January 23, 2008

US Presidential race: Obama has to crawl before he can run

I don't know. Perhaps it's a hoax but let's assume it isn't. Presidential hopeful, Barack Obama, has written a particularly assertive email to the UN Security Council regarding the Gaza blockade. See this on Rosner's blog in Ha'aretz:
Dear Ambassador Khalilzad,

I understand that today the UN Security Council met regarding the situation in Gaza, and that a resolution or statement could be forthcoming from the Council in short order.

I urge you to ensure that the Security Council issue no statement and pass no resolution on this matter that does not fully condenm the rocket assault Hamas has been conducting on civilians in southern Israel...

All of us are concerned about the impact of closed border crossings on Palestinian families. However, we have to understand why Israel is forced to do this... Israel has the right to respond while seeking to minimize any impact on civilians.

The Security Council should clearly and unequivocally condemn the rocket attacks... If it cannot bring itself to make these common sense points, I urge you to ensure that it does not speak at all.


Barack Obama
United States Senator
This is so outrageous it looks like a hoax to me. It doesn't get much of an intro in Ha'aretz and I can't find it anywhere else on google. Maybe it is a hoax but then this Rosner chap has this little nugget from two days ago on the same page:
Barack Obama keeps having troubles with the pro Israel crowed.

Yesterday, speaking on the occasion of Martin Luther King's day to the African American community, Obama was saying that "If we're honest with ourselves, we'll acknowledge that our own community has not always been true to King's vision of a beloved community. We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them. The scourge of anti-Semitism has, at times, revealed itself in our community."

But condemning anti Semitism does not help him score enough points with the Jewish establishment. Yesterday, the Jewish Forward revealed an American Jewish Committee memo that's raising questions about his stance regarding Israel:

"The Senator's interpretation of the NIE raises questions," wrote Debra Feuer, a counsel for the American Jewish Committee, one day after the Illinois Democrat surged to victory in the Iowa caucus.
Referring to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, she added that Obama "appears to believe the Israelis bear the burden of taking the risky steps for peace, and that the violence Israel has received in return does not shift that burden."

I wrote a couple of paragraphs about Obama and Israel Saturday night. One of them says this: "The American Jewish establishment feels much more comfortable with a Clinton candidacy than it is with an Obama candidacy".

And this is not likely to change.
Now see that last line. Does Obama think that crawling to the "pro-Israel crowd" is going to change that? And did you see that stuff about antisemitism and homophobia in the black community? Has a senator ever chosen a special Jewish commemoration to lecture against racism and homophobia in the Jewish community? That's got to be worth a £10 challenge and I haven't had one of those for ages.

Obama should be careful with this crawling. What does he gain among ordinary voters who must surely be getting sick of Israel by now. If he starts acting like Hilary Clinton, or even Bush, his core support will surely drift away. This happens to Democrats all the time lately. They try to out-right the right and the right still wins. Of course the right wins when the Democrats put it in a win-win situation. But what if the crawling works and the zionist vote or funding or both is decisive and he wins? If he wins on a right wing platform he will have to stand by that platform, indeed he may want to. My own view is that, by so obviously grovelling to the establishment on the question of Palestine, he can only harm his candidacy.


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