Throughout the campaign for the presidential elections on November 6, Romney has accused Obama of “throwing Israel under a bus” in international forums, yet AIPAC contended that the Democrat leader had “deepened America’s support for Israel in difficult times”.
Citing Obama by name, the organisation apparently rejected Romney’s attack on his foreign policy position regarding Iran’s contentious nuclear weapons programme and praised him for his efforts to “foster an international consensus to isolate Iran”, by promoting “unprecedented Iran sanctions legislation”.
The influential body concluded its statement by saying “we stand ready to work together in the year ahead to enable both countries to meet the serious challenges we face, especially preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear capabilities”.
Meanwhile, a new Pew Research Centre poll released Wednesday found Obama has regained some lost ground in his re-election campaign and creeped back into an eight point lead over Romney.
The announcement, just seven weeks before America goes to the polls, gives the incumbent president the best standing at this stage of the campaign for a sitting president since Bill Clinton’s successful 1996 election campaign.
Significantly, no US president has ever won re-election in such an economic climate as America is now experiencing and with such high levels of unemployment.
The same pollsters revealed Obama shared even odds with his then Republican rival candidate John McCain at the same stage of his inaugural 2008 campaign.
Even more encouragingly for Obama’s campaign team, the latest survey found that on specific issues, Obama topped his opponent in every category, most notably by 15 points on foreign policy.
Romney has been vilified by the White House for having no practical foreign policy experience, particularly following his campaign visit to Israel, where he provocatively referred to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in contrast to established US foreign policy.