Florida voters want more focus on Israel
January 23, 2012 7 Comments
By Lauren Appelbaum, Political Director
Tampa, Fla., Jan. 23 – It is not unusual to see people holding signs for their preferred candidate standing outside the location of a presidential debate. The crowd gathered at the University of South Florida, site of Monday night’s NBC News/National Journal/Tampa Bay Times Debate, was no exception.
Dozens of supporters gathered outside an entrance to the university to support the remaining candidates. Among the crowd was a small group of people holding U.S.-Israel signs that featured a variety of pro-Israel slogans: “Protect and Defend Israel and America,” “Support Israel to Destroy Hamas,” “Fight Terrorism, Support Israel,” and “Democrats for Newt / Jews for Newt.”
“I want to put Israel on the front-burner,” said Robert Kunst, the president of Shalom International, who organized the “Rally for America, Israel and No Nukes for Iran.”
Kunst is a self-described Democrat who has decided to support Speaker Newt Gingrich. While Israel is not usually cited as the first issue a voter uses to determine which candidate to back, Kunst says it’s the opposite for him. “Israel is my first issue. If we don’t have Israel, we have nothing. Because then America is next.”