Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Barack Obama is a Strong Friend of Israel

Following up on my email last night, in which I wrote:
I am so sick of hearing idiotic opinions that Obama is not a friend of the Jewish people and/or his Presidency would not be good for Israel and/or he doesn't understand the grave danger of Islamic extremism (to both Israel and the U.S.) and/or would be weak in the face of it!
For those of you who have no concerns about Sen. Obama in regard to these issues, you can ignore this email. For those of you who want more information, below are two emails and attached are 22 (yes, 22!) documents that will hopefully put this issue to rest for anyone who takes the time to read them. [Email me at WTilson@T2PartnersLLC.com if you'd like me to email them to you.]
-------------------

From: Alan D. Solomont
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 5:19 PM
Subject: The Facts About Obama

Friends-

Over the past several weeks, a great deal of misinformation about Barack Obama has been circulating in the Jewish community. Ever since Iowa proved that Senator Obama can compete with anyone to become the Democratic nominee for president and quite possibly the next President of the United States, emails and published articles, seemingly aimed at Jewish voters, have attempted to paint a false picture that ranges from questioning Senator Obama’s support for Israel to outright lies about his religion.

In an effort to provide as much factual information as possible, I have compiled a fairly comprehensive body of material that should set the record straight on everything from legitimate questions about the Senator’s strong support for Israel to the ugly smears that have sadly made their way into the public square.

This is probably more information than you wish to receive, so here is an annotated list that should help you pick and choose:

  1. Barack Obama: A Strong Record of Supporting the Security, Peace and Prosperity of Israel. This is the Obama Campaign’s statement of the Senator’s positions supporting the State of Israel.

  1. Transcript of Remarks by Senator Barack Obama to the AIPAC Policy Forum in Chicago, March 2, 2007

  1. A Letter from Florida Congressman Robert Wexler, a leading Jewish member of Congress and staunch supporter of Israel, about why he supports Barack Obama

  1. A letter from Jewish Philanthropist Lester Crown from Chicago regarding his support for Obama

  1. Obama and Israel, A New York Sun Editorial: http://www.nysun.com/article/69154

  1. Obama woos Jewish Voters, an article published by Ynet News.com: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3374507,00.html

  1. An Open Letter to the Jewish Community from leaders of major Jewish organizations condemning the smear campaign against Senator Obama on the internet

  1. An Open Letter to the Jewish Community from seven Jewish U.S. Senators, none of whom has endorsed a Democratic presidential candidate, expressing a similar sentiment to the letter from Jewish communal leaders

  1. A Statement by the National Jewish Democratic Council, which does not endorse any presidential candidate, about Barack Obama’s friendship with the Jewish community and support for Israel

  1. A Statement by Senator Obama condemning Louis Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism

  1. The Hate Campaign Against Obama, an article by M.J. Rosenberg, of the Israel policy Forum: http://coffeehouse.tpmcafe.com/blog/coffeehouse/2008/jan/10/the_hate_campaign_against_obama_in_jewish_community

  1. Sliming Obama, a Newsweek fact check on the hate campaign targeting Obama: http://www.newsweek.com/id/91424

  1. Letter to UN Ambassador re: Gaza

  1. Response to right wing blogger Ed Lasky’s misinformation about Obama.

  1. Op Ed I have submitted to Jewish Advocate.

Alan D. Solomont, Chairman/CEO

SolomontBailis Ventures, LLC

One Gateway Center

Suite 902

Newton, Massachusetts 02458

Phone 617.630.8081 Fax 617.630.8463

ads@sb-ventures.com

=======================

Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2008 01:45:16 -0600
Subject: Barack Obama is a Strong Friend of Israel

Dear Friends,

Various attacks on Barack Obama, his personal background, and his positions on Israel have circulated recently in the Jewish Community. As Senator Obama has said, “Fortunately, the American people are, I think, smarter than people give them credit for.”

In addition to the facts below rebutting the ‘Obama and Israel’ false attack piece by right wing blogger Ed Lasky, we have attached Senator Obama’s positions on Israel, recent speeches on the subject, and other information to allow you to make the informed judgment for yourself. Barack Obama’s policies and his strong support of Israel speak for themselves and we ask that you forward this information on to all who have received the attack emails.

