Total Pageviews

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Democratic Presidential Candidate's Views On Israel

Nadene Goldfoot
Now that the candidates are speaking and people are voting, I am one of the 15% of Jews who consider what their views are about Israel. I think we are lucky to have such fantastic people in the running, but guess that some are more opinionated than others about Israel. I want the person who not only is the best for America, but also for Israel. We don’t need another holocaust there, and a good president will value the country and their lives.

First, I looked at Hillary Clinton, b: 26 Oct 1947 and Methodist. She is 60 years old and has been the senator from New York for 7 years. She graduated from Yale Law School. I quickly found that she has a marvelous website about her views and deeds involving Israel. Go to: I found it by googling: Clinton, Israel,
and read about her accomplishments concerning Israel. She has even gone against her husband’s decision about Jerusalem being divided. It appears right now that she would not push to divide it. I was very impressed with the information on her website and feel that this shows she is a well organized person who values the votes of the less than 1% of the Jews of America. She isn’t all talk and promises; she’s a doer and has done well so far. She was in favor of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. I'm all for that! On Haaretz's ratings, she received an overall score of 7.63, which was high. However, the memory of Hillary's kiss for Yasser Arafat's wife Suha in 1999, after she accused Israel of poisoning Palestinian women and children, is still fresh in the memory of many Jews.

Next, I looked at Barack Obama, who just won in South Carolina, and was endorsed by the Kennedy family. He is 46 years old, b: 4 Aug 1961 and member of United Church of Christ for past 20 years, and has been a senator from Illinois for 3 years, since Jan 4, 2005.
2/25/08 He has selected his foreign policy adviser. Sadly, it is a man who supports Walt and Mearsheimer's volume against the Israel Lobby. He is Zbigniew Brzezinski, Harvard Professor from Poland who became a citizen in 1958. He was a part of Carter's team, so it is not surprising that he is also holding anti-Israel feelings. This foreign Relations Advisor to Obama will probably have a lot of clout with him. I note that Alan Dershowitz has contributed to Hilary Clinton's campaign. Alan is a Harvard law professor, and Obama graduated from Harvard. I heard a news bulletin today that told about how he felt about Israel, and it wasn't that promising; in fact, it was scary. I need to see it in print. I note from below that promises or support in Israel's welfare is changing, as is usual for many politicians. For example, just look at past presidents.

He made a speech to AIPAC on March 2, 2007 and stated these issues:
1. He ensures a strong US -Israel partnership
2. He supports Israel's right to self defense
3. He wants to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons
4. He supports foreign assistance to Israel
5. He works towards two states living side by side in peace and security
6. He wants to help Palestinian families get the aid they need without suppporting terrorism
7. He wants to limit Hezbollah's influence in the region.
8. He supports US-Israel research and development
9. He wants to achieve energy independence.
In his speech he mentions that our job is to do more than lay out another road map; our job is to rebuild the road to real peace and lasting security throughout the region.

Ha'aretz Newspaper in Israel said that Obama sounds as strong as Clinton, as supportive as Bush and as friendly as Giuliani. He is pro-Israel. Period.

I could not find a website like Hillary’s, but have found some articles that are wary about his feelings about Israel. Ed Lasky has written several such articles. One thing he is concerned about is that Obama has only been a senator for two years, and has not done much to show how he feels in foreign policy. The problem I see is that Obama has been surrounded by friends that are not favorable towards Israel. Some troubling thoughts are things such as his name. He has a Muslim father. Though he was not raised by him, his mother did remarry another Muslim, and he had a smattering of Muslim education which is not favorable towards Jews , and it's been hard to find Muslims favorable towards Israel.

We all know that he is now a Christian, but the church he has been attending is the Trinity United church of Christ, and their Pastor Wright is a supporter of Louis Farrakhan. In 1984 Farrakhan and Wright traveled to visit Col. Muammar al-Gadaffi, who is a supporter of terror groups and archenemy of Israel and America. Wright has been a severe critic of Israel. His pastor and mentor, being a fan of Louis Farrakhan, who called Judaism either "a dirty religion" or "a gutter religion," depending on the reading of the audiotape, causes concern. Obama has publicly distanced himself from Wright now that he is in the presidential race. Another friend of Obama to worry about is a well-known Chicago activist for Palestinian causes, Ali Abunimah. He met Obama in May of 1998 at a community fundraiser where the late Edward Said was the speaker. Edward Said was a severe critic of Israel. Abunimah has written columns for the Chicago Tribune and has been critical of Israeli and US policy. I would classify Obama as an extreme leftist Democrat. He has worked with the poor in the states and may be identifying the Palestinians as the poor ill treated people who problems are all due to the mean Israelis. When asked about Israel’s wall that was constructed to save Israeli lives from terrorists, he said, "the creation of a wall dividing the two nations is yet another example of the neglect of this Administration in brokering peace." I note that Palestine is not yet a country or nation. The fence is saving the lives of many innocent civilians in Israel. Less than 5% is a wall; the rest is a fence.
3/16/08: Saturday's Oregonian article:Obama condemns pastor's words but won't quit church page A3. It amazes me that Obama has been attending this church for the past 20 years, yet claims that the pastor has never used such words as have been on TV the past few days villifying the USA and saying, "damn the USA" and He has always just preached the gospel, claims Obama.
Pastor Wright said that the United States invited the attacks by supporting Israel's treatment of Palestinians. This pastor is now retiring from his Chicago church. Obama has been busy denying. I can't help but wonder how much has influenced Obama and his wife's thinking after attending for 20 years. I heard his wife speak about how this is the first time she has been proud of America. It seems to me that she certainly was influenced by Wright's sermons if this is the first time, meaning that her husband is now running for president, that she is proud. This same church ha honored Louis Farrakhan with an award in Wright's name. Obama claims that his interest in the church is because of their work with the poor and homeless and those with HIV/AIDS. Obama says he strongly condems the statements. They make him feel uncomfortable.

