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Dold Scolds Administration Over Israel

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Blake D. Dvorak

From the Dold campaign (10th District):

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Today, Illinois 10th District Republican Congressional candidate Robert Dold continued to speak out in disappointment concerning the handling of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by President Obama.  This comes amid last week's visit by the Prime Minister to the White House.  The President failed to extend to Netanyahu the opportunity to make a public appearance afterwards or issue a joint statement regarding their meeting--a deviation from the standard White House reception provided to visiting heads of state from a friendly nation.

"I would expect that our Nation's greatest ally in the Middle East would be treated by this Administration with more dignity and respect," said Dold.  "This Administration's actions are unacceptable as they only serve to isolate and pressure our Israeli friends to make unilateral concessions."

Dold, who attended the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington D.C. last week, believes that with Iran ignoring admonishment by the rest of the world to halt its nuclear program, there never has been a more important time for the U.S. and Israel to work in harmony.

"The fact that the Administration's rebuke of Israel has continued, even after Netanyahu's now three-week old apology over the announced building in Jerusalem, suggests a calculated and indefensible policy by this Administration to discredit Israel and its Prime Minister."
Also at the AIPAC conference was Dold's opponent, Dan Seals. The background to all this is the 10th's large Jewish population, which both campaigns are courting heavily. To wit, the Seals campaign last week also criticized the administration over its squabble with Israel:

Illinois Tenth Congressional District Candidate Dan Seals today called on the Obama Administration to defuse recent tensions between the United States and Israel in recognition of the special relationship between the two allies.

Citing the importance of maintaining America's strong relationship with Israel, Seals said that "disagreements between the governments in Jerusalem and Washington are bound to arise, as they would between two close friends, but it is critical that these disagreements are dealt with in private and not aired in public."

"Israel is our closest ally in the Middle East," said Seals.  "As we move down the path of peace," continued Seals, "it is crucial that the United States and Israel move in unison.  While the United States remains totally committed to Israel's security, I urge the Obama Administration to recognize the sacrifices that Israel is making to achieve  peace in such a difficult situation. This administration must bring an end to unhelpful rhetoric and work to forge a stronger, more productive future in the spirit of the special relationship between our two nations."

Seals noted that Jerusalem is Israel's capital and that we should respect Israel's right to manage its internal affairs.
It goes without saying that Seals is the one who's at odd with his party's base vis a vis Israel. At the same time, American Jews aren't known for their love of the GOP.

New Bob Dold Web Video

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Blake D. Dvorak

Republican Bob Dold is the first-time politician looking to hang on to Mark Kirk's 10th congressional seat. The seat has been in GOP hands for the better part of the last century. With that kind of historical background, one would think Dold is a shoo-in come November. But the district has been voting Democratic for several years now at the presidential level, and Mark Kirk had to fight off Dan Seals in two tough campaigns.

Some Democrats questioned whether it was wise to give Seals a third shot, when he couldn't beat Kirk in two thoroughly Democratic years ('06 and '08). The other way to look at it is that it was the moderate Kirk who won those campaigns, not the GOP, and with him gone, Seals has a much higher name recognition than the newbie Dold.

Whatever the case, Dold needs to get his name out there quickly, and that's where web videos come in:



Another wrinkle in this race is the attention the parties' congressional committees are giving it. The DCCC just announced that Seals is part of the "Red to Blue" program, which highlights just 13 races throughout the country worthy of special notice to donors. Meanwhile, the NRCC has Dold as one of its Young Guns, which basically does the same thing. (Also on the NRCC's Young Gun program are Adam Kinzinger (11th) and Randy Hultgren (14th).

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