aiac huckabee 311.
(photo credit: AIAC)
American immigrants to Israel: Uncle Sam wants you to vote in the key
congressional race in November for all 435 seats in the House of Representatives
and one-third of the 100 in the Senate.
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Or at least, Uncle Harvey
American Israeli Action Coalition chairman Harvey Schwartz unveiled
a new “get out the vote” campaign on Wednesday at a Jerusalem press conference.
The campaign aims to reach some 100,000 residents of Israel eligible to vote in
The effort will utilize the media, the Internet and volunteers to
reach out to American Israelis, especially students on post-high school programs
and attending university here, as well as children of American immigrants, even
if they have never set foot in the US.
“Our votes can have a significant
impact on an election that many commentators believe will be a historic one,”
Schwartz said. “In these critical times, AIAC believes it’s incumbent on
Americans living in Israel to exercise their right to vote. It’s in the best
interests of Israel and America. It’s important that Americans know there is a
substantial voter population here and that Israelis know that Americans here
Schwartz said that in the past, many Americans in Israel did not
vote, either because they didn’t know they had the right, they didn’t know how,
or they didn’t think they could make a difference. But the importance of each
vote was proven by the 2000 presidential election that George W. Bush won due to
a 500-vote majority in Florida.
AIAC also intends to host debates between
Democratic and Republican representatives, as the organization did ahead of the
2008 presidential election, and to provide a forum for candidates who visit
Schwartz stressed that his organization was nonpartisan and that
the drive was not intended to help one candidate or another.
He said the
fact that most American Israelis voted for Republican John McCain over US
President Barack Obama in the last presidential election did not indicate how
they would vote this time.
AIAC has written Obama, asking him to visit
Israel for the first time as president.
Schwartz said he would be
delighted if the president were to come before the election and participate in
the debate that his organization was planning.
“This is most definitely
not an anti-Obama campaign,” he said. “It’s a pro-American- Israel campaign.
Under American law, every citizen has the right to vote. There is no reason for
American Israelis to be discriminated against out of fear that their vote would
go one way or another. This is pro-American, not anti-anybody.”