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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Obama campaign rejects Jackson remarks

Well, that wasn't long in coming. The campaign of Democratic candidate Barack Hussein Obama has rejected comments made by Jesse Jackson in a New York Post interview with Amir Taheri (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
"Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. is not an adviser to the Obama campaign and is therefore in no position to interpret or share Barack Obama's views on Israel and foreign policy," Obama national security spokeswoman Wendy Morigi said in a statement.

"As he has made clear throughout his career and throughout this campaign, Barack Obama has a fundamental commitment to a strong U.S.-Israel relationship ... As president, he will ensure that Israel can defend itself from every threat it faces, stand with Israel in its quest for a secure peace with its neighbors, and use all elements of American power to end Iran's illicit nuclear program.

"No false charges can change Barack Obama's unshakeable commitment to Israel's security."

Jackson reportedly acknowledged that he was not an adviser to Obama, but rather a "supporter." But the words he used to describe their relationship suggest that he thinks he is much closer to Obama than the Obama campaign believes.

Jackson reportedly described Obama as a "neighbor or, better still, a member of the family."

John McCain's spokesman, Tucker Bounds, also reacted to Jackson's comments on Tuesday, saying: "Literally, nobody knows what Barack Obama's policies would be if he were elected president, but it's very concerning that people believe he will not be a friend to Israel."
Of course, the Obama campaign is doing the politically expedient thing by rejecting Jackson's comments. After all, Obama wants to be elected. But McCain's spokesman doesn't go far enough. It's not just that "nobody knows" what Obama's policies toward Israel would be if he were elected and it's more than just "concerning" that "people" believe he will not be a friend of Israel. The problem goes well beyond that.

The advisers and friends that surround Barack Hussein Obama are not friends of Israel. They include people like the late Edward Said, Rashid Khalidi, Ali Abunimah, Jeremiah Wright, Robert Malley, Susan Power, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Tony McPeak. It's hard to believe that he will ignore all of those friends and advisers and pursue a policy that is pro-Israel (unless, of course, your name is Bob Wexler). And if that trail is not enough for you, please consider what we do know of what Obama would do to Israel.

1. Within days after calling for an undivided Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel (while pandering to an AIPAC convention), he backtracked.

2. In an interview with the Jerusalem Post's David Horovitz, Obama, who has spent less than three days in this country in total, has already decided that Israel must retreat to the Auschwitz lines of 1949.

Writing in Commentary, Abe Greenwald points out the double standards that the media is applying to Obama when his 'friends' make these kinds of statements.
No, Jesse Jackson is simply saying what he expects of, and hopes to see from, Obama in the White House. And he does not think airing these expectations will hurt Obama’s candidacy. So: on this last point is he right?

We know such sentiments are commonplace among the nutroots, because they never tire of telling us. We know anti-Semitism is enough of a mobilizing factor among potential Democratic voters to cause some at the DNC to whet bigoted appetites on their official website. When Rep. Eric Cantor was being talked about as a possible McCain running mate, the DNC launched an attack mentioning Cantor was Jewish five times in six paragraphs. And while there is absolutely no evidence that Barack Obama is remotely anti-Semitic, we know that he was unable, either because of personal conviction or strategic campaign considerations, to answer in the affirmative when asked twice by JeffreyGoldberg if present-day Zionism has justice on its side.

The point is, Obama-supporters are demanding McCain run a primetime commercial to formally distance himself from each freaky stranger that shows up to hear him speak, yet the Democrats have welcomed bigoted haters into the very heart of their movement for years. Moreover, they’ve put a legitimate face on prejudice, by wrapping it in populist arguments about who’s in control of our government and “justice” for selected ethnicities. However, I’m willing to bet that somehow-and I can’t quite envision the means-Jackson’s sentiments will bounce through the media funhouse until they turn into a story about John McCain stoking fear among GOP voters.
Don't hold your breaths waiting for a straight answer from Obama on Israel. You won't get one. But it's pretty clear that the winds are blowing in the wrong direction.


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