Additionally, Senator Obama has spoken out about his consistent and longstanding denouncements of anti-Semitism and Louis Farrakhan. See quote below.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and thank you for taking the time to review the facts.

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Barack Obama reiterates his consistent and long standing denouncements of anti-Semitism and Louis Farrakhan:

“I have always denounced the abhorrent anti-Semitic views of Louis Farrakhan. I have done so since I was a community organizer on the South side of Chicago 20 years ago. And so, I don’t think that’s in question. My church has never issued anti-Semitic statements, nor have I heard my pastor ever utter anything anti-Semitic. And if I had, then I would have quit the church.

“What is true, is that I think they made a mistake in judgment, the magazine that was affiliated with the church in praising Farrakhan’s…primarily for the work that he’s done on ex-offenders and they are a presence in Chicago, they have done work in the community, that often draws attention that is separate from some of these previous remarks.

“I think that it doesn’t excuse in any way the fact that Mr. Farrakhan said in the past is unacceptable. And I was very clear both with my pastor and with the public, that you cannot excuse such statements. So I think that I have been absolutely clear in terms of my position on this issue. As I said before, I think that this is a situation in which because Farrakhan is based in Chicago and has done work that is separate apart from his reprehensible statements, that there are times when people don’t understand the pain that those statements originally have caused, and I will continue to strongly speak out anti-Semitism in all its forms. That’s part of the reason why I’ve always had such strong support in the Jewish community that is familiar with my track record because they know that I don’t tolerate that stuff, and I’m willing to say it right away in front of other audiences. I was just at Ebenezer church for Dr. King’s anniversary and specifically stated to that audience, the unacceptability of anti-Semitism in the African-American community or any community.”

Senator Barack Obama on JTA – 1/28/08
---------------------------

FACTS ABOUT BARACK OBAMA AND ISRAEL

Right wing Bush-supporting Lasky written piece is so riddled with errors, it has no credibility.
Please share the facts with those who have received this email.


RHETORIC
:
“Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Jr. is the long-time Pastor of Obama's church, and Obama has credited him as being an inspiration and guiding light for him…He also has, in the words of the Chicago Tribune, a militant past…Pastor Wright is also a supporter of Louis Farrakhan, and in 1984 traveled with him to visit Col. Muammar al-Gadaffi, an archenemy of Israel's and America and a firm supporter of terror groups.” [American Thinker <http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/03/barack_obama_and_israel_1.html> , 3/22/07]

REALITY: ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: NO EVIDENCE OF ANY ANTI-SEMITISM BY REVEREND WRIGHT; WRIGHT DID NOT ENDORSE FARRAKHAN’S VIEWS

Anti-Defamation League Had “No Evidence Of Any Anti-Semitism By Mr. Wright.” The New York Times reported, “For its part, the Anti-Defamation League says it has no evidence of any anti-Semitism by Mr. Wright.” [New York Times <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/30/us/politics/30obama.html?pagewanted=3> , 4/30/07]

Wright Did Not Endorse Farrakhan’s Views. Wright’s involvement with Farrakhan “implied no endorsement of their views.” [New York Times <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/30/us/politics/30obama.html?pagewanted=3> , 4/30/07]

**

RHETORIC: “Wright has also been a severe critic of Israel.” [American Thinker <http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/03/barack_obama_and_israel_1.html> , 3/22/07]

REALITY: OBAMA DOES NOT AGREE WITH WRIGHT ABOUT ALL ASPECTS OF POLITICS, AND SPECIFICALLY DISAGREES WITH WRIGHT ON ISRAEL

Obama Said He And Reverend Wright “Don’t Agree On Everything.” The New York Times reported, “But ‘we don’t agree on everything,’ Mr. Obama said. ‘I’ve never had a thorough conversation with him about all aspects of politics.’” [New York Times <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/30/us/politics/30obama.html?pagewanted=3> , 4/30/07]

Old News: Critics Have Recycled The Same Charges Against Wright And The Church. The Christian Science Monitor reported, “And conservatives have pummeled Wright for his Afrocentric beliefs, his equation of Zionism with racism, and his remarks on the 9/11 attacks.” [Christian Science Monitor <http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0716/p01s01-uspo.html?page=1> , 7/16/07]

