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When Irony Only Makes Me Sad: A Pro-Obama Post at Corrente

chicago dyke's picture

I just got off the phone with an Israeli friend, and we had some fun joking with each other about the timing of the call. I was reading this post from a very strong Obama supporter, and I complimented the author on his honesty and willingness to say what needs to be said. Short version: it's not "anti-semitic" to point out that in critical, large, expensive media states like NY and FL, the people raising a lot of money for Dem candidates in those states, as well as pulling state-level political strings (think backroom superdelagate type games) are also "Jewish," whatever that is supposed to mean*. Nor it is anything less than fact to say many of these fundraising powerhouses really think Israel can do no wrong, and that because of their great influence on the political process here at critical moments, overall American ME and I/P policies are warped. I'm very proud of Boo for reminding us that it's virtually no different with Cubans in FL; I'd add other single/special interests like the so-called 'farm lobby' in the plains states, or even the so-called gay lobby in small Eastern states in which some gays have both money and overrepresentation/overempowerment in local political circles. That's just how politics works right now here. If you've got money/friends with money, and you play your cards right in your state, when the Presidential candidates come to your 'hood, you make them say what you want to hear: in Spanish, Yiddish, or flatland drawl.

But then I thought more and more about Boo's confidence that Obama wants to do more, and better things for the Palestinians even as he takes the standard, ironclad, pro-Likudnik hardline. (Way not to impress your own people, Obama. Tone deaf much? Or do you just think they don't matter?) Still, I think Boo could be right.

Now, don't hear me wrong: I'm annoyed and not at all impressed by yet another American politician supporting a policy perspective, publically, that has produced exactly no good result for Jews, Israel, or anyone else in that region for decades now. Dood, it's not working, PITME via the hardliners hasn't come, and never will. Nor is Hope and Belief in Obama's essential "difference" going to cloud my thinking about him on other issues and policies of his. Still, this is where my mind does open a bit to the argument, "no, he's really different than the rest of them." OK, let's see if I can imagine that.

I have a lot of "international" friends, and I'm pretty familiar with how schools work around the world, both at the "upper" or high school level, as well as colleges/universities. If one travels, and is educated abroad (which sort of includes "exotic" states like HI, with all the unique diversity there), it's really hard to retain some of the silly and ignorant but common American beliefs about this or that ethnic, religious or racial group. Basically I think this is true for most people who travel a lot, or meet/work with people from around the world on a regular basis. Also, Haavaad is a pretty 'diverse' place in this respect as well; I'd be very surprised if Obama hadn't at the very least occasionally hung out with some "international muslim" type or student peer. Anyway, I'm just going to assume that Obama is like most well-educated, well-traveled people with an "international" family like his.

Now, let's set aside Obama, the American politician for a moment and just think about him as a guy with a chance to affect I/P policy in this country. Let's imagine that the Likud lobby here suddenly disappeared, and the power/money they exercise in American politics went away. Be honest with yourself, and I know this may be hard for some of you, but of all the policy-shapers we've had in this country on the I/P issues, has there ever been anyone like him? I'm having a hard time thinking of one, that's for sure. And even if I'm wrong, it's still the case that very, very few people with Muslims in their family, or regular exposure to Muslim culture in a positive way, have *ever* shaped American I/P policy. So right there, it's a whole new world of possibility.

Until you factor the money and the need to win states like FL and NY, and the role of the aforementioned special interest groups he was talking to the other day. And what he said to them.

But my point is that I'm sooooo unimpressed, by almost every American politician, of any party, race or religion (heh, what am I saying? It's always the same one) when it comes to banging the wardrum for Our Only Friend in the Middle East. Without getting into the whole argument about how that "friendship" actually costs and hurts us, it's pretty clear to me that the vast majority of American politicians are more than willing to deal with the hardliner's lobby and give them anything they want. That Republicans have done so a great deal lately, to please their fundies, is some kind of Irony that always makes me laugh long and hard. I grew up in Fundieland, and as I told my Israeli friend today, sure, they called me "nigger" to my face and asked me if I had a tail when I was a little girl, but their true, lasting, utterly scary hatred was always reserved for The Joos Who Killed Krist. Nutbags, every last one. It's a marriage that will end in tears, that's all I'm saying, o Republican fundies of both kinds.

