Monday morning, the Illinois Republican Party sent out a memo to any Jewish voters in Florida that may get a chance to speak with Mayor Emanuel as he tours the Sunshine State stumping for Obama in the closing days of the campaign:
CHICAGO – As Mayor Rahm Emanuel spends more time trying to explain to Florida Jewish voters why President Obama treats Israel with hostility and why he strongly opposed sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran, the Illinois Republican Party would like to offer some suggested questions for the Florida Jewish leaders scheduled to meet with the mayor.
Background: On July 14, 2012, the Washington Post published the most comprehensive behind-the-scenes review of President Obama’s foreign policy. From the article: “According to former administration officials and outside advisers briefed on some White House meetings, Emanuel, in particular, thought Netanyahu could be pressured to make concessions, just as he had in the 1990s…To many in the administration, Emanuel’s instinct was one of “tough love” toward Israel… ‘What’s the strategy here?’ Obama asked constantly in meetings with Mitchell, Emanuel and others pushing for the settlement freeze, according to participants.”
Question: What role did you play in President Obama’s decision to pressure Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make unprecedented concessions to the Palestinian Authority on issues like security, borders, refugees and Israel’s capital of Jerusalem?
Question: Why do you think the President sided with your recommendations to be harsh on Israel rather than the recommendations of others in the Administration (like Dennis Ross) to strike a more balanced approach?
Question: According to many in the Obama administration, your instinct toward Israel was one of “tough love.” Why is that your instinct and why do you think the President adopted it too?
Background: In November 2011, Illinois Senator Mark Kirk joined New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez in offering the toughest sanctions against Iran in history – sanctions targeting Iran’s central bank. These sanctions prompted the European Union to enact an oil embargo on Iran and have led to the collapse of the Iranian currency in recent weeks. Despite what the administration says today, President Obama fought these sanctions every step of the way. Take a look at the headlines:
Secretary Tim Geithner: “…strong opposition to this amendment…”
Foreign Policy: Administration tries to water down Iran sanctions legislation
Question: Do you believe President Obama was wrong to oppose the Menendez-Kirk sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran last year?
Question: Do you believe the sanctions that President Obama opposed are working – if so, will you admit it was a mistake to oppose them?
Question: If President Obama is actually dedicated to stopping the Iranian nuclear program, why would he have strongly opposed tough sanctions?