Opinion  Yoram Ettinger
Obama, McCain and Israel
Yoram Ettinger
Published: 27.09.08, 14:13
Comment Comment
Print comment Print comment
Back to article
78 Talkbacks for this article
1. Good article.
Connie ,   Virginia   (09.27.08)
surprised to see it in ynet since it lays out the differences between the two to McCain's advantage and tells why Obama is dangerous for Israel although beloved by American Jews. Why that is I don't know. Someone else can tackle that question. It seems all the pieces are coming together for a last days' showdown. The economic turmoil here, Russia back being a bully, a nuclear Iran and Obama being president. Why do I feel feel depressed now?
2. Tlhis is not Obama's worldview at all . . .
robin ,   israel   (09.27.08)
And your article contradicts itself: first you say that despite Nixon's worldview against Israel, when it came to real deeds, he helped Israel. Here you are talking about worldviews of two presidential candidates who have not been tested, so why even go into their worldviews if you believe that deeds are what counts? Anyway, you are wrong about Obama's worldview, and that's where you play into the hands of McCain supporters: McCain appeals to the emotions and fears, Obama appeals to the brain. Both candidates agree that Israel is America's greatest ally and both agree that a nuclear Iran is forbidden. But both have different approaches towards the solution. As I said, though, McCain will stoop to address our strongest fears and cast suspicion on Obama's intentions. Obama is trying to take the high rode. For the record, it has been the Democratic presidents which have made some fractional peace agreements, not the Republicans. Peace will not happen in one day, but it is the Democrats who are moving forward, not the Republicans.
3. Top marks to Yoram Ettinger and bottom marks to US Jews ..
redmike ,   Tel Aviv   (09.27.08)
It's not clear if US Jews are in favor of Obama because they view him as 'black' and therefore a minority like themselves, but he is neither 'black' or pro-Israel. His mother was white and he only has 'black" blood from his paternal grandmother. He has cleverly concealed his past . http://redbourn.blogspot.com/ And if you could vote for Obama after reading the link then please tell me how? Anti-McCaine is not a good enough reason - don't vote for either. Mike
4. Obama will be better for Israel and America
Ed ,   Virginia   (09.27.08)
Obama seeks to restore America's standing and prestige in the world which in the end only strengthens Israel. According the the author, George Bush is probably the best friend Israel could have. So lets look at the record -- in the last 8 years Israel's security situation has not drastically improved. Because of US rejectionism and the war in Iraq, Iran has only gotten stronger and more flagrant. And even the hawkish Bush Administration isn't taking any strong action on Iran and, as reported this week, explicitly forbidding Israel from acting on it's own. After many assurances (and even being part of the Republican Party platform) the US embassy has still not been moved to Jerusalem. Bush and McCain pay lip service to Israel but do nothing to improve its position or deliver on their promises. All of their words are empty ones. And as to the issue of American Jews' support for Obama.... we care about Israel but also care about America. Bush has run our country into the ground. We cannot accept another four years of this nonesense.
5. Obama vs McCain
Hannah ,   Connecticut   (09.27.08)
Good points raised by #4. May I add that in the debates last night Obama stressed the need to go after Bin Laden by adding troups in Afganistan and even attacking posts in Pakistan if need be, rather than maintaining such a big presence in Iraq. The true Islamic terrorists are Al Quaida, not the Iraqis. McCain disagreed. May I also add that if America continues to be brought to its knees by failed economic policies of the Republicans, it will not be in any position to help Israel at all, even if McCain warmly embraces Israel.
6. Leave It To The Expert!
Ginette ,   Toronto, Canada   (09.27.08)
Yoram Ettinger's article is better than good. It is downright accurate of the present situation in the Middle East and pierces through the heart of the matter with such clarity, one would be very naive not to understand or agree with his commentaries. # 1, Connie has good reasons to feel depressed because if Americans are so blind and elect Obama, then really G-d help Israel because there won't be anybody else. Shabbat shalom!
