Barack Obama has shown great style, as he has been able to sidestep issues and controversy throughout his very well run campaign. But does he have enough substance?
All national elections are labeled as crucial, but the upcoming elections in the United States may in fact be the "most important elections of our time." The issues on the table are almost unprecedented: A nuclear Iran, the wind up of the war in Iraq, signs of a renewed Cold War and global economic uncertainties are all issues of paramount international importance that the newly elected president will face.
Neither candidate has been able to put the public's mind at ease with their economic plan, but in terms of priorities McCain put his campaign on hold in order to help out in national crisis management, whereas Obama did not.
Iran is still the most active state sponsor of terrorism in the world, as it has been for the last quarter century. Yet, Obama, Biden and their team of advisors have endorsed negotiating with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "without any preconditions." It is therefore not surprising that the speaker of Iran's parliament, Ali Larijani, said this past week that Tehran "prefers Obama" and feels "100% certain" that he will not consider attacking Iran.
Wrong to negotiate with Holocaust denierAt Iran’s recent “World without Zionism” conference, Ahmadinejad told his audience, “We are in the process of a historical war between the ‘world of arrogance’ and the Islamic world, and this war has been going on for hundreds of years.” He elaborated by emphasizing “the annihilation of the Zionist regime will come... Israel must be wiped off the map... and God willing, with the force of God behind us, we shall soon experience a world without the United States and Zionism."
In the run-up to World War II, it was morally and historically wrong to appease the fascist tyrants that would later conquer Europe by storm and carry out the Holocaust. Today it is wrong to negotiate with someone who denies the Holocaust ever happened and threatens to mimic (and perhaps outdo) those atrocities.
Iran's quest for nuclear weapons should be confronted, not appeased.
Presidential candidates often change their positions after being elected. Once they need to take real decisions and feel the weight of responsibility of their office, things often change when compared to their campaign declarations. Hopefully that will happen with Obama, should he become commander-in-chief – but then again, it might not.
The author is a partner at Naveh, Kantor, Even-Har Law firm and a research fellow at the International Counter-Terrorism Center in Herzliya