Sunday, March 2, 2008

Obama, Israel, and the Jews

The New York Times ran an article yesterday about Barack Obama and the Jews. I have started reading the "disclaimers" of the Obama campaign spokespeople very carefully. Here's one:

The candidate’s Israel advisers are three former staff members to President Bill Clinton: Dennis Ross, a top Mideast adviser; Anthony Lake, national security adviser and Susan Rice, assistant secretary of state. Other advisers on Israeli and Mideast matters are Mr. Wexler; Dan Shapiro, formerly of the Clinton national security council, and Eric Lynn, a former Congressional aide. (All but Ms. Rice are Jewish.)

No mention of Rob Malley, right? But there shouldn't be, because Malley is not an "advisor on Israel," but on Middle East/Palestine. I am sure that my friend Marc Zell, co-chairman of "Republicans Abroad in Israel" and cited in the Times article in another connection (and a terrific Mikado in last January's production in Jerusalem), will not sleep better at night.

And how's this one:

Mr. Malley has communicated with the campaign by e-mail but has never spoken to Mr. Obama, a campaign spokesman said.

Now the Israel Lobby can rest assured that one of Obama's Middle East advisors is only emailing his advice, rather than meeting him with Ohio.

Malley no doubt is and will be an advisor to Obama as he was to Clinton. So what? He will be one of many, and his focus probably won't be Israel-Palestine, which is not his main area of specialization. But his views will be solicited, presumably. And that brings a ray of hope to America's Middle East policy.

Ribono shel olam, I am starting to talk like Obama!


Anonymous said...

No matter who wins the next election (other than Huckabee) Israel's free ride is over.The real knee jerk supporters of Israel are the Christian Zionists and they will be shut out.
The Jewish community is not a monolith and even very rich Jews who donate politically have been turned off. The new generation taking control (read Omama) are not intimidated by Holocaust stories or David and Goliath views of Israel.

Unknown said...

I wish I could be as sanguine about this as you. I fear that Ed Lasky & the smearmongers at American Thinker together with Hillary Clinton's Jewish enforcers have ended Rob Malley's utility as a policy advisor for any Democratic president. He's too hot to handle.

But maybe Obama as president (if he ever makes it) will have a little more moxie than he's shown thus far in facing down the AIPACniks & embracing the sage counsel of someone like Rob Malley.

Anonymous said...

anonymous, I'd like some of what you're smoking.
Hilary and Obama have both genuflected to the AIPAC, and will continue to follow the same policies as previous administrations.
What? You think the Bill Clinton administration did not wholeheartedly support Israel?