Thursday, February 7, 2008

Obama and Israel

Jeb has a great post over at Foreign Policy Watch about the presidential candidates' positions on Israel. I don't want to get into this fight too deeply, but why precisely is there this notion that Obama is some stealth anti-Israeli candidate? Has he ever publicly questioned the right of the Jewish state to exist? Has he ever publicly questioned America's commitment to Israel's security? What, in other words, has he done to make people so distrustful of his committment to the U.S.-Israeli relationship, other than to occasionally (and correctly) point out that a two state solution is in the strategic interest of everyone, and that the hardline position on Iran doesn't seem to be getting us anywhere? As the Editors of Haaretz point out, most criticisms of Obama's Israel stance - lacking as they do any substantive foundation - fall back on the notion that his Middle East positions in general are "leftist." I'm still baffled. This is a guy who publicly stated that he would unilaterally strike at militant bases in Pakistan without Islamabad's consent. Yes, he has said that he would alter our diplomatic approach to the region, but have we really reached the point where anyone who advocates talking with diplomats rather than smart bombs is considered "leftist"? Anyways, like I said, I don't want to get dragged too far into this one, but it's at least some food for thought.

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