Obama's problems with Jewish voters who care about Israel
On Friday, Mr. McCain criticized Mr. Obama for advocating unconditional talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who last week called Israel a "stinking corpse" which is doomed to disappear. In October, Mr. Obama attacked then-Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton for supporting a nonbinding Senate resolution declaring Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization — which it manifestly is. (The resolution passed the Senate 76-22 in September, winning the votes of almost half of Senate Democrats.)
On Friday, Robert Malley, an Obama advisor, resigned from the senator's campaign as reports surfaced that he had met with the terrorist group Hamas. Last month, Hamas political advisor Ahmad Yousef said on WABC Radio in New York that he hoped Mr. Obama would be elected president. . . .
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ALI ABUNIMAH, a Palestinian activist from Chicago, insists that at least in the recent past, Obama wanted to see U.S. policy move in that direction.
"In 2000, when Obama unsuccessfully ran for Congress I heard him speak at a campaign fundraiser hosted by a University of Chicago professor," Abunimah has written. "On that occasion and others Obama was forthright in his criticism of US policy and his call for an even-handed approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict."
Abunimah says that as late as 2004, during his tough primary race, Obama praised him for his activism, and apologized, "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."
The Obama campaign has disputed Abunimah's account, and there is no audio to back him up. But Abunimah has released a photo of Obama breaking bread with Edward Said, one of the leading anti-Israel intellectuals of the 20th century, at a 1998 Arab community event in Chicago.
Furthermore, Obama has ties with Rashid Khalidi, who currently serves as the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University. Khalidi, who once served as a flak for Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization, is an active proponent of the view that U.S. policy is too biased in favor of Israel.