Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In Cleveland, Obama Speaks on Jewish Issues

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!
Here's what he had to say yesterday when he met with about 100 members of Cleveland's Jewish Community at the Landerhaven function hall in Cleveland.  The NY Sun published a partial transcript of the session (as provided by Obama's presidential campaign).  Here's an excerpt:

I will also carry with me an unshakable commitment to the security of Israel and the friendship between the United States and Israel. The US Israel relationship is rooted in shared interests, shared values, shared history and in deep friendship among our people. It is supported by a strong bipartisan consensus that I am proud to be a part of and I will work tirelessly as president to uphold and enhance the friendship between the two countries. Two years ago I had a chance to travel to Israel and it left a lasting impression on me. I have long understood Israel's great dilemma, it's need for security in a difficult neighborhood and it's quest for peace with its neighbors, but there is no substitute for meeting the people of Israel. Seeing the terrain, experiencing the powerful contrast between the beautiful holy land that faces the constant threat of deadly violence. The people of Israel showed their courage and commitment to democracy everyday that they board a bus or kiss their children goodbye or argue about politics in a local café. And I know how much Israelis crave peace. I know that Prime Minister Olmert was elected with a mandate to pursue it. I pledge to make every effort to help Israel achieve that peace. I will strengthen Israel's security and strengthen Palestinian partners who support that vision and personally work for two states that can live side by side in peace and security with Israel's status as a Jewish state ensured so that Israelis and Palestinians can pursue their dreams.

I also expect to work on behalf of peace with the full knowledge that Israel still has bitter enemies who are intent on its destruction. We see their intentions every time a suicide bomber strikes, we saw their intentions with the katusha rockets that Hezbollah rained down on Israel from Lebanon in 2006 and we see it today in the Kasams that Hamas fires into Israel every single day from as close as Gaza or as far as Tehran. The Defense cooperation between the United States to Israel has been a model of success and I believe it can be deepened and strengthened. Now the gravest threat as Robert mentioned to Israel today I believe is from Iran. There a radical regime continues to pursue its capacity to build a nuclear weapon and continues to support terrorism across the region. President Ahmadinejad continues his offensive denials of the Holocaust and disturbing denunciations of Israel. recently referred to Israel as a deadly microbe and a savage animal. Threats of Israel's destruction can not be dismissed as rhetoric. The threat from Iran is real and my goal as president would be to eliminate that threat.

Ending the war in Iraq I believe will be an important first step in achieving that goal because it will increase our flexibility and credibility when we deal with Iran. Make no mistake I believe that Iran has been the biggest strategic beneficiary of this war and I intend to change that. My approach to Iran will be aggressive diplomacy I will not take any military options off the table. But I also believe that under this administration we have seen the threat grow worse and I intend to change that course.


In Cleveland, Obama Speaks on Jewish Issues

BY Staff Reporter of the Sun
February 25, 2008
URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/71813

Yesterday morning, Senator Obama of Illinois met with about 100 members of Cleveland's Jewish Community at the Landerhaven function hall in Cleveland. The following is a partial transcript of the session, as provided by Mr. Obama's presidential campaign:


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