Jul 11, 2012

I Vote Israel Brings Ari Fleischer To Israel

Ari Fleischer, former Press Secretary to president George Bush, is on a mission. He is trying to drum up support for the Republican candidate in the upcoming US elections - Mitt Romney - in order to replace Barak Obama in the presidency. So much so that he has even come to Israel for a series of talks and meetings to try to woo absentee voters.

Ari Fleischer came in yesterday along with Matt Brooks as part of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Fleischer is personable, friendly, smiley and easy enough to talk to.

The event was hosted by I Vote Israel. I Vote Israel claims to be non-partisan, just trying to get American citizens living in Israel to register and vote absentee under the premise that regardless of who we vote for, Israel votes will be taken seriously if we show we can vote in large numbers.

The organizers presented their statistics from studies showing how many people there are in Israel who could possibly vote in US elections, yet only a fraction actually do.

An interesting debate started regarding the concept of voting in US elections while living in Israel. Personally I am all for it. I have a vote, I file US taxes, I am a citizen, I have benefits and responsibilities, I see no reason to say I don't deserve a vote. As well, a lot of the issues that are factors in the US elections are issues that affect us here in Israel as well. As long as absentee voting is allowed, I see no reason not to use that power to select my preferred candidate or my preferred platform.

That being said, there are others who say it is wrong to influence an election in the US if I am  not living there.

Interestingly, a position was presented against voting absentee suggesting more than that. Yishai Fleisher, of JewishPress.com and the Yishai Fleisher show, seems to be of the opinion that voting absentee is retaining a connection to the old country. As Zionists, we should not be voting in US elections, but should be trying to get Jews to abandon the old country and come back home. (I might not have expressed his opinion accurately, but that was the gist of it).

Zionism played the main role in this debate for both sides. As a Zionist we should vote, to make it better here and safer so Jews can come to Israel. As a Zionist we should not vote because it is retaining too much of a connection to the wrong country.

Anyways, Ari Fleischer and Matt brooks eventually came on stage and chatted a bit and then answered all sorts of questions from the crowd. He did not really provide any new information, but he did describe how he sees the current administration to be a failure and how it has not treated Israel properly.

With Mitt Romney on his way to town in just a couple of weeks from now, to try for some foreign support as well as to throw a heavy duty fundraiser while in Israel, the Republicans seem pretty serious about trying to woo Israeli voters.. I wonder what the Democrats will be doing...

Being that I do think American citizens living in Israel should vote in US elections, I encourage people to contact I Vote Israel to get registered and request an absentee ballot. they make the process very simple...
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  1. iVoteIsrael has consistently maintained that they're non-partisan, then they bring a guy to Israel who criticizes the current US administration, along with another guy who heads a Jewish Republican lobbying group.


  2. yes, suspicious.
    However their staff is mixed between registered republicans and registered democrats.
    they also made the claim yesterday that they will be bringing in and hosting events with democrats as well.
    still suspicious. but maybe


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