If I were attending a synagogue that I did not agree with, it wouldn't even take me 6 months to change to another one. Why has he attended for 20 years? He and his wife, two super intelligent lawyers, had to learn at some point about how much of an agitator their pastor was and what he stood for politically. Nothing has been brought out that the Obamas tried to change him in any way.

What’s interesting is that the Republican, McCain, was just on television and spoke about how he knows how to have a fence between Mexico and the USA and all the things he would have on it to keep the Mexicans out. I don’t believe that Obama understands the value of such a fence at all. He doesn’t realize that in Israel, this fence or wall is saving lives. Obama now has the approval of billionaire George Soros who has tried to shake the American-Israel alliance by donating to Wesley Clark who is a severe critic of Israel, and has written an essay that is critical of the ties between America and Israel. Also approving Obama is ex President Jimmy Carter. In fact, some are calling him the next Jimmy Carter. Need I say more? That is the kiss of my vote not going towards Obama, I had felt before discovering the AIPAC speech. Now, I think I'll just say "present", and not yes or no. This is how Obama handled voting time in Illinois as a state senator many times. I know that everybody is speaking nicely and saying things we want to hear in order to win votes. What matters is: actions. On Haaretz's rating, he received an overall score of 4.88, which was the lowest score of all the candidates. He was weakest on his answer about if he would take military action to stop Iran's nuclear weapons plan. His highest was playing a role in the peace process and having an emotional tie to Israel. He talks about bringing change. I just hope that his change would not be to be against AIPAC , being it supports Israel but is chastized by Mearshimer and Walt and ex President Carter unfairly. He has never stated just what kind of change he would bring.
Edited 1/28/6:31pm. with positive information about Obama.

1/29/08 I keep finding more information on Obama, both good and bad. One of his inner circle friends is Robert Malley, a foreign policy critic of Israel. However, Obama just spoke to Jerusalem and Jewish reporters in a conference call from Florida at 12:00, just an hour ago. It it he states these views:

1. He opposes the return of all Palestinian refugees to homes they fled in Israel.
2. He says that Israel must remain a Jewish state. refugees should be resettled in a future Palestinian state.
3. Palestinians must set up a security force to make sure militants cannot attack Israel.
4. He is against talks with Hamas who control the Gaza Strip until it recognizes Israel's right to exist.
5. He wants diplomatic contacts between Iran and US, and believes in carrots and sticks.
Iran is Israel's biggest worry right now because Iran has vowed Israel's destruction, and the fear is that they might be developing nuclear arms. They say they only need energy.
4/5/08 Co chair for Obama's presidential campaign is General Merrill McPeak, resident of Lake Oswego, Oregon. He is against the Israel Lobby in the United States. He has spoken out against Israel's settlement policies in the Palestinian territories and U.S.'s lack of interference. He wants Israel to withdraw some of the settlements that are already there. This was voiced in 1976 in an article to Foreign Affairs Journal. He's also against the Christian Zionist movement's influence on US foreign policy in the Middle East. It appears that anyone that is supportive of Israel is someone he is against. There is an article about him in the Oregonian that came out on 3/27/08.

John Edwards is the former senator for North Carolina. He has said that Iran is a big threat to Israel and the Israeli people. When asked what the greatest threat to world peace was, he answered, "Israel would bomb Iran's nuclear facilites." This was not very positive in viewing Israel. He was strongest about viewing Israel as a stategic asset. His overall score was 6.25.

Edited 2/7/08 about Hillary and Obama
References: Hillary Clinton's website shown above
Thoughts on Israel: Ed Lasky on Barack Obama
American Thinker: Barack Obama and Israel by Ed Lasky
Obama'08 Israel Fact Sheet.pdf (35.6KB)
Obama speaks to Jewish voters on Israel:
Suzanne Field: "John McCain as Judah Maccabee"
Oregonian Newspaper; March 27 and April 5, 2008

No comments: