Monday, May 19, 2008
Obama and the Jews
There was an outstanding Op-Ed piece by Thomas Friedman in Sunday's New York Times. Friedman begins by listing several statements attributed to Barack Obama: Obama once said there has to be “an end” to the Israeli “occupation” of the West Bank “that began in 1967.” ; and that any peace agreement “must establish Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people.” and “the establishment of the state of Palestine is long overdue. The Palestinian people deserve it.”
These statements circulate as an attempt to show that Obama is anti-Israel, and pro-Palestinian. The statements are all accurate, however, they were not spoken by Obama. They are all statements made by George W. Bush over the last two years. George W. Bush, the friend of Israel.
Friedman's editorial states correctly that America now has a bi-partisan approach to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that can only be satisfied with a two-state solution. He states, correctly, that most American Jews ask NOT whether a Presidential candidate is good for Israel, but whether that candidate is good for American interests. For me, this includes health-care; the environment; human rights; the Supreme Court.
But to use statements made by Bush in an attempt to undermine Obama's campaign is ludicrous. It is another example of how the Right Wing spins truth into something frightening. It is another example of mis-information and obfuscation, and I am sick to death of it. I am sick of an Administration that uses fear as a weapon against its own people.
There is another ongoing argument people use against Obama. That is his lack of experience. In my opinion, that argument is codswallop, because it holds no real weight. That particular spin is akin to saying that unless you've been President, you can't be President. If you think you can, or if you think you can't, you're right.
I think Obama can.