Tuesday, March 04, 2008

More on Obama and the Jews (and a little Ralph Nader thrown in for good measure)

The same talk that Obama gave to Jewish leaders in Cleveland (which I quoted from in my last post) also has some more interesting statements from him, as well as the latest slime from Ralpha Nader.

He [Obama] also again noted his disagreement with some of the critical statements on Israel made by the pastor of his church, which he ascribed to the latter's support for the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa at a time that Israel continued to trade with the regime there.

"He is like an old uncle who sometimes will say things that I don't agree with," he said. "And I suspect there are some people in this room who have heard relatives say some things that they don't agree with, including, on occasion, directed at African Americans."

He concluded, "I understand the concerns and the sensitivities, and one of my goals constantly in my public career has been to try to bridge what was a historically powerful bond between the African American and Jewish communities that has been frayed in recent years."

Also on Sunday, Ralph Nader, while declaring his third-party candidacy for the US presidency, attacked Obama for allegedly concealing his "pro-Palestinian" feelings.

"He's run a brilliant tactical campaign, but his better instincts and his knowledge have been censored by himself," Nader charged on NBC's Meet the Press. "He was pro-Palestinian when he was in Illinois before he ran for the state senate... Now he's supporting the Israeli destruction of the tiny section called Gaza with a million and a half people."

Nader called the Palestinian-Israeli conflict a "real off-the-table issue for the candidates," including Obama, whom he described as "the first liberal evangelist in a long time" to run for president.

"The guy doesn't know what he's talking about. He's got no credibility," an Obama campaign adviser said about Nader.

Obama's campaign on Monday responded to Nader's attacks on the senator's position on Gaza.

"Barack Obama's longstanding support for Israel's security is rooted in his belief that no civilians should have to live with the threat of terrorism," the campaign statement said. "In Gaza, Hamas continues to fire rockets indiscriminately at Israeli civilians every day, and that's why it is long past time that Hamas renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel's right to exist and abides by past agreements."

Democratic National Committee consultant Matt Dorf, who also does Jewish outreach, also dismissed the Nader accusations as off the mark and meaningless.

"If he thinks there are voters out there to be had by demonizing Barack Obama's record, including on Middle East issues, he's not going to find them," Dorf said. "Nader's going to get even less support than he got last time."

I guess Nader has decided that once again it's his turn to play the spoiler role vis-a-vis a Democratic candidate for President. Nader is a star example of the principle that "the perfect is the enemy of the good." He is seeking perfection, and can't abide anything less than perfect that might actually succeed. For him, ideological perfection is much preferable to doing something that actually might bring practical results.

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