26 October 2008

26 October 2008 - Senator Obama's anti-Israel past

The Jerusalem Post has done a little homework on Senator Barack Obama's past feelings about Israel, and came up with some interesting recollections:

Normally, Gendler recalls, Obama would be happy to stand in front of the building and talk but "when it came to Israel, it was not like that." Instead, he says, "when Israel started to become the topic, he became very cold. He always told me that we need a more 'balanced' approach, which in America is a code word for being too pro-Israel."

Yet he can point to no specific policy points or comments that Obama made to flesh out that attitude. "He would refuse to talk more about it, [but] he gave me the impression that we were far too pro-Israel."

Like other detractors, Gendler notes how affable and personable Obama was. "He was always positive. He never lost his temper. On a personal level, he was very nice."

Fellow Republican Ron Gidwitz also praises Obama for being "friendly" and "warm," but remarks, "I've probably known him longer than most of these people have, though maybe not as well... but I elected to support John McCain." Gidwitz and Obama once served on a school reform board together and as Gidwitz remembers it, "Barack showed up at meetings but was not terribly active."

Both men also think the adulation they hear heaped on Obama is overdone. "I want to laugh because they make him look like a half-god," Gendler says. "He's a regular guy. He's smart but he's not smarter than I am. He went to Harvard for grad school, but big deal. I went to the University of Chicago."

But what rankles Gendler most is the what he sees as Obama's brand-new attitude toward Israel. "Now it's like he wants to hug and kiss Israel every five minutes. That's completely not the Barack I had as a neighbor. That started this year, when he was trying to get elected."

And, continuing the pathetic behavior of Jewish leaders in this election, we have someone from the American Jewish Committee claiming that Jeremiah Wright got a raw deal in the media!

"You cannot possibly get a sense of what Trinity Church says or does or believes based on what you see in the media, because it was all cherry-picked," maintains Soloff. "The church got so abused by the media."

Earth to the AJC: Wright went to the National Press Club in April. Here's the transcript in case you were on a junket or something.

And you think the media abused him?


At 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two comments:

1. Unless I missed something, there is nothing in the excerpt that you pasted about Obama being anti-Israel. At most, there is an allusion that he didn't address the issue all that much and prefered to be vague. That may be problematic, but it's certainly not anti-Israeli. As for him being a fan of Israel now, well, we all know about the politics of campaigning. McCain has done the same, when, for example, he said over the summer that we shouldn't drill and now he's singing a different tune. I wouldn't get too riled up about these things.

2. This is a deeper and more important point interest: Why is it that if someone is critical of some Israeli policies, for example the settlements, he is immediately labeled as anti-Israeli? Would I be an anti-American if I vehemently opposed the war in Iraq, for instance? Also, let's just assume, for argument's sake, that Obama is pro-Palestinian (whatever that means). Why is it that being pro-Palestinian necessarily means being an anti-Israeli? Can't somebody be pro-Palestinian in the sense that he believes Palestinians should have their own state roughly on the 1967lines and Israel should evacuate the settlements, and at the same time believe that such a solution would also be better for Israel in the long run too?


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