Republicans use Israel to attract Jewish voters as 2012 elections near

Tense relations between U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are raising concerns in both Washington and Jerusalem, but for political activists vying for Jewish votes, they could mean a new opportunity to sway the pro-Israel community.

The potency of Israel as a wedge issue for Republicans going into 2012 was on full display when Netanyahu invited a small group of Democrats and Republicans to a first-ever joint meeting at Blair House one day before his May 24 speech to Congress.

During his high-profile congressional speech, Democrats and Republicans rose as one to applaud Netanyahu about 30 times.


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