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View Diary: What if Obama allowed Palestinian statehood to be recognized this week? (103 comments)

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  •  my guess is that he'd take a hit (7+ / 0-)

    especially among older jewish voters, that might make things harder both for him and for democrats in certain districts with large number of older jewish democrats, but that it needn't be as big of a hit as the media and GOP would try to make it be, if he sold the thing in terms of making peace in the middle east. a lot of jewish democrats are both concerned with perceived threats to the state of israel, but are also very strong supporters of the peace process and a two-state solution. the trick with allowing a palestinian state would be convincing that majority of jewish democrats that a palestinian state would be an important step towards a lasting peace, and thus would help reduce threats to israel in the long run .

    he would also get huge bumps among muslim and arab voters, which would have significant influence in those states and districts. i have no idea how that would balance out what he'd lose, though.

    the nutjob rightwing christian "obama's a secret muslim" pro-armageddon israel hawks would lose their shit if obama let the palestinians have a state, but i'm not sure that it would make much electoral difference, since they're not voting for him anyways.

    it might have a significant positive effect on the support of left independents, who are openly critical of the occupation itself, and who are generally less than thrilled with obama's foreign policy, since making such a move would be seen as seriously politically courageous. that being said, the effect there is unlikely to matter much, though, given how those voters tend to be clustered in states and districts where he's going to win anyways (although it might matter to some degree depending on the state or district).

    in terms of diplomacy, i think there's no question that supporting statehood would be a hugely beneficial move across the board, and vetoing a state would be a huge mark against american credibility. in terms of influence in israel, i think it could undermine netanyahu and favor livni, because it would prove that likud irredentism has led to an epic foreign policy fail for the israeli government. it could also trigger a domestic israeli backlash and support of likud, but my hunch is that, combined with the widespread protests against netanyahu on economic grounds, that the net effect would be to undermine the israeli right in favor of the center-right.

    my guess is that he vetos it, and takes a political hit from conservative jewish voters anyways.

    •  I pretty much agree with you (1+ / 0-)
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      and especially with your conclusion.  I think he loses the single-issue Jewish voters anyway if he vetoes it; that, to me, is the main lesson (aside from "look out for sub rose homophobic appeals among ethnics") in NY-9.

      So, if he loses the single-issue Jewish voters anyway in 2012 -- and they are a distinct minority of Jewish voters -- why give into them here if the merits do dictate otherwise?  Everyone seems to think that this has to be his political calculation -- but after NY-9 I think he's actually more free to take a gutsy and principled stand if he wants (assuming that his principles do dictate it.)

      I also agree that for domestic Israeli politics it would be bad news for Netanyahu, good news for both Tsipi Livni and Avigdor Lieberman.  But, with a recognized Palestinian state, can a Prime Minister Lieberman do more mischief -- or less?

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 06:55:57 PM PDT

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      •  my biggest problem with predicting this, tho (1+ / 0-)
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        Terra Mystica

        is that as a college town west coast norcalifornio, i'm mostly familiar with pretty liberal reform or secular (or jewish buddhist, etc.) jews, and don't have a firm handle on how this would play out back east (much less south florida), where urban jewish politics play out in very different ways, and where there are significant amounts of orthodox, hasidic or even conservative jewish communities.  

        •  It would play badly in New York (4+ / 0-)

          but so will Perry.  It would help Romney more.  But, if followed up with moves to help Israel bolster the legitimate aspects of its negotiating position (and I contend that there are some), that damage might be outdone.

          I think that most Jews feel constrained to support Israel, but also feel dread that this problem is always and forever just going to get worse.  If Labor and Kadima and leftward politicians stood up to support Obama, I think that Jewish voters would hold back from punishing him.

          I do think that he'd lose Florida -- but I think he would regardless.  New York City would be roiled, but I think he'd come out OK statewide given the scenario I present above.

          Then again, I am a pretty liberal reform or secular Jew from California.

          In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

          by Seneca Doane on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 07:17:47 PM PDT

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          •  It will play badly in parts of NY, (2+ / 0-)
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            Seneca Doane, Terra Mystica

            just as it will play badly among more conservative Jewish voters elsewhere.  But there are two conflicting narratives I want to point out:

            1. Obama will lose the Jewish vote if he does this.
            2. Younger Jews are much less attached to traditional zionism.

            I don't see how both of those narratives can be true simultaneously.  My prediction is that there would be more of a generational split among Jewish voters.  But I also want to give a caveat on that, which is that if Obama did this, and assuming he was the Democratic presidential candidate in 2012, there's over a year left.  So that even among the camp of Jewish voters who would be more likely to "desert" Obama over this, there's plenty of time to remind them (and for them to be reminded) why they don't vote Republican.

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