I think if the Palestinian people are your most important priority, and I'm not saying they are for me, you probably should have a little Faith and Hope in Obama. He's far from perfect, and even sucks on a whole host of other issues and that's why I'm not supporting him. But to those with this concern, I can totally understand why Boo and others are daring to believe it's all a show, as Obama tells the hardliners how much he loves the Likud Party. Perhaps in this, his 'savvy' ability to 'say what he must' is part of his path to doing what no other American politician ever has had the guts or desire to do: truly and finally begin to help the Palestinians, and end the reign of terror of the Likudniks/extremists in Israeli politics. Or not. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

...the 'sad irony' part of the title of this post is that Boo never speaks to me anymore, and I'm sure he'll ignore this. But who'd've thunk: Corrente defending, and BooTrib bitching about, on the same day, Mr. Hope. I'm always sad when I lose friends or colleagues over stupid and meaningless to us personally, political crap.

*I really detest the construction that "Jew" is some kind of category that is a useful one, or rather the way it's used by most Americans isn't one I can get down with. I work very hard to correctly use the terms "Jew" "Israeli" "Likudnik" and "crazy orthodox American Old Testament-only type fundie with too many fantasies about a life in Israel they've never led." And frankly, looking at how much harm they've done, to Israel, its reputation, its people and its future, sometimes it's hard for me to call the AIPAC lobby et al "Jews" even in the purely religious sense, despite the fact that many of them are practicing orthodox or fundies. Seriously, if I were the Devil and I wanted to hurt God's Chosen People, I'd empower and elevate some of these American extremists and "Zion" lovers to just where they are today.

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Submitted by lambert on

Because in the past we've gotten plenty of anti-semitic commentary from the more extreme portions of the CT spectrum.

I suggest perhaps Is and Ps for Israelis and Palestians, or others can make up their own.

Also, if you get caught by the spam filter, there should be a message saying what happened. If there is, please do not repost without changing, because all that will happen is a duplicate. Try rewriting to remove what you guess offends, then resubmit. And if you just get a white screen of death, let me know so I can look into it, but again DO NOT RESUBMIT.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by lambert on

CD, I understand it, you're making the case for Obama on policy, here, not, as Bareback Andy did, simply on the basis of his skin color. So I'd sure rather see some evidence a little more authoritative (at least to me) than Booman -- say, from a debate, whgere he's accountable, rather than the website, where he's not. Because last I checked, I remember Obama making due obesiance to the Israeli lobby in, of all places, the Greatest Speech EVAH in Philly (IIRC, though...)

So, The Phonebooth Theory is what Boos confidence boils down to for me. Lots of people are confident about a lot of things -- including me... But:

confidence that Obama wants to do more, and better things for the Palestinians even as he takes the standard, ironclad, pro-Likudnik hardline.

Why is this not more projection and hopey-hope? I'd lok at the base, the money, and the pressures before personal history. If you factor those out, then anything's possible, as you say, but those things can't be factored out.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

captainjohnbrown's picture
Submitted by captainjohnbrown on

line."

Here's a statement he made during a Q&A with Jewish leadership in Cleveland in February:

"This is where I get to be honest and I hope I'm not out of school here. I think there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt a unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you're anti-Israel and that can't be the measure of our friendship with Israel. If we cannot have a honest dialogue about how do we achieve these goals, then we're not going to make progress. And frankly some of the commentary that I've seen which suggests guilt by association or the notion that unless we are never ever going to ask any difficult questions about how we move peace forward or secure Israel that is non military or non belligerent or doesn't talk about just crushing the opposition that that somehow is being soft or anti-Israel, I think we're going to have problems moving forward. And that I think is something we have to have an honest dialogue about."

Mr. Lambert, I defy you to find an equivalently courageous statement by Hillary Clinton.

Here's the transcript in case you think I made it up:

http://www.nysun.com/national/in-clevela...

