Pro-Israel political action committees have donated to his campaign and have urged their national membership to give generously now and later, if Lieberman is forced to run as an unaffiliated candidate.
"Joe Lieberman, without exception, no conditions ... is the No. 1 pro-Israel advocate and leader in Congress," said Mark Vogel, chairman of the National Action Committee, a pro-Israel political action committee. "There is nobody who does more on behalf of Israel than Joe Lieberman. That is why he is incredibly important to the pro-Israel community."(AP)
Right now, there's a war raging between the militant group Hezbollah, which is currently using southern Lebanon as a base, and Israel's IDF. Israeli planes have been bombing Beirut. Hezbollah rockets are slamming into Haifa. It's been a long time coming. This round was started when two Israeli soldiers were captured. Where it wil end is anyone's guess, although the fears of World War III breaking out are retreating, for now.
Right now, Israel needs friends, and they have relatively few. Europe, which is traditionally in their corner, has found the Israeli reaction too extreme for its liking. Only in America do we hear pundits talking about the war as a defense of the West against barbarism. Only here is pro-Israeli sentiment strong enough to weather actions that resemble shooting ducks with artillery. And in America, Joe Lieberman has been consistent in his support for Israel and Israeli causes.
Vogel said opinion within the pro-Israel community is mixed about whether the United States should have launched the Iraq war. Some prefer Lamont because they argue Iraq is more important than Israel, but Vogel said there is more agreement about staying in Iraq and getting the job done.
"We need to complete the war on terror, which does not include leaving because it sends the terrorists a very bad message: that terrorism pays," he said. "Joe is part of that line of reasoning, which I think the pro-Israel community is pretty unified on." (AP)
How will this war, if it escalates, affect our little primary here in Connecticut? Will Israel vs. Syria or Iran overshadow the divide over Iraq?
Lieberman's campaign has been reaching out to pro-Israel supporters. Michael Kassen, a Westport, Conn., businessman who contributes to pro-Israel causes and various candidates, said the campaign has been in touch.
"This is a group that he can turn to," said Kassen, who gave Lieberman $1,000 in 2005, according to campaign finance records. (AP)
Ned Lamont may be able to compete with Lieberman on Iraq, but what about Israel or Iran? If a real crisis erupts and America is dragged into it, the entire dynamic of the race, of all races in 2006, changes. And, at least for now, Joe Lieberman is in better position to take advantage of it than Ned Lamont.
"Pro-Israel Groups Rally Support For Lieberman." Associated Press 19 July, 2006.