7. Robin
Yaron ,   USA   (09.27.08)
You could not be more wrong...Obama is unproven and unknown but more specifically says what is best to get elected. He si the slickest talking dude out there but that does not qualify him to be President. The author was trying to point out that Nixon did not care for Israel or the Jews during his presidency, but he understood the importance of common interests and shared destiny. All the peace-making with the Pals have been ultimately at Israel's expense. Hope is not a strategy...simple as that. No one needs to scare me, being informed scares me enough.
8. Obama’s worldview is dangerous for Israel and naïve.
Artur ,   Lublin, Poland   (09.27.08)
Permanent peace between Israel and Arabic countries is not possible. And it will never happen. Israel needs to be ready for military solutions. Obama’s worldview is dangerous for Israel and naïve.
9. Mac Cain is my choice
Septimus   (09.27.08)
I am not American, but if I where, I w ould have voted for Mac Cain. He seems more conscious of the dangers looming from the persian abyss. He is the one able to lead the strike against the Shiite devilish entity. Obama looks like a appeaser. 911 was the result of Clinton's legacy. US should follow Theodore Roosevelt policy. and don't forget the big stick to hit its ennemies. In first rank of whom one may count the fake Teheran regime. Erase them from the pages of time !
10. Bottomline
David ,   USA   (09.27.08)
The bottomline is not found in this article. All that was said may be correct, however, BOTH McCain and Obama support a Palestinian State on Israeli soil. Eretz Israel was given to Israel. From the Nile to the Euphrates and from the great sea eastward through present day Iraq. It doesn't stop at the Yarden. Support for either of these men is support for the division of Eretz Israel and will bring the judgment of HaShem. So, what do we do? Choosing the lesser of two evils is not an option because HaShem is not in favor of any evil. Israel must T'shuvah. Then Mashiach will return and establish a Kingdom and restore the Tents of David.
11. Nice Analysis, But . . .
emanon ,   USA   (09.27.08)
The election you are covering takes place in th US, not Israel. Americans must decide what is better for THEM AND THE US, not Israelis and Israel. Yes, posturing against the terrorists is important, but it is not a one issue choice. Who will continue to erode the freedoms of Americans? Who will send more of our children off to be killed without thought of why they are going? Who will promote better energy policies? Who will ultimately be better for America? You've seen my posts here. The choice for me is Obama. He is the more sane of the two choices. His answers are more in line with what I believe in.
12. #2 no no no
Connie ,   Virginia   (09.27.08)
you don't live here and or maybe never have so you don't know the democrats' platform. They are liberal, liberal,liberal. More liberal than the average American. ."Obama appeals to the brain". Well a whole lot of us have used our brain to come to the conclusion that he not Presidential material.
13. Septimus
Yaron ,   USA   (09.27.08)
I wish you could vote as it is as simple as that....grateful there are still rational thinking people in Europe!
14. This is not just about Israel
Christopher ,   Boston, MASS   (09.27.08)
The evidence continues to grow that Obama's naivete. or I dare say ignorance of world affairs will be the lead up up to a full blown world war: he advocates appeasement of Iran; he advocates appeasement of islamofascism worldwide; he advocates giving the State Dep't more authority, a State Department that is fully run by big oil and the Middle East sheikhs. As a lifelong Democrat, I publicly pronounce my intent to vote Republican for the first time rather than take a risk with the new millenniums Jimmy Carter
15. Yaron #13: there are no heroes here
Steve ,   U.S.   (09.27.08)
Septimus wrote: "911 was the result of Clinton's legacy." Maybe, but let's not forget, 911 happened on Bush's watch. Mr. Bush condemned Israel repeatedly during the first few months he was in office, early 2001. It was some of the bloodiest months of suicide bombings Israel had seen for years. Bush condemned Ariel Sharon for "excessive and disproportionate response." He scolded Israel to exercise restraint. Late August 2001, Bush pledged in a two page letter to Crown Prince Abdullah, he would work to establish a 'Palestinian' Muslim terror state in Israel. Bush unveiled his vision only days after 911 in early October 2001. Sharon pleaded with Bush not to repeat the mistakes of the great powers who sought to appease Hitler; not appease the Arabs at Israel's expense. Israel would not be Czechoslovakia, according to Sharon, etc... But Sharon bowed to immoral Bush administration pressure and he forcibly removed thousands of Jews in keeping with Bush's and the Republican party's road map for Israel's dismemberment. McCain strongly supports Bush's immoral policies visa vis Israel. McCain's advisors and friends are James ("f*&^ the Jews") Baker and Brent Scowcroft. McCain supports a Muslim terrorist state in Israel -- one dedicated to Israel's destruction -- just like Bush and Obama. McCain will have the full support of the Republican party establishment, conservative talk radio, Internet webmasters, etc., just as Bush as had as he has pressured Israel toward national suicide.. What makes you think this man will be any different than Bush or Obama?
