Monday, October 20, 2008

Obama and Israel


Is Obama “bad for Israel”? First of all, let me point out that when American Jews refer to a candate being “good for Israel” or “bad for Israel”, they generally mean does he or she support Likud-type policies. Whether that’s good for Israel or not is arguable.

Leaving that aside, however, I want to address the claim that is often heard that Obama doesn’t really support Israel and that he’s just conveniently spouting the formulaic support required in an election year to get Jewish votes.

Over a year and a half ago, Obama said:

“My view is that the United States' special relationship with Israel obligates us to be helpful to them in the search for credible partners with whom they can make peace, while also supporting Israel in defending itself against enemies sworn to its destruction,"

Almost 3 years ago, he said:

"I flew on an IDF helicopter to the border zone. The helicopter took us over the most troubled and dangerous areas and that narrow strip between the West Bank and the Mediterranean Sea. At that height, I could see the hills and the terrain that generations have walked across. I could truly see how close everything is and why peace through security is the only way for Israel,"

and

"We must preserve our total commitment to our unique defense relationship with Israel by fully funding military assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and related missile defense programs. This would help Israel maintain its military edge and deter and repel attacks from as far as Tehran and as close as Gaza."

Yup, sure sounds like an opponent of Israel to me.

Also worth reading is this article by Alan Dershowitz, titled: Why I support Israel and Obama

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