Obama Continues to Court Jewish Voters
Despite the recent polling information that showed the Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is not slipping among Jewish voters (which I noted here yesterday), Obama continues to make his fealty to Israel perfectly clear. In an interview with The Atlantic Monthly’s Jeffrey Goldberg posted on his blog yesterday, Obama ardently defended Israel’s existence. Here are a few choice grafs:
I think that the idea of a secure Jewish state is a fundamentally just idea, and a necessary idea, given not only world history but the active existence of anti-Semitism, the potential vulnerability that the Jewish people could still experience.
That does not mean that I would agree with every action of the state of Israel, because it’s a government and it has politicians, and as a politician myself I am deeply mindful that we are imperfect creatures and don’t always act with justice uppermost on our minds. But the fundamental premise of Israel and the need to preserve a Jewish state that is secure is, I think, a just idea and one that should be supported here in the United States and around the world.
The interview quickly spread. The New York Times ran an article about it in its dead tree edition this morning. While polling and anecdotal evidence suggests that Obama need not worry about Jewish voters, his continued effort to assure Jewish voters of his dedication to Israel shows that it is clearly something his campaign is concerned about going into the fall election. That being said, I don’t know how much more clearly Obama can express his beliefs than he did in this interview and conservative Jews still found room to attack him for this answer:
Goldberg: Do you think that Israel is a drag on America’s reputation overseas?
Obama: No, no, no. But what I think is that this constant wound, that this constant sore, does infect all of our foreign policy. The lack of a resolution to this problem provides an excuse for anti-American militant jihadists to engage in inexcusable actions, and so we have a national-security interest in solving this, and I also believe that Israel has a security interest in solving this because I believe that the status quo is unsustainable.
From the Republican Jewish Coalition:
Once again, Senator Obama demonstrates his questionable grasp of America’s foreign policy. Senator Obama manages to excuse the inexcusable actions of anti-American militant jihadists by putting the blame for their actions on America’s foreign policy. America stands with Israel because it is one of our strongest allies and the only democracy in the Middle East. Senator Obama naively believes that solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will solve the global scourge of radical Islamic extremism. Yet Senator Obama never says how he will reign in Hamas’ daily onslaught on Israel or Iran’s scurrilous condemnations of Israel. Is it any wonder Hamas has endorsed him for president?
Maybe this problem really isn’t going anywhere.