Who said 'preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon is in the security interests of the US?' Photo: MCT
Unreliable? Romney Photo: AFP
Steve Rabinowitz Photo: Steve Rabinowitz
Obama makes last-ditch efforts for Jewish votes
Mere hours before Americans flock to ballots, PR expert reveals campaign strategies that catered specifically to Jewish voters, including endorsements by series of top US Jewish figures like Barbra Streisand, Ed Koch
WASHINGTON – Days before the US presidential elections, President Barack Obama's
campaign headquarters released a video in which New York's reveredc mayor, the Jewish Ed Koch,
endorsed the president, as well as a similar video, featuring iconic Jewish singer Barbra Streisand
as she expressed her support for Obama.
A similar endorsement was voiced by top diplomat Dennis Ross,
who served as a senior Middle East
advisor in the Obama administration up until a year ago. Ross commended President Obama for his support of Israel
in a clip released by the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC).
All three videos were devised in a Washington PR office, with the sole purpose of convincing Jewish voters that Obama is the one who has and will promote Israel's interests, while Republican candidate Mitt Romney is
vague and inconsistent when it comes to Jewish
and Israeli issues.
The PR office is responsible for publishing over a 100 articles by celebrities endorsing the president, as well as various videos documenting the president's support
of Israel, including the funding of the Iron Dome defense
system and his visit to the rocket-riddled town of Sderot
in Israel's south, where residents expressed their gratitude to the American president.
To complete the picture, the same office circulated a sketch depicting a "connect the dots" illustration of how Republican candidate Mitt Romney's private investments ended up supporting the Iranian
"We've never said anything that wasn’t true," said Steve Rabinowitz, a media consultant whose office runs the PR team that wooed the Jewish vote.
According to Rabinowitz, who was director of design and production for Bill Clinton's
administration, Romney would be far more concerned with his own private investments than he would in the public's welfare, if he were to become president.
Obama's PR activity, which was aimed at snagging the Jewish vote, was funded by donations and brainstormed by a team working in a Washington attic above Rabinowitz' office – six days a week.
The team leader was an orthodox Jew by the name of Aaron Keyak, who provided the print and electronic media with information and content regarding Obama's support of Israel, focusing on data that demonstrated the president's support of the Jewish State.
Mitt Romney and Iran. NJDC add
The public relations office labored to foil the Republicans' efforts to portray Obama as endangering Israel, promoted by right-wing neo-conservatives such as the Emergency Committee for Israel.
According to Rabinowitz, his office raised funds amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars that allowed the team to develop an independent entity that can operate in communication with the Chicago office and the party's Jewish voice.
He added that his office conducted research, edited videos and created graphics on issues pertaining to Obama, Romney and the Jews,
domestic affairs and of course Israel and Iran.
Regarding Iran, Rabinowitz said that his office drew attention to Romney's unreliable standpoint, as he expressed both hawkish positions in his primaries speech, in which he spoke in favor of attacking Iran's nuclear facilities;
and dovish positions, when stating he would consult with lawyers before striking Iran.
The eight-person team compiled a database of articles and essays recounting Romney's ties with Iran. According to Rabinowitz, Romney is personally invested in three companies that conduct direct or indirect business
with Iran. When Romney was Governor of Massachusetts, Rabinowitz pointed out, the state employees' pension funds were invested in entities controlled by the Iranian government.
'Who did what on Israel?' NJDC Israel quiz
The PR office thereby stressed that Romney did not possess a tough stand on Iran, as is often perceived, so much so that he did not make the effort to find out where his money was invested.
To support the claims, Rabinowitz's office distributed an "Israel quiz,"
on social networks and via email, with 10 quotes by politicians, regarding US-Israel ties, asking readers to guess who was behind each quote.
One question, for example, reminds voters that Romney created an alliance with one of Israel's greatest adversaries – Ron Paul;
and another that Romney was accused to be playing with Israelis lives, by former Mossad Chief Efraim Halevy.
The questionnaire also recalls that president Obama has been quoted repeatedly to be stating that the US will not take any option off the table when it came to stopping Iran from achieving nuclear power.