Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Obama and Israel

Obama has been vocal in his support and love for Jews and Israel.
In my lifetime, I have known rabbis whom I have cherished as spiritual leaders — men who have been spiritual guides in my life, who have taught me, and guided me, and whom I love and honor.
However, none of them have been perfect, and there have been many issues upon which we’ve disagreed, such as how some regard women, homosexuals or the Arab violence against the Jewish People.
I cannot imagine having to renounce my appreciation for these individuals simply because it would be politically expedient to do so.
To force Obama into such a position is unjust.
To tarnish his credibility because he refuses to renounce his spiritual mentor, despite his willingness to denounce some of his pastor’s views, is simply unfair.

John McCain has specifically sought the support of anti-Jewish religious figures.McCain has even hired one of Falwell’s key staffers to head up his communications strategy. This despite the fact that Falwell had publicly remarked that the Antichrist is Jewish and, a year before his death in 2007, that Jews cannot go to heaven without accepting Jesus Christ as their savior.
McCain has also been deepening his relationship with Pastor John Hagee, a Christian Evangelical whose best-selling book states that the Jews must all return to Israel in order for the Apocalypse to commence, at which time the Jews will all be converted to Christianity or killed. Hagee has also claimed that Jews are responsible for antisemitism because of their “rebellion” against God,
and that the Holocaust was God’s way of forcing the Jews to move to Israel (as a means, of course, to their firey, cataclysmic end). He has also said that Hurricane Katrina was a punishment from God for the sinfulness of New Orleans’ residents.
So where are the smears against John McCain for his coddling of religious antisemites?
Obama to Haaeretz on Israel: "My view is that the United States' special relationship with Israel obligates us to be helpful to them in the search for credible partners with whom they can make peace, while also supporting Israel in defending itself against enemies sworn to its destruction," were Obama's words to Haaretz last week. "We must preserve our total commitment to our unique defense relationship with Israel by fully funding military assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and related missile defense programs."
On diplomacy: "Our job is to do more than lay out another road map."
On Israel's security: "Our job is to rebuild the road to real peace and lasting security throughout the region. That effort begins with a clear and strong commitment to the security of Israel: Our strongest ally in the region and its only established democracy. That will always be my starting point."
On U.S. mediation: "We should never seek to dictate what is best for the Israelis and their security interests. No Israeli prime minister should ever feel dragged to or blocked from the negotiating table by the United States"
Rep. Robert Wexler of Florida is going to co-chair Barack Obama's White House drive in the state. And why would Wexler do such thing? Because "I have spoken with Barack to discuss the dangers facing our ally Israel, and I am convinced there will be no stronger supporter of Israel than President Obama".
Pa. Jews endorse Obama
A group of prominent Pennsylvania Jews endorsed U.S. Sen. Barack Obama in advance of the state's April 22 primary.
In a letter to the state's Jewish community, about 60 Jewish supporters of Obama, including some politicians, rabbis and community leaders, dismissed concerns raised about the candidate's commitment to Israel, praised his response to the controversial statements of his pastor and urged them to support the Illinois lawmaker in the Democratic primary.
Among the signatories were two Jewish Pennsylvania legislators -- Reps. Josh Shapiro and Daylin Leach.
"Senator Obama has earned our respect and gratitude because of his support for traditional Jewish values and his commitment to a peaceful and prosperous Israel," the letter said.
The letter also lauded Obama's recent speech in which he repudiated the views of his controversial pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., and compared support for Obama to Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel's famous description of marching for civil rights in Selma as "praying with his feet."
Obama on Farrakan :I decry racism and anti-Semitism in every form and strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan. I assume that Trumpet Magazine made its own decision to honor Farrakhan based on his efforts to rehabilitate ex-offenders, but it is not a decision with which I agree."
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