Thomas Friedman at the New York Times does a good job of deconstructing the Bush/GOP efforts to discredit Obama and the Democrats in the Jewish community.
Pssst. Have you heard? I have. I heard that Barack Obama once said there has to be "an end" to the Israeli "occupation" of the West Bank "that began in 1967." Yikes!
Pssst. Have you heard? I have. I heard that Barack Obama said that not only must Israel be secure, but that any peace agreement "must establish Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people." Yikes!
Pssst. Have you heard? I have. I heard that Barack Obama once said "the establishment of the state of Palestine is long overdue. The Palestinian people deserve it." Yikes! Yikes! Yikes!
Those are the kind of rumors one can hear circulating among American Jews these days about whether Barack Obama harbors secret pro-Palestinian leanings. I confess: All of the above phrases are accurate. I did not make them up.
There's just one thing: None of them were uttered by Barack Obama. They are all direct quotes from President George W. Bush in the last two years. Mr. Bush, long hailed as a true friend of Israel, said all those things.
The Fear-Mongering right lead by President Bush and the GOP, and as yet un-challenged by their complacent and obedient lap dog John McCain, are doing their best to drive a wedge in the Jewish Community, but we've seen all of this before. We're lucky that they are so blatantly obvious and do such a poor job of hiding their efforts -- they lie about their intentions, but fail to hide them. America is wise to their tricks.
Friedman closes with wise advice.
...if Israel is your voting priority, then at least ask the right questions about Mr. Obama. Knock off the churlish whispering campaign about what's in his heart on Israel (what was in Richard Nixon's heart?) and focus first on what kind of America you think he'd build and second on whether you believe that as president he'd have the smarts, steel and cunning to seize a historic opportunity if it arises.
Obama and the Democrats welcome an open discussion of the issues and a debate on addressing the middle east concerns... but quit the pathetic whisper campaigns, Republicans. It makes it that much harder to take you seriously.
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