Sep 20, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
Republican-linked group Secure America Now will spend one million dollars to play Netanyahu ad in parts of Florida with large Jewish populations; TV spot features PM warning of Iran threat.
Excerpted from The Jerusalem Post: As the US presidential election heats up, a new ad featuring Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is set to hit the airwaves in the crucial swing-state of Florida on Thursday, Politico reported.
The ad features footage of Netanyahu at a recent press conference saying, “The fact is that every day that passes, Iran gets closer and closer to a nuclear bomb. The world tells Israel wait, there’s still time. And I say wait for what? Wait until when?” followed by a voice-over saying “The world needs American strength, not apologies.” While not naming either candidate explicitly, Republicans have accused US President Barack Obama of “apologizing for America.”
According to Politico’s report, a million dollars worth of ad-space will target the clip in the Miami, West Palm Beach and Fort Myers, areas with large Jewish populations.
The ad may cause headaches for Netanyahu, who has faced criticism at home and abroad for saying, “Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel,” during the same press conference. Critics, including a pro-Israel US senator, accused Netanyahu of interfering in the US election with his sharp critique of the current administration.
In an interview with the Post, Netanyahu dismissed the allegations as “completely groundless,” saying his words on Iran have “nothing to do with the American elections, because the Iranian nuclear program doesn’t care about the American political calendar.”
The company behind the ad is a 501(c)4 non-profit advocacy group called Secure America Now, which aims to “unite security hawks of all political persuasions to foster and support strong national security policies.” Because of its tax status, the group does not have to disclose its donors, but it was founded by Republican pollsters John McLaughlin and Pat Caddell.
In the 2009 Israeli elections, Netanyahu hired McLaughlin as a Likud campaign adviser.
In 2011, McLaughlin and Pat Caddell received wide-spread criticism from the Washington Post, JTA and the Washington Jewish Week, among others, for a questionable poll sponsored by Secure America Now claiming that Jewish support for Obama was down to 43 percent. A Gallup poll released the same week cited a 60% approval rating for the president among Jews.