One more reason to spend more time reading the foreign press: Shmuel Rosner of Ha’aretz has a good piece on Obama, Israel and the General McPeak comments that have caused the latest stir. Here’s the McPeak comment:
Q: So where’s the problem? State? White House?
A: New York City. Miami. We have a large vote here in favor of Israel. And no politician wants to run against it… I think that everybody understands that a settlement of the Arab-Israeli problem would require the Israelis to stop settling the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and maybe even withdraw some of the settlements that have already been put there. And nobody wants to take on that problem. It’s just too tough politically. You can’t develop a Middle East strategy. It’s impossible.
The Obama campaign issued a statement dealing with McPeak. Here it is in full: “Senator Obama’s longstanding commitment to Israel is clear to anyone who has reviewed his voting record, read his speeches or looked at his policy papers. As he has said, his support for our democratic ally Israel is based on America’s national interests and our shared values. Neither Senator Clinton nor Senator Obama agrees with every position their advisors take, and in this case Senator Obama disagrees with General McPeak’s comments.”
It’s nice to know that Senator Obama doesn’t think New York and Florida Jews are the main impediment to solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.