Cap'n John Brown

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

to equate Jews with money, and to only speak of American Jews as single-issue pro-Israel-no-matter-what voters.

There are multiple groups and multiple beliefs and multiple issues that drive us.

Jews=money i won't even begin to go into--you should know the deadly history of that.

I'll just say that the Jews with money --who fund candidates-- are overwhelmingly liberal and not at all the same people who are the enforcers of AIPAC/ Israel-no-matter-what policy or lobbying or litmus tests. They're people like Bloomberg and Harvey Weinstein and Mort Zuckerman and Penny Pritzker and other business and media people--they're not Middle East Hawks like Lieberman or AIPAC million dollar donors at all.

Jews=Israel is only true for old Jews. Survey after survey shows that the vast majority under 50 are not happy with Israel's actions at all. That said, we are a tiny minority in the world and do not want the other 1/2 of us (Israel has about 1/2 of all of us there are--the rest are almost all here) to all die.

Many presidents have not been "good for the Jews"--from FDR to Nixon to Bush 1--and Obama has to play all the games required if he wants to win in November. This is just one of them. He put on the flag pin, after all, and that's another crock of shit.

Putting all issues aside and being cynical--we turn out to vote in larger proportion than many other groups, and many need to be reassured--not that they love Israel (for any reason whether apocalypse or whatever), but simply that we are heard and we matter--just like other groups who are not onboard with Obama. So far, he's only just begun to show that we matter to him, and since he's new, he doesn't have votes to prove it. We're louder than working-class whites and we have media platforms--they don't--so you hear us more.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I don't vote on faith. Obama will receive a lot of opposition no matter what he and his supporters think. (Remember how successful Bill Clinton was at preventing partisanship by looking for a "third way"?) Obama has shown no ability to take a strong stand on an issue and stick to his guns. Literally. Remember his blatant lie that he never saw that gun questionnaire? Remember how Obama criticized unions supporting Edwards and Clinton only to get thrills up his legs when they were helping him in NV? Remember how his chief foreign policy adviser was fired--not for calling Hillary a monster--but for getting caught on tape saying that what Obama says now about Iraq will not be what he does as president?

Inexperience and a trail of lies. Yeah, Obama may have interacted with diverse people. I have too. Big freakin deal. It comes down to trust and Obama doesn't pass the smell test. Further, it comes down to dealing with opposition and frankly, Obama behaves in such a petulant manner that I find him dangerous even if he is well intentioned. You don't blame voters, you take responsibility. I can never support a leader who doesn't take responsibility.

If saying this kicks me out of progressive and Democratic circles, fine. The so-called progressive movement has been revealed to lack solid principles and the Democratic party has worked to disenfranchise voters and are actively trying to suppress votes. I don't need that and don't support it.

myiq2xu's picture
Submitted by myiq2xu on

people who have morals and/or principles incompatible with your own.

FDR cut a deal with southern racists to get the New Deal enacted.

But there is a difference between doing essential business and fraternizing, between compromising on issues and compromising your principles.

------------------------------------------------
“The Clintons' biggest failure is that they couldn't get their own party to support them.” - Bartcop

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

i'm not speaking of all jews, or all jews with money, or friends of jews with money. i'm speaking of the states boo mentioned, FL and NY, in which people with a lot of fundraising power happen to think israel can do no wrong and expect candidates to bow down to them.

i'm not kidding when i say i have a hard time calling them "jews" or even "friends of israel." my israeli friend can no longer live in the state where he was born, mainly because of people like this. how are they doing 'good for jews' or 'helping israel' with their money/influence?' they're not, that's how.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

the majority of Jews with money who fund candidates are not AIPAC/Liebermans--at all.

And the reason AIPAC is so powerful and there is this litmus test is because of Christians--not Jews, and not rich Jews.

The vast majority of Jews do not fund AIPAC or any of those groups--they donate to Dem candidates and social justice charities and causes, and they donate to Israeli and other charities and non-profits that do things there and not here.

