A pro-Barack Obama video being distributed by the Jewish Council for Education and Research purports to show several high-ranking Israelis as supporting Obama’s policies for Israel. Now at least some of the people featured in the video accuse the JCER of taking their remarks out of context. One of them, retired General Uzi Dayan, says he was deliberately misled as to the nature of the project:
“It’s not only misleading, it was an interview about what the next president was going to have to deal with,” former deputy chief of staff Maj.-Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan told The Jerusalem Post. “And to know that they used this interview and took five second, and put me in a list of people praising Barack Obama…
“It wasn’t about the campaign, it was about the political and security issues of the Middle East that the next president should be involved in,” he continued. “Nothing was said about Obama or [Republican presidential candidate John] McCain.”
“I don’t want other people to interfere in my elections, and I must not interfere with the elections in the United States,” he said, adding that to do so would be neither “ethical nor smart.” …
Former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy, who appeared in the video praising the Democratic candidate, also said that he was misled.
“I was interviewed for a documentary dealing with what issues the new American president must deal with regarding the Middle East,” Halevy told the Post. “I was asked about the candidates, and was complimentary to both.”
The Jerusalem Post has the video on its page at the link. It’s obviously designed to get Jewish voters in America to be comfortable with the notion of a President Obama in terms of his policy on Israel. The statements in the video attack George Bush as an unwitting opponent of Israel, even though one of the people saying this also acknowledges that the Bush administration has been the best friend Israel has had in Israeli-American history. The implication is that John McCain would be four more years of the same Bush policies that have not been sufficient to provide a breakthrough with the Palestinians.
However, the truth is that there will not be peace between those two sides until both sides want peace rather than ultimate victory, and America can’t decide that for either. We can do a full-court diplomatic press for two years, as we have done in this administration, and Hamas and Fatah will still want to take back all of Israel, and Israelis will still not want to let them do it. America makes a handy whipping post for those who want to ignore the basic truth of that statement, but we can’t do much to bring peace to people who fundamentally reject it.
Under those circumstances, do Israelis prefer an extension of the friendship of the last eight years under a seasoned foreign-policy expert like John McCain, or a neophyte whose advisers in the area suggest transferring American military aid from Israel to Hamas and Fatah and occupying Israel with a “massive” force, as Samantha Power did? A novice with another apprentice, Robert Malley, who met with Hamas several times over the last few years? I doubt you’ll see those issues raised in the next JCER video.