By Ben Cohen
Although I hate to pick holes in the candidate I believe will be the best president in recent history, Barack Obama's stance on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is political pandering at its worst.
After winning major brownie points with the international community for expressing a desire to talk with enemies, Obama flopped completely when it came to the leaders of the democratically elected Palestinian group Hamas. Obama said that his willingness to meet with foes
"does not include Hamas."
"You can't negotiate with somebody who does not recognize
the right of a country to exist so I understand why Israel
doesn't meet with Hamas," continued Obama at a campaign stop in Texas.
Firstly, there is no historical precedent for
one country recognizing the 'right' of another country to exist. It is
a meaningless demand made by Israel to force Palestinians to legitimize
the theft of their land. Hamas leaders have already stated that they
can accept the 'fact' of Israel (by implementing a long term cease fire),
but not its 'right to exist'. Mexico was not forced to accept the
United States 'right to exist' after it stole half their land in the
Secondly, it is hardly fair to not recognize Hamas for not recognizing
Israel. Obama's logic is deeply flawed and self contradictory,
especially given his previous commitment to speak to people he didn't
Obama is clearly pandering to Jewish voters and sacrificing his
principles in order to avoid serious questions. Deep down, I am sure
Obama is aware of the despicable treatment of the Palestinians.
However, it is clear that he is unwilling to stick his neck out given
the backlash he would receive for supporting a perceived Muslim cause.
Perhaps he will return to the politics of hope if in office, but right
now, he is taking a leaf straight out of George Bushes' play book.