Forward Thinking

Silverman Boosts Obama (Not That One)

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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Sarah Silverman and her sister, Rabbi Susan Silverman, are both supporting President Obama but they have very different ways of doing it.

There’s a Silverman involved in the latest pro-Obama ad, but it’s not the one you’re thinking (or hoping) it is.

Sarah Silverman’s sister, Rabbi Susan Silverman, who lives in Israel, co-produced “Israelis on Obama.” The piece features a number of Israeli talking heads (mainly defense officials, political scientists, and intellectuals) praising Obama’s financing of Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, and his sanctions policy against Iran.

Schlep Labs (also known as the Jewish Council for Education Research, put it out as a quickie response to Mitt Romney’s accusing Obama of not backing Israel strongly enough in Tuesday night’s presidential debate.

We’ll admit we’re a bit disappointed — not necessarily by the video’s message, but by the lack of production values as compared to the PAC’s previous ads. I guess we’ve been spoiled by all that free exposure to Silverman’s raunchy humor and Adam Mansbach’s clever writing.

Behind the dueling videos is a real question: Are Israelis pro-Obama? Of course, like everything else, it depends on whom you ask.

Shmuel Rosner, of the Jewish Journal, has shown that according to a bunch of polls, the answer to our question is no.

Rosner wonders if the question of whether Israelis think President Obama is pro-Israel or not actually makes a difference to the American voting public (Jewish or otherwise). To some, it surely doesn’t.

But some likely agree with Harvard professor Ruth Wisse, who suggested in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece earlier this week that American Jews should seriously doubt the president’s assurances that he’s “got Israel’s back.”


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