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Barak and Barack: Obama 2012 Narrowcasting to American Jews

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, August 5 2011

About an hour ago I got an email from David Axelrod, senior adviser to the Obama 2012 campaign. The title: "What Barak Said About Barack." The email is a great example of narrowcasting. If you're Jewish, you probably know how Barak (Ehud, the former Labor Prime Minister of Israel) is. If not, well, you probably didn't get the email.

Why would the Obama campaign be sending out a Friday afternoon (don't they know it's almost Shabbos?) email about Israel? I don't know, but I presume they're either worried about Obama's standing with his Jewish supporters and/or concerned about the escalating tensions in the Middle East and the coming clash in the United Nations over Palestinian statehood.

In either event, the e-mail reads like an effort at inoculation:

Micah --

You should hear what Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said yesterday about President Obama's support for Israel.

Asked on Fox News whether he thought Israelis were "disenchanted" with President Obama, Barak said:

"No. Our countries are good friends. And I'm the minister of defense, I can tell you that I can hardly remember ... a better period of support, American support and cooperation and similar strategic understanding of events around us than what we have right now.

"The President didn't say that Israel should go back to the borders of '67. He made it very clear that he thinks that Palestinians deserve a state of their own. We also believe in two states ... [a] secure Israel side by side with a demilitarized Palestinian state that will basically have the same area that's West Bank and Gaza Strip had before '67 with certain swaps, with understanding of the transformation on the ground."

Over the next 15 months, the other side will do their best to distort the President's record -- particularly on Israel. We've already seen them mischaracterizing the vision he's laid out for a new era of peace in the Middle East. It's up to supporters like us to set the record straight.

Please pass this on to everyone you know who cares about the Jewish state and its partnership with the United States.



David Axelrod

Since Axelrod asked that I pass this on, here it is. Shabbat Shalom, y'all.