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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Obama and Israel again

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2008/02/obama-and-israel-again.html

I wrote before that it was tough to decide if Obama is good for Israel or not based on the hype that has been circulating.
 
But here is something different. This is a fair assessment of Obama and his advisors, and for me it is decisive, even if Shmuel Rosner tries to be balanced. Robert Malley is bad news for Israel, regardless of his character. His father was a supporter of the PLO back when the PLO was an openly terrorist group. Malley himself produced a fictitious account of the negotiations at Camp David that seemed to vindicate the violence started by the Palestinians and blamed the failure of the talks on Israel. When he wrote that article for the New York Review of Books, his background and bias were carefully hidden from the public, so it would seem to be a "neutral" assessment by a fair minded individual. If other team members are defending his partisan leak that sabotaged US policy, that is their problem. Malley is entitled to his opinions, but anyone who has this man as an adviser on Middle East policy is not a friend of Israel.
 
Zbigniew Brzezinski was part of the team that lost Iran because they didn't understand the nature of Khomeini and Khomeini-ism. They lost it by malfeasance - by preventing Iranian army people from stopping the unrest using force.  To say that he has no expertise in the Middle East is an understatement.
 
This is really "bending over backwards" to be fair:
 
Obama's detractors were only too happy to find an article in the New York Sun recently which said Brzezinski went to visit Damascus to head a delegation from the RAND Corporation. The timing of the publication was somewhat embarrassing, as it coincided with the news of the assassination of Imad Mughniyah in Damascus.
 
But the people who informed the paper of the trip forgot to mention just one small detail: Brzezinski was scheduled to visit Israel, too, and not only Damascus.
A visit to a US ally is really not comparable and does not balance out a solidarity visit to a malevolent dictatorship that harbors terrorists. Chamberlain or Henderson may have visited both Germany and Czechoslovakia in 1938. But what did they tell the Czechs?
 
You can vote for Obama for any reason you like. He may have many wonderful qualities. However, if you care about Israel, beware.
 
Ami Isseroff
 

 
How would Obama handle Israel? Former policy advisors may offer clues 
 
By Shmuel Rosner, Haaretz Correspondent 
 
 
Two of Barack Obama's aides mentioned by critics seeking to undermine his credibility with pro-Israel voters.  
 
Those who seek to undermine Barack Obama's credibility with his Jewish and non-Jewish voters who feel strongly about the Israeli issue, frequently mention two names: Bob Malley and Zbigniew Brzezinski. Malley was a member on former U.S. president Bill Clinton's peace team, and Brzezinski was an advisor for an earlier U.S. president, Jimmy Carter.
 
If these people are Obama's friends, his detractors say, then he cannot be seen as a friend of Israel. A claim which invites scrutiny.
 
Malley is one of the few people who believe that the Israeli-American narrative for the reasons that caused the 2000 Camp David Summit to fail does not reflect reality. Clinton and Ehud Barak both agreed that former Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat was the primary person responsible for those Camp David talks breaking down.
 
 
Most members of Clinton's team agree with that statement. Not Malley. He thinks Israel - or Barak - and the U.S. - or Clinton - bear more of the responsibility for failure than they are willing to admit.
 
Malley is an advisor to Obama's campaign. Which means he is asked to present his opinion on various matters. He is not "The Advisor." Many others like him are asked to contribute their opinions. Most of Obama's position statements on the Israel issue do not bear Malley's fingerprints.
 
Malley favors dialogue with Hamas, whereas Obama says he opposes it. Obama receives flak from people in the left wing who argue that if he values Malley's opinion, then there is reason to suspect that it could influence his policy. Those who believe this influence would harm the Israeli interest have reason to be concerned about the consultations with Malley.
 
Those concerns are legitimate, but there were those who have gone beyond reasonable and legitimate discourse. They attributed dark motives to Malley, and they tried to dig up dirt on him. Malley's former associates from Clinton's peace team didn't like that.
 
In a joint statement that these associates distributed among circles that deal with the Middle East, they wrote that although they had differences of opinion with Malley - which is an understatement - they found some of what had been written about him to be a "vicious" attack on his character.
 
The statement was signed by the who's who of Israel-U.S. relations in the 1990s: former ambassadors Martin Indyk and Daniel C. Kurtzer, special envoy Dennis Ross, peace team member Aaron David Miller and former national security advisor Sandy Berger. It's no coincidence that they are all Jewish. This specific showdon over Obama's candidacy is a dispute between Jews.
 
As for Brzezinski, Obama's circle is saying he does not advise the candidate about Israel-related issues. But Brzezinski could not have placed such a restriction on himself. A few months ago, he associated himself with a group that is calling for dialogue with Hamas.
 
Even if he's no big expert of the Middle East, Brzezinski served as Jimmy Carter's advisor. He is suspected of fostering a chilly attitude toward Israel since his days with Carter, as all of the former president's advisors.
 
Obama's detractors were only too happy to find an article in the New York Sun recently which said Brzezinski went to visit Damascus to head a delegation from the RAND Corporation. The timing of the publication was somewhat embarrassing, as it coincided with the news of the assassination of Imad Mughniyah in Damascus.
 
But the people who informed the paper of the trip forgot to mention just one small detail: Brzezinski was scheduled to visit Israel, too, and not only Damascus.
 
Source


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2008/02/obama-and-israel-again.html. Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.

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