Obama's GOP roster share anti-Israel views (updated)
Barack Obama claims that he is a post-partisan politician and promises he will work well with Republicans. This is contrary to his history in the Senate to date and also flies in the face of the National Journal, which found him to be the most liberal member of the Senate.
In any case, he does try to sprinkle a few Republicans about him to burnish his credibility -- which these days needs a lot of burnishing. In any case, there also seems to be a common theme among the Republicans that support Barack Obama: they have anti-Israel views.
The New York Sun earlier this year noted that Obama expressed a desire to bring Senators Chuck Hagel and Dick Lugar on board should he become President. The Sun editorialized that this was disheartening since these two Senators were known for their problematic attitudes towards the American-Israel relationship. Today, the Obama campaign announced a new group of Republicans who support his candidacy.
A professor coming to Columbia University this fall to head up a Middle East studies institute has said that killing armed Israelis is legitimate Palestinian "resistance" to occupation.
The money Columbia is using to pay the professor comes in part from Rita Hauser, a high-profile New York philanthropist whose former law firm was a registered agent of the Palestinian Authority. Also contributing was a foundation with close ties to Saudi Arabia.
Rashid Khalidi, a professor of history and Near Eastern languages and civilizations and director of the Center for International Studies at the University of Chicago, is set to move to Columbia University this fall, where he will teach as the Edward Said professor of Middle Eastern studies, a new - and supposedly anonymously funded - position at the school. He will also direct the school's Middle East Institute.The New York Sun has obtained an audio recording of a speech Mr. Khalidi gave on June 7, 2002, at a conference of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.While condemning violence against innocent civilians, which Mr. Khalidi said "means condemning Israel,"he appeared to condone the killing of armed Israelis in the next breath."...Killing civilians is a war crime. It's a violation of international law.They are not soldiers. They're civilians, they're unarmed. The ones who are armed, the ones who are soldiers, the ones who are in occupation, that's different.That's resistance," Mr. Khalidi said.
Update -- Patrick Casey reminds us Chafee already quit the GOP:
Chafee quit the Republican Party in 2007, as this story in the 9/16/07 Providence Journal tells us:
Actually Jim Leach -- the other Republican endorsing Obama (along with Hauser and Chafee) -- is, along with them, very cool towards Israel, which means all the new GOP people who endorse Obama and problematic on the American Israel relationship.
The week's most creative idea comes from Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Leach (R-Iowa). The lawmakers last week proposed that the Bush administration send an emergency negotiating team to the region consisting of three ex-presidents: Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton."It's the dumbest idea to come down the pike since Jimmy Carter called the late Syrian President Hafez Assad his best friend in the Middle East," said a long-time pro-Israel lobbyist.
Republican Congressman Jim Leach of Iowa says the possible use of military force by the United States or Israel to eliminate Iran's nuclear installations would be an unwise course of action.
In a statement released November 24, "The Case for Restraint in Iran," Leach gave a number of reasons for his position.
-- It would complicate U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq. "Any strike on Iran would be expected to immediately precipitate a violent reaction in the Shi'a part of Iraq, where the U.S. has some support today. With ease, Iranian influence on the majority Shi'a of Iraq could make our ability to constructively influence the direction of change in Iraq near hopeless," Leach said.
-- It would increase the likelihood of future terrorist operations against the United States. "If there exists today something like a one-in-three chance of another 9/11-type incident or set of incidents in the U.S. in the next few years, a preemptive strike against Iran must be assumed to increase the prospect to two-in-three," Leach said.
-- It would tempt Iran to destabilize the global economy by restricting its oil exports. "And Iran, far more than Osama bin-Laden, has within its power the ability not only to destabilize world politics, but world economies as well. Oil is, after all, the grease of economic activity, and a devastating Iranian-led cutback in supply cannot be ruled out," Leach said.
In place of military action, Leach argued that diplomatic and trade incentives should be used to encourage a dialogue with Iran.
He suggested that an attempt be made to create a nuclear-free zone in the Gulf region to ease Iranian fears "that it may be at a disadvantage in a conflict with an oil-rich neighbor."
"at immediate issue is the war in Lebanon, but there is no chance for peace in the Middle East until the Palestinian issue is settled.
The key to reaching stability is three-pronged: 1) the introduction of a multi-lateral force in Southern Lebanon; 2) the return of Israeli hostages, perhaps involving an exchange for certain Hamas officials recently detained by Israel; 3) most importantly, the establishment of Palestinian borders acceptable to both sides.
Americans for Peace Now considers Leach "sympathetic"