16. #12 Connie
emanon ,   USA   (09.27.08)
You say liberal like it is a bad thing. Define your terms! For me, a liberal is a free thinker, one capable of thinking outside the box when needed, a person accepting of change, a person who questions why something is done, someone that would rather be correct than popular, someone that will say "The emperor is not wearing any clothes". I see a conservative as someone opposed to change, someone not capable of independent thought, someone content to follow the herd mentality, someone that will say "What a fine suit the emperor is wearing", someone at an evolutionary dead end, someone who does something a particular way because "that is the way it is always done" regardless of whether it is correct or not. And yes, I say "conservative" like it is a bad thing.
17. Pure opinion...NO FACTS
Elokim ,   Israel   (09.27.08)
This is just Yoram Ettinger opinion with no facts or accuracy to back up his words! Pure Jewish propaganda!!!!
18. obama is just a hollow suit who has done
jason white ,   afula,israel   (09.27.08)
diddly squat for the U.S. He has nerve to talk about a real hero like McCain. He just knows how to talk and not say much. His tax increases will destroy the stock market. His cutting back on defense will harm the U.S. And using law enforcement to fight terror? They will only act when al-queda blows up donut shops. And putting terrorists on trial. Put them on ice.
19. emanon #11: America comes first
Steve ,   US   (09.27.08)
You wrote: "The election takes place in the US, not Israel. Americans must decide what is better for THEM AND THE US, not Israelis and Israel." So true. In the debate last night, McCain said: "Here is (Iranian President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad, who is ... talking about the extermination of the state of Israel, of wiping Israel off the map, and we're going to sit down, without precondition, across the table, to legitimize and give (him a) propaganda platform." Obama answered, Ahmadinejad "may not be the right person to talk to" because he "is not the most powerful person in Iran" -- 'a comment that lead McCain to raise his eyebrows' -- (Obama) said he would still "reserve the right" if elected president "to meet with anybody at a time and place of my choosing if I think it's going TO KEEP AMERICA SAFE." So, you are right. Mr. Obama will do what he thinks will be better for American and what is going to keep Americans safe; even if it means the annihilation of Israel, Israel is not America's problem. This was the American ideal during the Holocaust. It remains the ideal today. The Jews are expendable so long as it will ultimately be better for America. Am I my brother's keeper? NAW!
20. emanon #16: I am a conservative
Steve ,   US   (09.27.08)
Actually I am an independent conservative. A conservative is someone approaches change -- especially radical change -- with caution. Conservative means cautious. Is this approach not fair? An independent conservative or independent liberal does not follow the herd mentality. Remember, Abraham Lincoln was the founder of the Republican party. Conservative Republicans were abolitionists. Back then abolitionists were called radical but today they would be mainstream conservatives. Slavery was an American institution, especially in the south. Conservatives did not say, "well that is the way it is always done" regardless of whether it is correct or not. We sought to change the way things were done, all the while Democrats (the party of the liberal-left today) fought for the way things were always done. The left fought for the status quo just like the left today fights for Roe v Wade. Please. Enough with these generalizations.
21. #9 Septimus...I do live here and this is how it is!
