Obama, McCain, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict

If you’re looking for a President who thinks the right solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is to crush the Palestinians, then Barack Obama’s not your man.

Perhaps McCain is, since he’s been endorsed by the Rev. John Hagee.  Hagee not only doesn’t support a two-state solution, he wants Israel to rule over the entire Biblical land of Israel.  He hopes that this will provoke the war to end all wars between Israel and its Arab neighbors, which will set off the Apocalypse, during which all of the world’s Jews will be forced to choose between salvation through Jesus or eternity in hell.  This is not metaphorical; Hagee really believes this, literally, and this is a man whose endorsement McCain actively sought.

McCain also actively sought and welcomed the endorsement of the Rev. Rod Parsley, whom he has called his “Spiritual Guide.”  Parsley believes that it is the mission of the United States to destroy Islam.  Not to destroy militant Islam or Islamic terrorists; Parsley believes that the God-given mission of America is to completely wipe out the entire religion of Islam.  After what the Jewish people experienced in the Holocaust, it is unthinkable for Jews to support a candidate who seeks spiritual guidance from a man who wants to commit religious genocide.

We need a President who can do exactly what Barack Obama has been doing, i.e., listening to everyone, building a broad, unified coalition of people with widely varying points of view, building a team of knowledgeable expert advisers to surround him, and showing himself capable of making intelligent, nuanced decisions about critical issues.

Some have used the fact that supporters of the Palestinians are pro-Obama as proof that supporters of Israel should oppose him.  This is nonsense.  Palestinians like Obama because he hasn’t been endorsed by people who think that the Palestinians deserve to be dehumanized and marginalized.  On the other hand, Obama has also made it clear that Israel’s security is paramount and that the Palestinians aren’t going to get anything through violence; Obama has actually stood in front of Palestinian groups and told them this outright.  He’s exactly the kind of honest broker we need to have any chance of forming any sort of lasting peace in the region.

The only two successful peace treaties Israel has ever signed have been brokered by Democratic presidents who were willing to speak with Israel’s enemies: the Egypt Accords were brokered by Jimmy Carter (which makes it all the more shocking and depressing what direction he’s chosen to take himself in since then), and the Jordan treaty was brokered by Bill Clinton.

Reagan met with Gorbachev.  Nixon went to China.  Refusing to talk to the Palestinians is exactly what George W. Bush did for seven years before he suddenly decided to try to build a legacy for himself by sending Condi to put pressure on Israel to make unilateral concessions.  Israel is not exactly in better shape than it was seven and a half years ago.  Obama, on the other hand, will talk to the Palestinians from his first day in office.  It’s about time somebody tried that.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.