One other thing--speaking of money--while everyone focuses on Jews with money and their pernicious influence, the fact that Obama's IL funders are totally not Jewish is very much noticed too--Rezko, Auchi, and the other Iranians and Arabs. Since Obama doesn't have a voting record on I/P or anything, the people who funded his rise should actually count just as much if not more than any Jews. His history is not of Jews funding his rise anyway.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

sez:

"A new survey of American Jewish opinion, released by the American Jewish Committee, demonstrates several important propositions: (1) right-wing neocons (the Bill Kristol/Commentary/ AIPAC/Marty Peretz faction) who relentlessly claim to speak for Israel and for Jews generally hold views that are shared only by a small minority of American Jews; (2) viewpoints that are routinely demonized as reflective of animus towards Israel or even anti-Semitism are ones that are held by large majorities of American Jews; and (3) most American Jews oppose U.S. military action in the Middle East -- including both in Iraq and against Iran.

It is beyond dispute that American Jews overwhelmingly oppose core neoconservative foreign policy principles. Hence, in large numbers, they disapprove of the way the U.S. is handling its "campaign against terrorism" (59-31); overwhelmingly believe the U.S. should have stayed out of Iraq (67-27); believe that things are going "somewhat badly" or "very badly" in Iraq (76-23); and believe that the "surge" has either made things worse or has had no impact (68-30).

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

those results have been true for years and years, too.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

when people try to be sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, they distort the view of most Israelis and Jewish people. The same holds for the other side as well.

This is such a fruitless debate coming from outsiders. We have the luxury of not living in the most volatile areas so we can make crap up to trash the other sides.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

the vast vast majority of Cubans in FL want us to get rid of Castro and communism and to bring capitalism back.

the vast majority of American Jews DON'T want us to get rid of I's neighbors or enemies, and don't want them to treat others as we ourselves have been treated throughout the past.

TonyRz's picture
Submitted by TonyRz on

CD writes:

or even the so-called gay lobby in small Eastern states in which some gays have both money and overrepresentation/overempowerment in local political circles.

I'm sorry, but I don't think that even though you're clearly "family", that you get a pass on this kind of bait.

Others have more eloquently responded to the main point of your entry, which I'll refrain from responding to, but in passing, some have pointed out the "Jews=money" thing, which applies also to the supposedly carefree and disposable-income laden big-city faggots.

Just be careful is all anyone can ask...

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

it's all false stereotypes and all damaging.

I type this as on TV, Obama speaks in a Boca synagogue, and he's almost entirely speaking of Israel--giant mistake, and he's showing that he doesn't know us.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

we're overwhelmingly in NY (1,618,320), CA(1,194,190), and FL (653,435) -- other states don't even come close to the numbers those 3 states alone have. -- http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsou...

(when i was young, they used to say that we had more Jews in the Northeast than in all of I)

I'm not trying to be an ass, but generalizing like that about NY and FL is really speaking about the bulk of us. And generalizing about Jews with money funding causes and candidates and believing in I-no-matter-what is routinely mis-stated, and needs not to be.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

Many of us are not thrilled with Obama because he's not liberal enough for us--on domestic policy and social issues like healthcare and equality and rights and justice. Hillary isn't either, but she's better on issues we care about.

And we're fighters--and don't see him as one.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

Obama was absent when Kyl-Lieberman was voted on. Not what you would call a profile in courage, but Clinton, knowing that her war authorization vote was going to be a HUGE issue, voted for Kyl-Lieberman, thus taking us one step closer to war with Iran. It one of many reasons I just cannot get excited about her. She also voted to sell cluster bombs to Israel, and Obama had the sense to vote against that.

Obama is no Jimmy Carter, but I do think there is a real possibility that he can change our course. Should Obama prevail, as I predict that he will, it will be seen that being too much of a warmonger can be a career killer, that will have a ripple effect, and can change the conversation.

You don't have to think that Obama is some moral giant to believe that.

Submitted by lambert on

... although IIRC Obama wanted 100K troops more as well. (Cue "He didn't reallly mean it" discussion).

