Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Obama on Israel

Barack Obama spoke to AIPAC today. Some excerpts:
It was just a few years after the liberation of the camps that David Ben-Gurion declared the founding of the Jewish State of Israel. We know that the establishment of Israel was just and necessary, rooted in centuries of struggle, and decades of patient work.
Note the omission of the role of the U.S. and the U.N.; in this strange history, it was simply Ben-Gurion who "declared" the founding of Israel. Note also the use of the word "just," omitting any mention of the gross injustice that was committed with the lie of "the land without people for a people without land." Note finally the reference to "decades of patient work," which makes it clear that he acknowledges that the establishment of Israel was a long-held Zionist plan, and not a response to the Holocaust (although obviously that's what pushed the plan through to fruition).
"There are still voices that deny the Holocaust."
There are, but he's really referring to Ahmadinejad, who only questions the number killed (absurd, but no less so than Bush, and probably Obama, vastly understating the number killed in the ongoing holocaust in Iraq) and questions why the solution to European anti-Semitism had to come at the expense of a people who had nothing to do with it.
"There are those who would lay all of the problems of the Middle East at the doorstep of Israel and its supporters, as if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the root of all trouble in the region."
Yeah, what a wacky idea.
"I will ensure that Israel can defend itself from any threat - from Gaza to Tehran. Defense cooperation between the United States and Israel is a model of success, and must be deepened. As President, I will implement a Memorandum of Understanding that provides $30 billion in assistance to Israel over the next decade."
Yes, because Israel's 150 nuclear weapons aren't sufficient to defend itself, and we have no better use for $30 billion here in the United States (or, for that matter, in Palestine, where an investment of $30 billion would do a lot more for Israel's security than spending $30 billion more on tanks and warplanes for Israel).
"There is no room at the negotiating table for terrorist organizations. That is why I opposed holding elections in 2006 with Hamas on the ballot. The Israelis and the Palestinian Authority warned us at the time against holding these elections."
I did not know that. What a democrat. Elections? Not if the "wrong" party is going to win.
"As President, I will work to help Israel achieve the goal of two states, a Jewish state of Israel and a Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security."
Notice anything missing? "I will work to help Israel achieve..." Don't the Palestinians figure in here somewhere?
"Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided."
A blockbuster. "Remain"? Only Israel (I believe) recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and that "undivided" part is going to be rather a stumbling block to his claims to be working for a Palestinian state, because no Palestinian leadership, however compromised, is ever going to accept such a situation.
"Syria has taken dangerous steps in pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, which is why Israeli action was justified to end that threat."
There isn't any serious evidence that Syria had taken such "dangerous steps," just the vaguest of unsupported allegations, and the notion that Israel was justified in attacking Syria is, to put it mildly, both contrary to international law and dangerous in the extreme.
"As President, I will do whatever I can to help Israel succeed in these negotiations. And success will require the full enforcement of Security Council Resolution 1701 in Lebanon, and a stop to Syria’s support for terror."
That "whatever I can" might be hiding an awful lot of aggressive actions. Remember this as the guy vigorously advocating bombing "sanctuaries" in Pakistan. What is he thinking about now? Who else is he planning to bomb to help enforce 1701 and stop Syria's alleged support for terror?
"There is no greater threat to Israel - or to the peace and stability of the region - than Iran."
The war drums come out. Indeed, the truth is that, aside from the U.S., there is no greater threat to Iran than Israel, whose politicians, just like American politicians, openly threaten military action against Iran. Iran, by contrast, has never threatened action against Israel, and hasn't attacked another country in hundreds of years. Too bad Israel and the U.S. can't say the same.
"[Iran] pursues a nuclear capability that could spark a dangerous arms race, and raise the prospect of a transfer of nuclear know-how to terrorists. Its President denies the Holocaust and threatens to wipe Israel off the map. The danger from Iran is grave, it is real, and my goal will be to eliminate this threat."
Until we get to the last phrase ("my goal..."), there isn't a single word of truth in this diatribe (I'll spare the details, which I've covered many times before).
"I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. That starts with aggressive, principled diplomacy"
It may start there, but we know where "everything in my power" ends up, and it isn't pretty (or legal, for that matter).
"...whose Quds force has rightly been labeled a terrorist organization."
That's funny, because just a few months ago, Obama criticized Hillary Clinton for voting for a resolution labelling the Quds force a "terrorist organization." Does he think no one remembers?
"Finally, let there be no doubt: I will always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally Israel. Sometimes there are no alternatives to confrontation."
Just in case you had any doubt. And by "threat of military action," he means "military action." By "confrontation," he means "war."

To listen to Obama (and Bush and McCain and every other major politician and pundit) you'd think that Iranian troops were massing on the Israeli border. Oh wait...there is no such border.

Update: A friend who watched the speech (as opposed to reading the transcript as I did) reports:

I watched some of Obama's speech, and one thing I noticed was that he repeated the phrase "I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon" (or words to that effect) twice, and then repeated "everything" as a one-word sentence, and then looked around at the crowd as if to say, "get it."

Why stop here? There's more...

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