Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Is Obama anti-semitic ?

Thank you for sending me the link to the article that contained the quote, that on its face, calls into the question Sen. Obama's position and his attitude towards Israel.

After reading the entire article, it is very clear that Sen. Obama is (or wishes to appear) to be a strong support of Israel and her security. He states in the same article, "I think that the idea of secure Jewish state is a fundamentally just idea, and a necessary idea, given not only world history but the active existence of anti-Semitism, the potential vulnerability that the Jewish people could still experience." He continues on the same subject by stating, "But the fundamental premise of Israel and the need to preserve a Jewish state that is secure is, I think, a just idea and one that should be supported here in the United States and around the world." It seems clear that one can definitively conclude if only from this article that Sen. Obama supports the state of Israel and understands that it is surrounded by hostile enemies and terrorist organizations. In regards to Hamas, in this article Sen. Obama states, "My position on Hamas is indistinguishable from the position of Hillary Clinton or John McCain. I said they are a terrorist organization and I've repeatedly condemned them. I've repeatedly said, and I mean what I say: since they are a terrorist organization, we should not be dealing with them until they recognize Israel, renounce terrorism, and abide by previous agreements." Until I read that, I was under the impression that Sen. Obama did not object to pre-conditions to meeting with Hamas. I seem to have obtained an incorrect impression of his position - possibly shaped by the media. It is clear that Sen. Obama does support pre-conditions to a dialogue with Hamas, the same pre-conditions articulated by our current Secretary of State Connie Rice.

Regarding the quote..... standing alone without any context it is upsetting and provocative. In the article the quote is followed by this sentence: "The lack of a resolution to this problem provides an excuse for anti-American militant jihadists to engage in inexcusable actions, and so we have a national-security interest in solving this, and I also believe that Israel has a security interest in solving this because I believe that the status quo is unsustainable." The quote is in regards to the Israeli policy on settlements. To take the quote and apply it to Israel's security or right of existence is totally out of context and a dishonest interpretation of the quote. Sen. Obama was calling into question Israeli settlement policy and its need for re-examination and negotiation. The settlement policy is a 'constant wound.... this constant sore' which impedes a meaningful dialogue between Palestinians and the Israeli government. In fact, former Prime Minister Arial Sharon abandoned the policy of disputed settlements in exchange for peace, however his party's position has been reversed by recent internal events.

I am saddened that the political right and anti-Obama bloggers have taken this sentence and are attempting to provoke the Jewish community into believing that Sen. Obama is anti-Israel. This is the politics of division and diversion. It is the same trick used against Clinton over Whitewater and against Kerry with the Swift Boat ads. It is the politics of the old and we have to be mindful of these attacks.

What I am hopeful for is a meaningful dialogue on all the issues that all Americans will face in this election: the economy, the war, and our environment. It seems clear that this is an attempt to pull us apart, to distract us from the real issues, the real agenda.... which is change.


Sent: Saturday, May 24, 2008 9:05 PM

To: Alvin
Subject: Obama Remark

Alvin--- Below is the Obama quotation that you wanted to see. Also, click on the website to see the entire article.

Interviewer: Do you think that Israel is a drag on America’s reputation overseas?

Obama: No, no, no. But what I think is that this constant wound, that this constant sore, does infect all of our foreign policy.

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