New York Times: Trump Seeks to Turn Israeli-Arab Accords Into Campaign Gains

September 20, 2020

By Michael Crowley

Halie Soifer, the executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, said the Jewish Electorate Institute poll, conducted by the Democratic polling firm Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group among 810 Jewish voters, showed that they had made up their minds about Mr. Trump. “It’s not working for Jewish voters,” Ms. Soifer said.

Daniel Shapiro, who served as President Barack Obama’s ambassador to Israel, said that had been true from the start of Mr. Trump’s presidency. “He’s been trying every day for four years to turn Israel into a wedge issue with American Jewish voters, and he can’t even move it out of the margin of error,” Mr. Shapiro said. “The votes are set.”

But Ms. Soifer said that on Israel policy, Mr. Trump was at least as interested in a different group of voters. That was clear at a campaign rally last month, when the president referred to his 2017 decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“We moved the capital of Israel to Jerusalem,” he said. “That’s for the evangelicals.”

“You know, it’s amazing with that — the evangelicals are more excited by that than Jewish people,” he added.