Commentary Magazine


McCain On Israel

At his presser Sunday, John McCain was asked about a fundraiser in Palm Beach County, Florida and whether he expected to do better with Jewish voters who have generally voted Democratic in Presidential elections. He carefully emphasized that he is seeking the votes of all Americans, some of whom Republicans have not done enough, he says, to court. He then went on to explain what he offers American Jews and others committed to the survival of Israel:

(Israel) is under incredible threat, the Iranians, Hamas, Hezbollah, all of the other threats that they face, including the president to Iran, that Senator Obama wants to sit down and negotiate with face to face who is dedicated to the extinction of the state of Israel..I have experience and knowledge and background. I have been to Israel many times. I know their leaders. I understand the issues and I know how to ensure the independence and freedom of the state of Israel. Senator Obama has very little, if any, experience or knowledge about the challenges, and they’re complex and difficult, in the region.

So, while clearly attuned to the concerns of American Jews, McCain is here using Barack Obama’s solicitous stance toward Iran to make a larger point about his fitness to be commander-in-chief. This will remain an issue well beyond the confines of Palm Beach.