Uncle Sam ,   U.S.A!!!!   (09.27.08)
You would vote for Apple's Mac? Or maybe you think Tim Kaine should be VP? Because there's no Mac Cain running in this election!! 9/11 could be a result of Clinton (very doubtful), BUT it will be the legacy (in a very bad way) of Bush!! The whole financial crisis right NOW IS BUSH'S FAULT!!!! John Bush McCain will just continue this horrible legacy!!! The US needs change...change we can believe in!!!
22. neo-conservative dichtomy at its lowest intellectually
Smith ,   Tel-Aviv, Israel   (09.27.08)
Yoram Ettinger. This is a terrible article and you know it. It's just awfully written. You have taken the classic neo-conservative approach of the dichomatic argument and somehow retarded it beyond recognition so that all you have produced is psedo-intellecutual diaherra. And frankly you don't even provide an analysis. It's just a point by counter point "factsheet" without any facts. Just soundbites. With pundits like you writing for McCain the old geezer doesn't stand a chance thank God. Frankly when you have the CIA, MI6, and just about every damned secret service agency saying that you don't fight terrorism by invading countries and occupying then you should listen. I dread the day the war in Iraq winds down and suddenly the world will be awash with tens of thousands of battle hardened crazy pyscopaths calling themselves al-Qaeda. Thanks in large part to an ideologically motivated Administration that didn't listen to their spooks and turned Iraq into the best training ground for al-Qaeda since the USSR invaded Afghanistan. And you took a cheap shoot too you demagoge. 1400-years of Islamic terrrorism? Thats bullshit. It was thanks to several hundred years of Islamic renassiance that the West was bequeathed with its ancient culture, mathematics, and modern navigation techniques that had been obliterated by hundreds of years of religious oppression. To hell with your ilk. Your days are numbered. Israel will either be partitioned from the Palestinians with Jerusalem split (the preferable option) or it will be forced to swallow the whole territory and give them equal status. Which one will you choose? And I hate to break this to you pal but there isn't a "ha'shem".... it's all in your head like allah is in their heads. its the same damn biochemical processes that retard the brain from thinking clearly except when directed towards rational inquiry (since ironically they happen to be the same biochemical processes; which goes to show. if you'd only stop believing in fairy tales you might stop watching shadows on teh wall and see the light coming into the cave
23. WHO CARES ABOUT ISRAEL??? We Amercan's are struggling to get
Caleb ,   Houston, TX   (09.27.08)
by on a day to day basis, with what Bush and the Neocons did. The American President should be for America first and foremost. It really annoys me that Israel comes up so much in the discussion. We don't care!!!! And the candidate that looses track of what's happening at home and dwells on Israel's fate, will certainly lose!
24. Liberal = Mindless
#16 LOL   (09.27.08)
16, You make me laugh. "free thinker" ahahaha. When someone says they are a liberal, I automatically know EXACTLY what their opinion is on a dozen issues. Everyone of you are all 100% the same brainwashed Orwellian jackbooted statist as the next one. If you want to score points with any liberal, just start slandering religious beliefs any way possible. And since when is "appeal to the brain" synonomous with mudslinger? By far the most vitriolic ad hominem attacks are from the left. This is what you believe: 1. Change for the sake of change. 2. Government legislation for everything. 3. No limit to taxation. 4. No limit on when infants can be murdered, even if they are accidentally born alive during abortion. 5. Women and minorities are intentionally marginalized by white males, and we need legislation to address the problem. 6. Remove any reference to any religion anywhere. 7. Self-defense a privilege only for criminals, guns & missiles in particular. 8. Pro-minority except when it comes to Jews (unless of course you are a Jew deceived into liberalism). 9. Evolution is a proven fact, any argument to the contrary proves someone is sub-normal IQ. 10. Climate change is man-made, and any objection means losing your career. 11. There is no "God". 12. Lower the entire planet to the least common denominator. 13. There are no criminals, just misunderstood or marginalized people fighting an unjust system. 14. All conservatives are either ignorant or evil or both. (I'm not sure why liberals deny religion, bible in particular, yet still refer to Republicans as Satan. go figure). 15. Government is more trustworthy than privately held corporations, especially when it comes to spending money. 16. You believe I am a conservative. (which I'm not, btw) 17. The global opinion of a situation takes precedence over the concerns of any state. 18. The idealistic vision of global harmony is a uniquely liberal view, opposed by all conservatives. hmmm, guess I underestimated your homogeny. Darwin is the man of the century, etc. GWB is the most evil man in history. Or Reagan or Nixon. Clinton was a great president. Etc mindless tripe etc. Whether they say so or not, liberals believe in a one-state solution, the same as they believe in a one world solution.
