WHO IS BARACK OBAMA ?
Sen. Barack Obama on Wednesday criticized former President Carter for meeting with leaders of the Islamic terrorist group Hamas as he tried to reassure Jewish voters that his candidacy isn't a threat to them or U.S. support for Israel.
The Democratic presidential candidate's comments to a group of Jewish leaders were his first on Carter's controversial meeting scheduled this week in Egypt.
Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting John McCain earlier in the week called on Obama to repudiate Carter's meeting.
Obama told the group he had a "fundamental disagreement" with Carter, who was rebuffed by Israeli leaders during a peace mission to the Middle East this week.
When speaking to the arabs:
But now comes a very interesting blog entry by the pro-Palestinian blogger Ali Abunimah at The Electronic Intifada, who alleges that Obama has changed to a far more stridently pro-Israel position as his national aspirations developed.
"The last time I spoke to Obama was in the winter of 2004 at a gathering in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood," Abunimah writes. "He was in the midst of a primary campaign to secure the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate seat he now occupies. But at that time polls showed him trailing.
"As he came in from the cold and took off his coat, I went up to greet him. He responded warmly, and volunteered, '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.' He referred to my activism, including columns I was contributing to the The Chicago Tribune critical of Israeli and US policy, 'Keep up the good work!"
The flimsiness of Obama's foreign policy views was made crystal clear today. He criticized Jimmy Carter for talking with Hamas:"
"saying he would not talk to the Islamist group until it recognized Israel and renounced terrorism."
"[T]he greatest threat to Israel comes from Iran and said the United States should talk to Iran directly."My approach to Iran will be based upon aggressive diplomacy," he said."What it means is that we come to the table with a very clear set of objectives and a very clear set of demands -- that Iran ceases from pursuing nuclear weapons, that it stops funding Hezbollah and Hamas, that it ends its noxious statements about Israel and the threats directed towards Israel," he said."The current policy of not talking is not working and I believe its time to change that," he said.