Obama's ease with anti Israel proponents:
Persuant to this , this and this:
Ed Lasky, on January 16:
In contrast to his canned speeches filled with "poetry" and uplifting aphorisms and delivered in a commanding way, behind the campaign façade lies a disquieting pattern of behavior.
One seemingly consistent theme running throughout Barack Obama's career is his comfort with aligning himself with people who are anti-Israel advocates. This ease around Israel animus has taken various forms. As Obama has continued his political ascent, he has moved up the prestige scale in terms of his associates. Early on in his career he chose a church headed by a former Black Muslim who is a harsh anti-Israel advocate and who may be seen as tinged with anti-Semitism. This church is a member of a denomination whose governing body has taken a series of anti-Israel actions.
As his political fortunes and ambition climbed, he found support from George Soros, multibillionaire promoter of groups that have been consistently harsh and biased critics of the American-Israel relationship.
Obama's soothing and inspiring oratory sometimes vanishes when he talks of the Middle East. Indeed, his off-the-cuff remarks have been uniformly taken by supporters of Israel as signs that the inner Obama does not truly support Israel despite what his canned speeches and essays may contain.
Now that Obama has become a leading Presidential candidate, he has assembled a body of foreign policy advisers who signal that a President Obama would likely have an approach towards Israel radically at odds with those of previous Presidents (both Republican and Democrat). A group of experts collected by the Israeli liberal newspaper Haaretz deemed him to be the candidate likely to be least supportive of Israel. He is the candidate most favored by the Arab-American community. (Read the rest, here)
More Ed Lasky on January 23:
...One of his advisors in particular, Robert Malley, clearly warrants attention, as does the reasoning that led him to being chosen by Barack Obama.
...Malley has seemingly followed in his father's footsteps: he represents the next generation of anti-Israel activism. Through his writings he has served as a willing propagandist, bending the truth (and more) to serve an agenda that is marked by anti-Israel bias; he heads a group of Middle East policy advisers for a think-tank funded (in part) by anti-Israel billionaire activist George Soros; and now is on the foreign policy staff of a leading Presidential contender. Each step up the ladder seems to be a step closer towards his goal of empowering radicals and weakening the ties between American and our ally Israel.
... Malley is a revisionist and his views are sharply at odds with the views of others who participated at Camp David, including Ambassador Dennis Ross and President Bill Clinton. Malley's myth-making has been peddled in the notably anti-Israel magazine, Counterpunch and by Norman Finkelstein... (Read the rest, here)
Noah Pollak in Contentions:
But there is another Obama foreign policy adviser–a prominent one–who has so far escaped criticism. This is Samantha Power, a Harvard professor, journalist, and human rights specialist who of late has become a high-profile liberal critic of American foreign policy.
For one, Power is an advocate of the Walt-Mearsheimer view of the American relationship with Israel. In a recent interview published on the Harvard Kennedy School’s website...
Power is not just assenting to the Israel Lobby view of American foreign policy, but is also arguing that Israel had something to do with the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003–an appalling slander, and a telling one.
...Does Power actually believe that the NIE put to rest concerns about the Iranian nuclear program? If she actually thinks that — and it appears she does — she deserves voluminous ridicule from thinking people everywhere.
Does anyone think that if the time comes that Power has President Obama’s ear, she will advise him to do anything other than repudiate America’s greatest ally in the Middle East in favor of appeasing its greatest enemy? And here’s an even better question: Does Barack Obama have a single adviser who would tell him to do anything else? (Read the rest, here)
You may well ask what has re-awakened my interest today of all days when there has been nothing about any of it in the news.
Well, it is this comment I ran across, on Solomonia, in a thread that was discussing the latest staging of Palestinian ad misericordiam show:
It's great that you guys can laugh it up about these photos. This was done to illustrate the point that Israel did indeed plunge the Gaza strip into darkness when it cut off fuel supplies last week. Israel also cut off supplies of food and medicine. Do any of you deny this? And you wonder where the terrorists come from.'
If you think collective punishment is a valid tactic, please explain to me the difference between your morality and that of the terrorists when they blow themselves up in Tel Aviv?
You people are in a moral swamp.
The comment was placed by one calling himself "Obama supporter". Now of course this crude type of "criticism" can hardly be Obama's fault. After all, how is he responsible for what his supporters think about Jews or pro-Israel advocates? I realize all this. And yet I cannot help being very anxious when a presidential candidate's name is flagrantly asserted in connection with the kind of opinion this poster propagates. It seems unlikely that someone with such a strongly-worded animus towards Israel would choose to emphasize his/her support for a presidential candidate who was unambiguously supportive of Israel.
Alan Dershowitz explains it better, here:
''Change" alone cannot be a basis for deciding which candidate to support... What matters is the direction of the change, who is in charge of bringing it about--and who is supporting the candidate. When I cast my vote, I look not only at the candidate but at who is supporting him or her. Elections empower not only the winning candidate but the constituencies that helped to elect that person. I worry about the constituencies that are supporting some of the candidates.
For this reason, I favor the nomination of a centrist Democrat, one who is capable of attracting independents, moderates, and the growing number of anti-Bush Republicans.
What makes Obama such a desirable candidate to so many die-hard "Liberals"??
Here is one possible answer:
Many white liberals feel that his success in coming this far - and especially if he wins - tells us so much about how the United States feels about itself. David Greenberg called him the ‘great white hope’, and quoted social critic John McWhorter as saying: ‘What gives people a jolt in their gut about the idea of President Obama is the idea that it would be a ringing symbol that racism no longer rules our land.’ (7)
Hah. That's what I've been saying for quite some time now.
.. Obama is still considered a candidate that's not as friendly and supportive as those leading the pack. The panelists, in written responses, explained that they are still bothered by his "lack of international experience," "ideological tendencies and constituency," and "emphasis on international organizations." One of the panelists expressed doubt as to his true feelings and said, "We don't know and have no way to know to what extent he really means what he says." The panel agrees - it was skeptical when we asked if the speech reflects Obama's actual views. However, some stated that, "The mere fact that he made the effort is encouraging and telling."
We asked the panel to compare Obama to the other Democratic candidates in a head-to-head race. The outcome is quite telling: Obama has a hard time convincing the panel that he will be better than his leading colleagues. However, he does manage to be judged as favorably as some of the second-tier candidates - Dodd and Clark.
Bottom line: This seventh survey need not disappoint Obama's supporters (at least those among them who care both about Israel and about the survey). His effort, clearly, has moved the panel - reluctantly, suspiciously, slowly - in a more positive direction. However, the "unknown factor" of previous surveys is still playing a big role. One of the panelists told me: "You can't change the perceived image of a candidate by making one or two speeches."
Why would Barack Obama have on his foreign policy staff a man who has been widely criticized for a revisionist history of the Middle East peace process sharply at odds with all other accounts of the proceedings?
Why would Barack Obama give credibility to a man who seems to have an agenda that includes empowering our enemies and weakening our friends and allies?
How did Robert Malley, with a record of writing that reveals a willingness to twist facts to serve a political agenda, come to be appointed by Obama to his foreign staff?
Was it a recommendation of Zbigniew Brzezinski to bring on board another anti-Israel foreign policy expert?
What role did the left-wing anti-Israel activist George Soros play in placing Robert Malley (or for that matter, Brzezinski himself) in a position to influence the future foreign policy of America?
What does it say about Senator Obama's judgment that he appointed a man like Malley to be a top foreign policy advisor?
Or does it speak more to his true beliefs?