I don't see anyone on the Clinton side trying to throw anyone out of the party. So that means -- yes, CD, "little people -- I may have the tiniest smidgeon of ability to affect matters with Hillary. With Obama, not so much. Plus there's the whole Movement/Leader thing, which, again, I don't have the tiniest smidgeon of influence.

I expect to have to chew any candidate's ankle after the general; it's just that with Obama or McCain, it's going to be on principle and have no effect; and with Clinton -- "little people" disclaimer again -- there's some tiny marginal chance to deflect the Big Wienie slightly.

Marginal differences, as I keep saying, are not insignificant.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

That is really a shame. How does he expect to unite the party in the general if he can't speak to you? I mean on the scale of Clinton supporters, you are not even half way up the point of determined supporter.

willyjsimmons's picture
Submitted by willyjsimmons on

Not what you would call a profile in courage, but Clinton, knowing that her war authorization vote was going to be a HUGE issue, voted for Kyl-Lieberman, thus taking us one step closer to war with Iran.

S.970

Title: A bill to impose sanctions on Iran and on other countries for assisting Iran in developing a nuclear program, and for other purposes.

Cosponsors Sen Obama, Barack

SEC. 3. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

(8) The Secretary of State should designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a Foreign Terrorist Organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189) and the Secretary of the Treasury should place the Iranian Revolutionary Guards on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists under Executive Order 13224 (66 Fed. Reg. 186; relating to blocking property and prohibiting transactions with persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support terrorism).

the AUMF and Kyl-Leiberman are DOA.

And I will just point out that no one has yet to challenge Bill Clinton's "Fairy Tale" remarks (except to distort them as Donna Brazile did) to see if the Big Dawg was actually telling the truth about how the AUMF got passed.

1.) Condi assured Hagel that if the inspections turned up nothing, there would be no need for military intervention.

2.) Hagel "The Last Honest Republican" relayed that message to Dems and managed to get enough votes to pass the thing in hopes of avoiding preemptive military action.

3.) It was all based upon lies perpetrated by the Bush Administration.

Anyone want to delve deeper into THAT?

That would certainly be the penultimate chance to out Ol Bill as a LIAR wouldn't it? I mean, isn't that what the wingnuts spend all of their time on the net doing. Rooting out BIG LIBERAL LIES!!!!!

The silence ought to say a little something.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

to speak easily about these things, do we?

Try to write about money and interest groups and instantly all the cats in the room take offense, arch their backs and start snarling and clawing. What to do?

When someone writes about a sub-set of a subgroup of a more diverse larger body of folks, a sub-set who claim affiliation for a cause and have enough money and power to exercise influence, they may not be writing specifically about you. If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t bitch complain when you try to wear it and it pinches.

A reply that says "Uh-UH, no you don't, my people aren't like that!" misses the point. Obama is in the synagogue, giving that speech, not because he cares specifically one way or the other about Israel or Muslims but because he sees that politically he has to, yes to get money and also maybe get some slack from the press and as a backstop against Lieberman and a dozen other valid political reasons. He gets it, the part that’s important for him as a candidate; that’s why he’s there.

What it means for an Obama administration, who knows? You know what? I'm starting to think that he doesn't know either. It could be that he's so vague about what he'll do because he doesn't know himself. It is performance art, this campaign, of the improv sort. He and his crowd threw this together so fast there was no time for actual policy development, just the showbusiness aspect and away we go; Makeup! Lights! Camera! Action!

They'll flesh out the policy stuff (story line) if he wins (gets held over) and if he loses (gets cancelled), well, no time wasted on things that don't matter. (If this new gig falls through, he still has his day job and a contract to write a children’s book; that should be something to see.)

Who knows; it could work.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

exerting influence on our policies in the ME, the ever-dominant uber-group of rightwing Christians would still be funding I over P, and pursuing the same policies--if not worse ones.

"Come, Armageddon, Come." : <

Most voters need to see a record showing how a candidate will act once in office. For Obama, on this--and on many if not most issues both foreign and domestic--we just don't know.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

of both I's (and Egypt's) billions of funding, and tell them to grow the f*k up and learn to live together. It's past time to take the training wheels off.

