Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Barack Obama's own "Checkers speech" may well have boxed up the Jeremiah Wright kerfuffle, at least as far as Democratic primary voters are concerned, but does he have a second such speech in him to explain away Tony McPeak's group libel? If he does, he is going to have to tell somebody that, well, they are the rubes.
"As one keen observer pointed out to me, if advocating the pre '67 border map makes one an anti-Semite, just about every iteration of the U.S. government since 1967 would qualify. Tony McPeak's verbal gymnastics do not make a "Jewish problem" for Obama. "
A few reactions here:
1) Obviously, advocating a return to 1967 borders for Israel doesn't make one an anti-semite. That's a helluva strawman.
2) It is simply not true that every US government has advocated this. The entire debate in the UNSC about the wording of the guiding resolution makes this clear ("withdraw from territories" vs. "withdraw from all the territories"). GWB has explicitly disavowed this pre-1967 formulation as well.
3) While claiming that Israel should withdraw to pre-1967 borders doesn't make someone an anti-semite, claiming / implying strongly that a Zionist cabal pushed us to a war that was prospectively (not retrospectively, that's cheating) counter to US interests comes mighty close to that line, if not going over.
4) For those of us who believe strongly that Israel is an ally who should be supported, then the bar for a candidate's advisors is rather higher than "not provably anti-semitic." If you're having rational arguments at that level, then you're already losing a large segment of the pro-Israel populace.