Obama “Strongly Disagrees” With Wright Position On Israel. “Wright remains Obama's pastor and friend, [Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki] said, but they do not see eye to eye on every issue. Obama, she said, ‘strongly disagrees with any portrayal of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that advocates divestment from Israel or expresses anything less than strong support for Israel's security.’” [Christian Science Monitor <http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0716/p01s01-uspo.html?page=1> , 7/16/07]

**

RHETORIC: Ali Abunimah wrote that Obama said, "Hey, I'm sorry I haven't said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race. I'm hoping when things calm down I can be more up front." He referred to my activism, including columns I was contributing to the Chicago Tribune critical of Israeli and US policy, "Keep up the good work!" [American Thinker <http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/03/barack_obama_and_israel_1.html> , 3/22/07]

REALITY: LASKY HIMSELF SAID THAT THE SOURCE WAS NOT RELIABLE



Lasky Said It Himself, Abunimah Was Not “The Most Reliable Source;” Rashid Khalidi: Obama Was Never Supportive Of The Palestinian Cause. Lasky wrote, “True, Abunimah may not be the most reliable source…” The New York Daily News reported, “Obama got help from an unlikely source yesterday when pro-Palestinian Prof. Rashid Khalidi denied a report that Obama used to be sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and had recently shifted his stance to pro-Israel. Khalidi spoke to the Daily News to rebut a report on a pro-Palestinian blog that was circulated by Clinton supporters. The blog, the Electronic Intifada, offered no evidence that Obama used to be supportive of the Palestinian cause, but cited private conversations, including one at a 2000 Obama fund-raiser hosted by Khalidi. Khalidi, now head of Columbia University's Middle East Institute, said he hosted the fund-raiser because he was friends with Obama while the two lived in Chicago.” [New York Daily News, 3/6/07]


**

RHETORIC: Lasky wrote, “Most Congressmen have a solid legislative record on bills considered important to the American-Israel relationship-after all, most Americans have a very favorable view towards Israel. Most legislative acts regarding the American-Israel relationship are uncontroversial-which is the reason one often sees such votes as being supportive of the alliance between the two nations. He has, to repeat, been a member of the Senate for all of two years and his record is thus very thin in this regard.” [American Thinker <http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/03/barack_obama_and_israel_1.html> , 3/22/07]

REALITY: OBAMA CO-SPONSORED THE PALESTINIAN ANTI-TERRORISM AND A RESOLUTION ENDORSING ISRAEL’S RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE AND CONDEMNING HAMAS AND HEZBOLLAH, BOTH OF WHICH PASSED

Obama Cosponsored The Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act Which Would Discourage International Aid To Hamas Unless It Recognizes Israel, Disarms And Renounces Violence. In 2006, Obama cosponsored the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006, which: (1) States that it shall be U.S. policy to support a peaceful, two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in accordance with the Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Roadmap), and oppose those organizations, individuals, and countries that support terrorism and violently reject such two-state solution; (2) provides assistance to the Hamas-controlled PA only during a period for which a presidential certification has determined that no PA ministry, agency, or instrumentality is controlled by Hamas unless the Hamas-controlled PA has publicly acknowledged the Jewish state of Israel's right to exist and the Hamas-controlled PA has made demonstrable progress toward purging from its security services individuals with ties to terrorism. [S. 2370, Became Public Law No: 109-446, 12/21/06]


Obama Cosponsored A Resolution Endorsing Israel’s Right To Self-Defense And Condemning Hamas And Hezbollah. In 2006, Obama cosponsored a resolution condemning Hezbollah and Hamas and their state sponsors and supporting Israel's exercise of its right to self-defense. The resolution (1) reaffirmed steadfast support for Israel, (2) supports Israel's right of self-defense and its right to take appropriate action to deter aggression by terrorist groups and their state sponsors, (3) urges the President to continue to fully support Israel in exercising its right of self-defense in Lebanon and Gaza, (4) calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Israeli soldiers held captive by Hezbollah or Hamas, (5) condemns the governments of Iran and Syria for their continued support for Hezbollah and Hamas and holds these governments responsible for the acts of aggression carried out by Hezbollah and Hamas against Israel. [S. Res 534, Passed/agreed to in Senate, 7/18/06]


**

RHETORIC: “He recently gave a speech before a group of supporters of Israel, at an AIPAC meeting in Chicago, that left many nonplussed. This speech was, in part, prompted by his knowledge that a panel of experts in Israel considers him to be the candidate that would support the state of Israel the least. While his supporters naturally heaped praise, when a more careful analysis of the speech is made, there is very little of substance regarding his support for our ally, Israel.” [American Thinker <http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/03/barack_obama_and_israel_1.html> , 3/22/07]

REALITY: OBAMA’S SPEECH WAS WELL-RECEIVED AND CONFIRMED THAT HE WAS “PRO-ISRAEL. PERIOD.”