And that if they want our help to fully assimilate and enfranchise all Ps fully into their society in all ways, we'd be glad to help in every way possible--including with increased funding. Otherwise, the only $$ they'll see from now on is (tightly overseen) humanitarian funding and infrastructure help for the Ps alone...

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

that now 60-year-old state in what was Palestine.

Many people among the "refugees" DO NOT WANT to be integrated into the society of the Nation of Israel -- they are much like the Cubanos in South Florida in this respect. For them, the very existence of that government and all its works represent anathema, and short of armageddon there is no cure.

The same is true on both sides; but unless we want to claim that the State should have been carved out of some chunk of turf in Europe instead -- and that is what the Palestinians all say; that the creation of the state robbed them, or their forebearers, to assuage the guilt of a cohort of countries that had just won a war only to confront the horrors of the Holocaust and find themselves not wanting to succor the survivors in their own bosoms -- we must face the fact: much of America's "exceptionalism" and "manifest destiny" is born of the Moses myth: a ragged band of God's chosen wandering in a wilderness, trying to tame it (and be damned to anything/one/deity in the way).

We cannot be honest about that in our own mirror. How then can we be honest about the Middle East?

Look at us now, pouring blood over the sands and rocks as though the lives we waste are immaterial compared to the need for more oil at any cost.

How stupid can we be, as a nation?

It is a question to which I fear the answer.

We can admit that we're killers ... but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to kill today! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

and not the other, whether some want to be integrated with the other or not really doesn't matter when you look at the reality of the situation--it's S. Africa all over again. There's only one country there--with isolated, walled, resourceless pockets for many of the people there --who are also not allowed any of the benefits of certain others living there. We've seen that here over and over and the only solution is integration--willing or not.

Many Americans would rather not integrate with me or with hispanics or blacks or with klansmen or with whoever--but too damn bad. We're far far more diverse and incompatible in many ways, but we muddle thru--they can too.

jackyt's picture
Submitted by jackyt on

"... it’s really hard to retain some of the silly and ignorant but common American beliefs about this or that ethnic, religious or racial group."

Yes, it is hard to keep up a fantasy image of any group of people if you actually sit across the table from one, or some, or several, or many representatives of said group. That is, it is difficult for normal, run-of-the-mill, outwardly focussed people. But where in Obama's record is there any evidence that he has thought deeply about, feels empathy for, or acted to improve the conditions of, any constituency group?

Experience only matters if you learn from it. What I see in Obama is someone who is really good at working the system to his own advantage, but is insensitive to the concerns of others.

I don't believe he has what it takes to be "an honest broker".

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

the way he speaks of many groups/blocs seems very "they", and coming from an outside perspective and as if he doesn't know them or any representatives at all on a personal level, i find--and it certainly looks as if he's not really interested in many people in groups he doesn't already have familiarity with. Or at least he doesn't come off as comfortable with some--it's very weird to have someone running for president who doesn't seem to thrive on the front porch small group/diner thing--and doesn't even seem interested in faking it either.

He's much too readily accepting of "Jews only care about Israel" bs, and the "guns, god and gays" stuff about rural people, and with Hispanics he simply used an "i'm from immigrants too" thing -- all sorts of very reductive shorthand about many groups.

captainjohnbrown's picture
Submitted by captainjohnbrown on

"This is where I get to be honest and I hope I'm not out of school here. I think there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt a unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you're anti-Israel and that can't be the measure of our friendship with Israel. If we cannot have a honest dialogue about how do we achieve these goals, then we're not going to make progress. And frankly some of the commentary that I've seen which suggests guilt by association or the notion that unless we are never ever going to ask any difficult questions about how we move peace forward or secure Israel that is non military or non belligerent or doesn't talk about just crushing the opposition that that somehow is being soft or anti-Israel, I think we're going to have problems moving forward. And that I think is something we have to have an honest dialogue about."

- Barack Obama, addressing group of Jewish leaders in Cleveland Ohio, February, 2008

http://www.nysun.com/national/in-clevela...
Cap'n John Brown