Lieberman: Israel Can Improve Attrition in Support for Israel Among Democrats
There’s an attrition in support for the State of Israel in the Democratic Party and among American Jews, former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman said during a visit to Israel on Monday.
Addressing the Knesset caucus for US-Israel Relations, Lieberman pointed out that there’s a “significant part of the American Jewish community that doesn’t have the reflex first reaction to support Israel” in times of need.
But he urged Israeli lawmakers representing a wide range of opinions to “reach out and make the case for Israel to groups with which you have an ideological affinity.”
“Demographic changes are occurring here that should be noticed and responded to,” Lieberman stated.
The former Connecticut Senator said that while the focus is generally on the debate within the Jewish-American community, support for Israel in the general American community remains very high. “All I can say to that is Baruch Hashem,” he quipped.
Lieberman also addressed the debate over the Iran nuclear deal, giving AIPAC “a lot of credit” for its campaign against the Iran deal. “I think AIPAC could’ve sat back and say they didn’t want to jeopardize their relations with the Obama administration,” he said. “But, I think, they understood that it was really for this kind of moment AIPAC was kinda created for. And they and their allied people got into it all the way and did as much as it could have done.”
Going forward, Lieberman said that the relationship is repairable because the Democratic lawmakers who voted for the deal, after a successful advocacy campaign by the president, will now make an extra effort to bolster US support for Israel. “There will be a real tendency among members of Congress, particularly Democrats, to make it clear that they voted for the Iran agreement, but that shouldn’t be used as a measurement of their support for Israel, which remains strong,” he was quoted as saying by Times of Israel. “I think the same feeling will be in the administration. The president wants his term as president to end with good relations with Israel, not with disagreements. So I’m an optimist.”