NY Sun on Obama

Some readers may recall that the New York Sun had one supportive editorial many months ago regarding Senator Obama. The campaign has routinely used that column to build support in the pro-Israel community. The campaign, understandably enough, has not mentioned a string of critical New York Sun columns, op-eds, and editorials since then. The campaign will certainly not mention today's NY Sun editorial, which joins what is now a long line of critical commentary in a paper known for its pro-Israel and pro-American perspectives.

If Senator Obama's mission yesterday at B'nai Torah in Boca Raton was to reassure the Jewish community on foreign policy, put us down as unreassured. These columns have been defending him from "Primary Colors"-style claims by his political opponents that he is an enemy of Israel.... Indeed, on some level it was stirring to see Mr. Obama stand in Florida yesterday and pledge himself to Israel's security while speaking movingly about the Jews who traveled on buses to help win civil rights for African Americans.


Yet there was something disturbing - not about the candidate's youthful background or his name or a few of his third-tier foreign policy hangers-on, but about some of the words Mr. Obama himself spoke yesterday. He spoke of Israel lying between the "West Bank and the Mediterranean," using language he had spoken before to emphasize Israel's vulnerability and turning it into what sounded like a pre-judgment about borders for a state that used to be between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. He spoke of wanting to withdraw from Iraq and negotiate directly with Iran, relying on, he said, Europe and the Gulf States, along with the United Nations, and claiming that for America, legitimacy would come through diplomacy. He claimed that eight years of bluster toward Iran hadn't made American any safer.

In fact, the Bush administration has been conducting low-level negotiations with Iran, directly and through intermediaries, for years, to no avail. The Battle of Iraq, far from strengthening Iran, may have briefly caused Iran to suspend its nuclear program. No one who cares about Israel's security would propose putting it in the hands of the Gulf States, Europe, or the United Nations, all of which are home to abiding hostility to the Jewish state. The Bush administration tried giving Europe the lead on Iran policy, and Democrats like Senator Clinton criticized it. "I don't believe you face threats like Iran or North Korea by outsourcing it to others," Mrs. Clinton said in 2006. Now Mr. Obama wants to try this kind of failed approach all over again.

If Mr. Obama is correct that diplomacy lends legitimacy to America, diplomacy will also lend legitimacy to the regime in Iran.

In terms of prejudgment, he used this language over a year ago: "flying over Palestinian territories". In the same podcast he talked about "the separation barrier" -- instead of the securty fence. Clearly, the term "separation barrier" is a Carter-like allusion to apartheid.
Some readers may recall that the New York Sun had one supportive editorial many months ago regarding Senator Obama. The campaign has routinely used that column to build support in the pro-Israel community. The campaign, understandably enough, has not mentioned a string of critical New York Sun columns, op-eds, and editorials since then. The campaign will certainly not mention today's NY Sun editorial, which joins what is now a long line of critical commentary in a paper known for its pro-Israel and pro-American perspectives.

If Senator Obama's mission yesterday at B'nai Torah in Boca Raton was to reassure the Jewish community on foreign policy, put us down as unreassured. These columns have been defending him from "Primary Colors"-style claims by his political opponents that he is an enemy of Israel.... Indeed, on some level it was stirring to see Mr. Obama stand in Florida yesterday and pledge himself to Israel's security while speaking movingly about the Jews who traveled on buses to help win civil rights for African Americans.


Yet there was something disturbing - not about the candidate's youthful background or his name or a few of his third-tier foreign policy hangers-on, but about some of the words Mr. Obama himself spoke yesterday. He spoke of Israel lying between the "West Bank and the Mediterranean," using language he had spoken before to emphasize Israel's vulnerability and turning it into what sounded like a pre-judgment about borders for a state that used to be between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. He spoke of wanting to withdraw from Iraq and negotiate directly with Iran, relying on, he said, Europe and the Gulf States, along with the United Nations, and claiming that for America, legitimacy would come through diplomacy. He claimed that eight years of bluster toward Iran hadn't made American any safer.

In fact, the Bush administration has been conducting low-level negotiations with Iran, directly and through intermediaries, for years, to no avail. The Battle of Iraq, far from strengthening Iran, may have briefly caused Iran to suspend its nuclear program. No one who cares about Israel's security would propose putting it in the hands of the Gulf States, Europe, or the United Nations, all of which are home to abiding hostility to the Jewish state. The Bush administration tried giving Europe the lead on Iran policy, and Democrats like Senator Clinton criticized it. "I don't believe you face threats like Iran or North Korea by outsourcing it to others," Mrs. Clinton said in 2006. Now Mr. Obama wants to try this kind of failed approach all over again.

If Mr. Obama is correct that diplomacy lends legitimacy to America, diplomacy will also lend legitimacy to the regime in Iran.

In terms of prejudgment, he used this language over a year ago: "flying over Palestinian territories". In the same podcast he talked about "the separation barrier" -- instead of the securty fence. Clearly, the term "separation barrier" is a Carter-like allusion to apartheid.