Yesterday was a very interesting one the presidential campaign trail from the Jewish perspective. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama spent 90 minutes with Jewish leaders (OU reps were pleased to attend) in Ohio answering all the questions people have raised about his background, advisers, and views on U.S.-Israel policies.
You can see more here:
Meanwhile, over at NBC, Ralph Nader declared his third party candidacy for president on Meet the Press citing, among other reasons, Barack Obama being, essentially, too pro-Israel. Access the full transcript here – but here’s the key quote:
NADER: “Senator Obama is a person of substance. He’s also the first liberal evangelist in a long time. He’s run a brilliant tactical campaign. But his better instincts and his knowledge have been censored by himself. And I give you the example, the Palestinian-Israeli issue, which is a real off the table issue for the candidates. So don’t touch that, even though it’s central to our security and to, to the situation in the Middle East. He was pro-Palestinian when he was in Illinois before he ran for the state Senate, during he ran–during the state Senate. Now he’s, he’s supporting the Israeli destruction of the tiny section called Gaza with a million and a half people. He doesn’t have any sympathy for a civilian death ratio of about 300-to-1; 300 Palestinians to one Israeli. He’s not taking a leadership position in supporting the Israeli peace movement, which represents former Cabinet ministers, people in the Knesset, former generals, former security officials, in addition to mayors and leading intellectuals. One would think he would at least say, “Let’s have a hearing for the Israeli peace movement in the Congress,” so we don’t just have a monotone support of the Israeli government’s attitude toward the Palestinians and their illegal occupation of Palestine.”