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November 13, 2008 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2008-11-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

or's Lette

Close
the
gap

Obama's from page A5



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A6 November 13 • 2008

taming hatred and war against Israel.
Not all Palestinians want the Jewish
state obliterated, but their leaders
certainly do. Obama is right to say he
would talk with Palestinian leaders
who seek real peace. But I implore him
to tread cautiously in choosing who he
seeks to negotiate with. It could be the
enemy disguised as a partner. That's
the distrust the Palestinians have fos-
tered and which we must heed. Hollow
negotiations are a waste of time and
an indictment of bad judgment.
Obama won 78 percent of the Jewish
vote, slaying any fear of lingering
Jewish racism. But such overwhelm-
ing support should not discount the
work he must do to allay apprehension
about his support for Israel. There's
no reason to believe he won't be as
staunch a sup-
porter as his
opponent on the
campaign trail,
Republican John
McCain. The
Arizona senator
has a time-tested
voting record.
Much of
the Zionist
Organization of
America (ZOA)
criticism of
Obama stems
from his past
associations with
people who have
expressed hate or
hostility toward
Israel, associa-
tions the senator
since has addressed publicly. Obama
has proclaimed that Israel is America's
strongest ally in the Middle East and
the region's only established democra-
cy. He is on record backing U.S. fund-
ing support for Israel's fighting forces
and missile defense systems. He has
denounced terror against Israel and
has pledged to block Iranian attempts
to develop nuclear arms. He must live
up to all of these pronouncements.
The ZOA cites Obama saying that
Hamas and Hezbollah have "legitimate
claims." Standing with Israel in its
battle against those terror mongers is
the surest way he can distance himself
from that baseless assessment. He'll
need to join with Israel's new prime
minister to deliver diplomatic solu-
tions to the Israeli-Arab conflict. We
need a prudent plan to get out of Iraq
as well.
Other domestic issues of special

interest to Jewish organizations
include rising anti-Semitism, pending
hate crime legislation, continuing hun-
ger and homelessness, women's rights,
healthcare affordability, oil depen-
dence, and religious and civil liberties.

McCain's Mark

In the aftermath of an African
American winning the popular vote
to our nation's highest office 143 years
after the Civil War ended, I found
resonance in Sen. McCain's remarkable
concession speech in Phoenix.
"Tonight, more than any other
night:' this Vietnam War hero, states-
man and mentsh said, "I hold in my
heart nothing but love for this country
and for all its citizens, whether they
supported me or Sen. Obama.
"I wish
Godspeed to the
man who was
my former oppo-
nent and will be
my president.
And I call on all
Americans, as I
have often in this
campaign, to not
despair of our
present difficul-
ties, but to believe,
always, in the
promise and great-
ness of America
because nothing is
inevitable here.
"Americans
never quit. We
never surrender.
We never hide
from history. We make history."
As Americans, Jews are part of that
history.
On Election Day, Barack Obama
emerged the victor. Amid the confi-
dence and respect he stirred among
millions of people who previously
wallowed in apathy, he now must
reach out to Congress to deliver on
the promises, passions and pillars that
uplifted so many Americans. ❑

Obama is right to
say he would talk
with Palestinian
leaders who seek
real peace. But I
implore him to tread
cautiously in choos-
ing who he seeks to
negotiate with.

rH ce •
to
ca
Z z
0 0
0. a-

:

Can Barack Obama
help resolve the
Israeli-Palestinian
conflict?

Will Obama's popular-
ity ultimately hamper
him as president?

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