From the Palestinian Authority Daily: "Twenty-three-year old Ibrahim Abu Jayyab sits by the computer in the Nusairat refugee camp (in the Gaza Strip) trying to call American citizens in order to convince them to vote for the Democratic candidate for president, Barack Obama..."
Like many Palestinians, Abu Jayyab is excited about the prospect of an Obama presidency. (By the way, the Gaza Strip is completely under the control of Hamas. Why then do they persist in speaking of "refugee camps"? But of course, we know why.) If Abu Jayyab and many others in the Palestinian areas are delighted, why are so many American Jewish voters feeling the same way? One side or the other has the wrong man. Which is it?
I've heard from some American Jews that they do not believe Obama is sincere in his leftism. They believe/hope that the anti-Israel sentiments and associations of his past were purely opportunistic; that once in the White House he will shed them like yesterday's fashions. That's quite a leap of faith.
Many politicians have distanced themselves from positions and associations of their youths. But in Obama's case, he is distancing himself from positions staked out as recently as 2003. As National Review Online has reported, the Los Angeles Times is apparently sitting on a videotape showing Obama's remarks at a farewell dinner that year for Rashid Khalidi, the one-time PLO spokesman who now heads the Middle East Studies Department at Columbia. (Columbia University's shame is a subject for another column.) Khalidi is not distancing himself from his past. Consistent with what you'd expect from someone who justified PLO attacks on civilians in Israel and Lebanon from 1976 to 1982, Khalidi routinely refers to Israel as a "racist" and "apartheid" state, and professes to believe in a "one-state" solution to the conflict. Guess which country would have to disappear for that "one" state to come into existence?