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View Diary: President Obama, American Jews, and Israel (47 comments)

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  •  You get a top and a reco from me today. (4+ / 0-)

    Your diary caught my attention because I was not certain about Obama's views on Israel, other than the media-reported engagement he's had with AIPAC.  I'll be honest - I'm not a fan of AIPAC at all; in fact I think their lobbying efforts have clouded some of the real issues involved in Israeli-Palestinian relations.  So I came into the diary with serious questions about how Obama would handle the situation.

    Thankfully, your quotes have provided some much needed clarity into how he would look at the situation, specifically these passages:

    Bold sections by diarist, Italicized sections reflect my emphasis

    This is where I get to be honest and I hope I'm not out of school here. I think there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt a unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you're anti-Israel and that can't be the measure of our friendship with Israel. If we cannot have a honest dialogue about how do we achieve these goals, then we're not going to make progress. And frankly some of the commentary that I've seen which suggests guilt by association or the notion that unless we are never ever going to ask any difficult questions about how we move peace forward or secure Israel that is non military or non belligerent or doesn't talk about just crushing the opposition that that somehow is being soft or anti-Israel, I think we're going to have problems moving forward. And that I think is something we have to have an honest dialogue about.


    [O]ne of the things that struck me when I went to Israel was how much more open the debate was around these issues in Israel than they are sometimes here in the United States. It's very ironic. I sat down with the head of Israeli security forces and his view of the Palestinians was incredibly nuanced because he's dealing with these people every day. There's good and there's bad, and he was willing to say sometimes we make mistakes and we made this miscalculation and if we are just pressing down on these folks constantly without giving them some prospects for hope, that's not good for our security situation. There was a very honest, thoughtful debate taking place inside Israel. All of you, I'm sure, have experienced this when you travel there. Understandably, because of the pressure that Israel is under, I think the U.S. pro-Israel community is sometimes a little more protective or concerned about opening up that conversation. But all I'm saying though is that actually ultimately should be our goal, to have that same clear eyed view about how we approach these issues.

    This seems to me like very clear, mature and forward-looking policy of the kind that elected officials in the United States have not expressed publically in a long time.  Sure we have to help Israel and offer them protection if they request it, but we should not take sides against the Palestinians if we are trying to create a solution that includes them as an equal partner and we should call Israel out when they do something destructive to the process.

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