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Aftermath of the Obama Interview on Israel

Yesterday’s Barack Obama interview caused quite a stir on the Right blogosphere. The New York Times not surprisingly finds the interview a smashing success for Obama, perhaps because the reporter leaves out any mention of his assertion that Hamas likely finds him “worldly,” or that he doesn’t seem much bothered by the Hamas endorsement.

I do agree, however, with those who criticize statements put out by Reps. John Boehner and Eric Cantor accusing Obama of calling Israel a “constant sore” and “constant wound.” From the context I think it is obvious that Obama was referring to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, not Israel per se. Those and other comments were disturbing enough for reasons discussed here and elsewhere without willfully misinterpreting them. (Neither the RNC nor McCain’s campaign representatives indicated any inclination to join in these responses, apparently content for now to let Obama speak for himself.)

The Republican Jewish Coalition did have this to say:

Once again, Senator Obama demonstrates his questionable grasp of America’s foreign policy. Senator Obama manages to excuse the inexcusable actions of anti-American militant jihadists by putting the blame for their actions on America’s foreign policy. America stands with Israel because it is one of our strongest allies and the only democracy in the Middle East. Senator Obama naively believes that solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will solve the global scourge of radical Islamic extremism. Yet Senator Obama never says how he will reign in Hamas’ daily onslaught on Israel or Iran’s scurrilous condemnations of Israel. Is it any wonder Hamas has endorsed him for president?”

That seems to get it right: what is most disturbing is his acceptance of the perspective that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the source of all of the region and “all of our foreign policy” problems and his blasé attitude toward Hamas. He does not seem the least bit concerned that a terrorist organization would endorse him. At the very least this should demonstrate how absurd is his claim that there is no difference between his position and John McCain’s on this topic.


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