Barack Obama on Gaza
This is the Obama transition’s official statement on Gaza as of right now, courtesy of chief transition national-security spokeswoman Brooke Anderson:
“President-elect Obama is closely monitoring global events, including the situation in Gaza, but there is one president at a time.”
The current president demanded for years that the Palestinians elect new leadership to replace Yasir Arafat’s Fatah Party and then declared the United States wouldn’t negotiate with the victors. His approach to Israeli-Palestinian peace processing — which could be fairly described as dismissive to lackadaisical to suddenly torrid — did not, as his secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, recently acknowledged, yield the results that he envisioned.
Still, Rice spoke with Obama on Saturday for about eight minutes at the president-elect’s behest. Tonight, following an intelligence briefing, the president-elect plans to discuss the situation in Israel and Gaza with his secretary of state designee, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY). and his incoming national security adviser, Marine Gen. Jim Jones (Ret.).
On CBS’ “Face the Nation” yesterday, Obama political strategist David Axelrod said that Obama remains “committed” to an Israeli-Palestinian peace, though he has indicated in the past that despite his we-should-negotiate-with-our-enemies position, Israel would find it “very hard to negotiate with a group that is not representative of a nation-state, does not recognize your right to exist, has consistently used terror as a weapon, and is deeply influenced by other countries.”