Leave it to Shmuel Rosner, Haaretz's out-of-touch rightwing US correspondent, to fall for a cooked-up story from the London Times
about Rob Malley's being "sacked" from the Obama campaign. Rosner "reported" the story here
. Since Malley never served in the Obama campaign, he couldn't have been sacked from it. He has acted as an informal advisor in the past and no doubt he will in the future, along with several others. Because of the McCain's campaign effort to tie Obama with Malley, Malley formally "severed all ties" on Friday with the campaign. This is nothing more than a media gimmick to puncture McCain's campaign. As for McCain, well, he obviously has "lost his bearings," not because he is old, but because he is dumb.
The London Times story was that after the McCain campaign pointed out that Malley talked with Hamas, he was fired. I suppose that the Brits can be forgiven for completely misinterpreting the following remark of Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for Mr. Obama
Rob Malley has, like hundreds of other experts, provided informal advice to the campaign in the past. He has no formal role in the campaign and he will not play any role in the future
So if Malley never had a formal role in the campaign, then how can he be "sacked" from it? Note that LaBolt didn't say that Malley hadn't given advice in the past nor would he in the future, only that he wouldn't play a role in the campaign. It's comforting to know that Malley won't be overseeing campaign strategy for Obama. Duh!
I can't blame the Brits for manufacturing news. But Rosner, who could pick up the phone from his Suburban Maryland home and call Malley, should know better. His pathetic attempts to deflate Obama (usually with question marks, so as to appear as if he himself doesn't necessarily buy the rumors, e.g., "Will Jews support Obama?" or "Is International Support Hurting Obama?") haven't reaped any fruit.
The McCain folks are trying to dig up Obama's past associations with -- God forbid --Rashid Khalidi to smear him with the Jews. Well, I am on record saying that I hope the Jews don't vote for Obama, so that he can elected without our help and then not be beholden to us. But the truth is that Jews will vote overwhelmingly for Obama -- mark my words -- much to the chagrin of the rightwingers, and to the detriment of the Palestinians.
As Obama's political career has taken off, he has distanced himself from the Palestinians to win elections and to get the Jewish vote. That's just what politicians do. When the Palestinians have the political clout that the Jews do, then things may change, but when will that happen?
For Obama's abandonment of the Palestinians after initial expression of sympathy, see today's Times
. But anybody who reads the Electronic Intifada has known about that for some time.
As for "talking to Hamas"...everybody knows that Hamas is a major player, and that the United States (and the Quartet) erred by boycotting the democratically-elected Palestinian Authority. You don't need Rob Malley to understand the drift of the following passage:
"...in setting rigid, all-or nothing preconditions for engagement after the [Palestinians parliament] election, US diplomacy was perceived as confusing the positions of Hamas as a movement with the actions of the elected Palestinians government. The preconditions adopted by the Quartet closed off diplomacy."
That is a direct slap at US and Israeli policy of non-engagement with the Hamas-led PA government. And it is not made by Rob Malley, but by Daniel C. Kurtzer and Scott Lasensky in their book, "Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace." (p. 72)
Dan Kurtzer will no doubt play a major role in the Middle East policy of the Obama administration -- but McCain's Jewish Republicans find Malley easier to go after now.
Man, are they aiming at the wrong guy. Ed Lasky at the American Thinker
rightly senses that Kurtzer's views differ significantly -- and, in his eyes, dangerously -- from the views of previous administrations under which Kurtzer served. That is because those administrations failed abysmally in their Middle East policy. Still, don't expect anything but a change in tone from an Obama administration on the Middle East, Kurtzer or no Kurtzer.
Still, that will be welcome.
Good catch, Jerry! I wrote a post about this last night & didn't even catch the egregious Times error you noted. I've submitted my version to CiF. If they publish I'll link to your post.
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