Rosner On Obama’s AIPAC Speech: “Obama Passed Any Test Anyone Might Have Wanted Him To Pass. So, He Is Pro-Israel. Period.” Schmuel Rosner wrote, “Barack Obama's big speech on Israel is now over, and as expected <http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/rosnerBlog.jhtml?itemNo=826921&amp;contrassID=25&amp;subContrassID=0&amp;sbSubContrassID=1&amp;listSrc=Y&amp;art=2#article826921> , the candidate made no secret of his support and dedication to the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel. "My view is that the United States' special relationship with Israel obligates us to be helpful to them in the search for credible partners with whom they can make peace, while also supporting Israel in defending itself against enemies sworn to its destruction," were Obama's words to Haaretz <http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/826665.html> last week. Today, he sounded as strong as Clinton, as supportive as Bush, as friendly as Giuliani. At least rhetorically, Obama passed any test anyone might have wanted him to pass. So, he is pro-Israel. Period.” [Haaretz <http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/rosnerBlog.jhtml?itemNo=832667&amp;contrassID=25&amp;subContrassID=0&amp;sbSubContrassID=1&amp;listSrc=Y&amp;art=1> , 3/07]

Ø Debby Oshri: “I was impressed…He has good thoughts and good intentions.” [Chicago Jewish Star, 3/9/07]

Ø Roslyn Grodzin: “He said everything we wanted to hear.” [Chicago Jewish Star, 3/9/07]

Ø Sam Grodzin: “said he was ‘very impressed.’” [Chicago Jewish Star, 3/9/07]

Ø Mike Lieberman: “He said what he had to say.” [Chicago Jewish Star, 3/9/07]

Ø Sara Rafel: “I was very glad to see that he was here and that he expressed support for Israel and the U.S.” [Chicago Jewish Star, 3/9/07]

**

RHETORIC: “He stated that efforts to achieve peace with its neighbors ‘begin with a clear and strong commitment to the security of Israel.’ Is this a breakthrough for Senator Obama as it has been so hailed? Israel is the only true ally of America in the region, a fellow democracy and a Western nation. Shouldn't Senator Obama believe that such a commitment to its security be important as opposed to security for Hezbollah, Hamas, or Iran, or any of the anti-American dictatorships that plague the region? This was not a gaffe on his part but seems to reflect a view that the Israelis should bear the burden and take the risky steps for peace.” [American Thinker <http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/03/barack_obama_and_israel_1.html> , 3/22/07]

REALITY: OBAMA SAID THAT ISRAEL’S SECURITY IS THE BASIS FOR PEACE NEGOTIATIONS

Obama Spoke With Prime Minister Olmert As Annapolis Talks Began, Reiterated His Commitment To Israel’s Security As The Basis For Peace Negotiations. Obama said in a release, “Annapolis is a hopeful development because Israelis and Palestinians are engaged in serious discussions again and the countries of the region are involved, and I commend Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas for making the effort. I spoke with Prime Minister Olmert today, and assured him of my strong support for this effort and my unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security as a core principle as negotiations move forward. The Administration deserves credit for finally trying to use presidential diplomacy to bring the parties together. It's a big change from the last six and a half years, when President Bush badly neglected this conflict. Recognizing the complexity of the issues under discussion and the importance of the conflict, it is my hope that this conference is just the start of a sustained push by the United States, the Israelis and the Palestinians to achieve the goal of two states living side-by-side in peace and security.” [Press Release <http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post_group/ObamaHQ/CNdh> , 11/27/07]

**

RHETORIC: Lasky said that Obama said that the, “Israel government must make difficult concessions for the peace process to restart.” [American Thinker <http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/03/barack_obama_and_israel_1.html> , 3/22/07]

