Can Obama be trusted on Israel?

Sen. Barack Obama’s priorities were revealed in his answer to the following question from moderator Brian Williams in the Democrats’ first presidential debate back in the Spring of 2007:

MR. WILLIAMS: Senator Obama, what are America’s three most important allies around the world?

SEN. OBAMA: Well, I think the European Union as a whole has been a long-standing ally of ours. And through NATO, we’ve been able to make some significant progress. Afghanistan, in particular, is an area where we should be focusing. NATO has made real contributions there. Unfortunately, because of the distraction of Iraq, we have not finished the job in terms of making certain that we are driving back the Taliban, stabilizing the Karzai government, capturing bin Laden and making sure that we’ve rooted out terrorism in that region. We also have to look east, because increasingly the center of gravity in this world is shifting to Asia. Japan has been an outstanding ally of ours for many years, but obviously China is rising, and it’s not going away. They’re neither our enemy nor our friend. They’re competitors. But we have to make sure that we have enough military-to-military contact and forge enough of a relationship with them that we can stabilize the region. That’s something I’d like to do as president.

MR. WILLIAMS: Senator, thanks. I’ll give you a follow-up. I didn’t hear you mention Israel, and I ask because there is a quote attributed to your name. You said recently, “No one is suffering more than the Palestinian people.” Do you stand by that remark?

SEN. OBAMA: Well, keep in mind what the remark actually, if you have the whole thing, said. What I said is, nobody has suffered more than the Palestinian people from the failure of the Palestinian leadership to recognize Israel, to renounce violence and to get serious about negotiating peace and security for the region. Israel has been one of our most important allies around the world. It’s the only established democracy in the Middle East. It’s the linchpin of much of our efforts in the Middle East. But the United States has to get engaged in this region, and that’s something that this president has not done. That’s something that I intend to do.

MR. WILLIAMS: Time is up, Senator.

If Sen. Obama believes that Israel is one of our most important allies, then why didn’t he mention it in the first place? Why did Brian Williams need to prompt him with a follow-up question about Israel? Certainly Japan is a valued American ally, but is that nation more important to us, given that the Middle East is where we are engaged in two fronts in the war against jihadism? Is the very existence of Japan being threatened by Iran and a number of radical Islamist organizations who want to drive the Israelis into the sea?

This flashback to the Democrat’s first presidential debate was conjured up by the current hubub over the tape of a bon voyage celebration for Rashid Khalidi, which included among the well-wishers such luminaries as The Lightworker himself accompanied by Mrs. Lightworker, as well as bomb thrower Bill Ayers and his even more bloodthirsty spouse, Bernadine Dohrn:

The McCain camp has now joined those demanding The Los Angeles Times release a 2003 video that shows Barack Obama celebrating with a group of Palestinians hostile to Israel.

Peter Wallsten wrote in April about Obama’s association with former Palestinian operative Rashid Khalidi. The celebration was a farewell for Khalidi as he left Chicago for a job in New York. Wallsten called Khalidi a, “critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights.”

He says, “A special tribute came from Khalidi’s friend and frequent dinner companion, the young State Senator Barack Obama… Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi’s wife… and conversations that had challenged his thinking.”

Wallsten writes that a young Palestinian read a poem accusing the Israeli government of terrorism. Another speaker likened Israeli settlers on the West Bank to Usama bin Laden.

Wallsten confirmed he has the tape, but told the political blog Gateway Pundit he does not plan on releasing it. The newspaper declines to comment.

Either of the above incidents should give pause to those who believe that Obama would be a reliable ally of Israel. But taken together, they are troubling. Taken with the following Obama course correction, they are especially troubling:

Less than 24 hours after Barack Obama promised AIPAC that he would never allow Jerusalem to be divided, he backtracked after pressure from the Palestinians!

No wonder Hamas endorsed him.

Obama continues to fail to inspire trust that he is committed to Israel, one of the best friends the United States ever had. His warm relationships with those who are among that nation’s enemies should be a deal breaker for any voter who wants to see a strong and secure Israel live long and prosper.

“Time is up, Senator” indeed.

– JP

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