25. All this silliness in the analysis
dov ,   ny   (09.27.08)
Ignoring the propaganda, Israelis need to realize that the republicans have driven the country into the ground. As #4 put it, a strong America is good for Israel, and the currect policies have only weakned us domestically and internationally. I for one do not want to become a third world country. That is why I am voting for Obama, as well as many of my jewish friends.
26. Steve #15
Yaron ,   USA   (09.27.08)
Don't get me wrong Steve....none have really been good for Israel but McCain is certainly the lesser of the evils.....however Obama is a disaster in every respect.
27. Obama, McCain and Israel
A Jerusalemite ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (09.27.08)
Oh that the world and politics were really so simple, so black and white...
28. Oh, and another thing
ben Ish   (09.27.08)
The "peace-at-all-costs" mentality that the left uses to bash the right, accusing conservatives of being the war-mongering party, yet in the US: WWI: US had a liberal in office. Woodrow Wilson. WWII: US had a liberal in office, FDR, and it was a liberal, Truman, that killed 100k civilians with nuclear weapons. Korean War: US still had Truman in office, and it took a Republican, Eisenhower, to get them out. Vietnam: Started under Eisenhower, but US got involved only when a Democrat was in office, (LBJ, Gulf of Tonkin) and it took a Republican, Nixon to get them out. Iranian Revolution: Carter was in office, and he could not even get US hostages back. Again, that took a republican, Reagan. Russia deploys Nukes to Cuba: Again, liberals in DC, almost ended the world in thermonuclear clouds. Finally, the liberal policy of Federal power taking precedence over the states led to the US Civil war, in which Lincoln killed 650,000 Americans to effectively overturn the REPUBLIC into a DEMOCRACY. Your "democratic" policy is responsible for every major US war, accounting for 1.2 million US deaths. It is the Republicans that have brokered peace without conflict, ending the cold war, Korea, and Vietnam, while the liberals used overwhelming death and destruction to end civil war, and both world wars. --- Liberalism is only a milder form of communism and far closer to fascism than any conservative policy.
29. Yaron: That's right; McCain is the lesser of the evils.
Steve ,   Fla.   (09.27.08)
I voted for George Bush in the 2000 elections, hoping he would not be like his father. For me, Bush was the lesser or the evils.. President Bush has been a disaster for America and for Israel. I am so disgusted with my party -- the Republican party -- for blindly supporting Bush's every foreign policy move; particularly with respect to Israel. How can conservatives blindly support the establishment of a Muslim terror / killer state in Israel? Yet conservatives like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, etc.., all support a Muslim-terror state in the Holy Land. Dont' they? Otherwise, why do they support this jihadits-loving, Saudi-loving Republican president? How many times must I vote for the lesser of the evils? Isn't the lesser of the evils also evil?
Sheikh yer Bu'Tay   (09.27.08)
This is a very good analysis of both men. Obama is a socialist and will tax the USA into another depression. He will use the doctrine of emminent domain to confiscate private property like no other politician before him. His voting record proves that. Also, Obama will pass more anti-second amendment laws than anyone before him. He will try to outlaw private gun ownership. McCain will not tax the USA as much, but like Bush, will allow the government to continue to grow on borrowed money. Thus inflation will continue to grow under McCain. Obama = oppression, deflation, and maybe depression. McCain = inflation and stagflation, and maybe hyper-inflation. New bumper sticker: WE'RE SCREWED '08!
Next talkbacks
Back to article