REALITY: No He Didn’t. This quote is only referenced in Lasky’s article, does not appear in Nexis, google, or other search engines. [Search, 1/15/08]

**

RHETORIC: “Furthermore, Obama stated that he supports a resumption of aid to the Palestinian government (there has been a non-stop flow of humanitarian aid) provided the government "renounces terrorism." This also ignored the few simple conditions that the international community has laid down for such resumption of aid to continue: not only must the Palestinians renounce terrorism, but they also must stop it (Arafat repeatedly denounced terrorism in English, while praising and planning for it in Arabic); Palestinians also must respect and abide by previous agreements made with Israel and they must accept the right of Israel to exist. These conditions Senator Obama would seemingly waive as long as Palestinians made noises about "renouncing terrorism" - which they certainly have experience doing!” [American Thinker <http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/03/barack_obama_and_israel_1.html> , 3/22/07]

REALITY: Obama Cosponsored The Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act Which Would Discourage International Aid To Hamas Unless It Recognizes Israel, Disarms And Renounces Violence. In 2006, Obama cosponsored the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006, which: (1) States that it shall be U.S. policy to support a peaceful, two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in accordance with the Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Roadmap), and oppose those organizations, individuals, and countries that support terrorism and violently reject such two-state solution; (2) provides assistance to the Hamas-controlled PA only during a period for which a presidential certification has determined that no PA ministry, agency, or instrumentality is controlled by Hamas unless the Hamas-controlled PA has publicly acknowledged the Jewish state of Israel's right to exist and the Hamas-controlled PA has made demonstrable progress toward purging from its security services individuals with ties to terrorism. [S. 2370, Became Public Law No: 109-446, 12/21/06]


**

RHETORIC: Senator Obama also stated during his Iowa trip, "Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people" which not only ignores the Israelis who have been terrorized and killed for years but also ignores refugees from the genocide in Darfur or the daily terror the Iraqis are experience from Muslim on Muslim violence. Instead, by identifying the Palestinians as suffering, he implicitly seems to be blaming the Israelis for their plight (though he did mention their own government failures). [American Thinker <http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/03/barack_obama_and_israel_1.html> , 3/22/07]

REALITY
: OBAMA ACTUALLY BLAMED PALESTINIAN LEADERSHIP FOR STALLED PEACE PROCESS

Obama Said He That Cause Of Palestinian Suffering Was Their Own Leadership, “But The Damage Had Been Done.” The Baltimore Jewish Times reported that Obama “went on to say that the cause of that suffering was the Palestinians' own terror-sponsoring leadership. But the damage had been done…Mr. Obama, like so many others, is deemed a threat to Israel despite consistent support for the positions of pro-Israel groups. His sin: advocating other positions that may not be on the current talking points of pro-Israel groups, but which are consistent with official Israeli and U.S. policy.” [Baltimore Jewish Times, 3/23/07]



New York Times Issued A Correction On Obama’s Position On Middle East Peace, Saying That Obama Blamed Hamas, Not Israel. The correction read, “An article yesterday about competition for Jewish support between Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama incorrectly described Mr. Obama's views about the culpability for stalled peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis. Mr. Obama blames Hamas, which controls much of the Palestinian government, for the stalled peace talks; he does not blame Israel.” [New York Times, 3/15/07]


**

RHETORIC: “Furthermore, why does almost every off the cuff remark he makes-remarks that spring from his heart as much as from his brain-have an anti-Israel slant? Anyone see a pattern here? Anyone? Are these actually closer to the nature of the policies he would follow as President?” [American Thinker <http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/03/barack_obama_and_israel_1.html> , 3/22/07]

REALITY: NEW YORK SUN PRAISED OBAMA’S COMMITMENT TO ISRAEL

New York Sun: Obama’s “Commitment To Israel…Is Quite Moving” Which “Israel’s Friends In America…Can Warmly Welcome.” The New York Sun wrote in an editorial, “At least by our lights, Mr. Obama's commitment to Israel, as he has articulated it so far in his campaign, is quite moving and a tribute to the broad, bipartisan support that the Jewish state has in America…But as a candidate, he has chosen to put himself on the record in terms that Israel's friends in America, at least those not motivated by pure political partisanship, can warmly welcome.” [New York Sun <http://www.nysun.com/article/69154> , 1/9/08]

1 Comments:

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