The Obama campaign has distanced itself from comments Jesse Jackson made to Amir Taheri while in France:
Jackson believes that, although "Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades" remain strong, they'll lose a great deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House.Ed Morrissey quotes the reaction of the Obama campaign that Jackson has no connection with the campaign and is in no position to represent its views. Obama national security spokeswoman Wendy Morigi goes on to say:
"Obama is about change," Jackson told me in a wide-ranging conversation. "And the change that Obama promises is not limited to what we do in America itself. It is a change of the way America looks at the world and its place in it."
... Jackson is especially critical of President Bush's approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
"Bush was so afraid of a snafu and of upsetting Israel that he gave the whole thing a miss," Jackson says. "Barack will change that," because, as long as the Palestinians haven't seen justice, the Middle East will "remain a source of danger to us all."
"Barack is determined to repair our relations with the world of Islam and Muslims," Jackson says. "Thanks to his background and ecumenical approach, he knows how Muslims feel while remaining committed to his own faith."
As president, he will ensure that Israel can defend itself from every threat it faces, stand with Israel in its quest for a secure peace with its neighbors, and use all elements of American power to end Iran’s illicit nuclear program.Morrissey's response:
Certainly, we’d hope he would, but his record seems somewhat spotty on the whole strong-friend-to-Israel thing. Let’s recap:Note that Obama has denied any relationship with Khalidi just as he originally did with Ayers. In actuality, he was close with both. The LA Times has already discussed the close relationship Obama had with Khalidi.
- Jeremiah Wright — His pastor for 20 years and a man to whom Obama gave over $26,000 in 2006 alone, Wright has feted and honored Louis Farrakhan, a virulent anti-Semite. Wright also believes that the government created HIV as a genocidal tool aimed at people of color, and that America deserved what it got with 9/11. Wright has also reprinted Hamas propaganda in the church newsletter on several occasions.
- William Ayers — The former Weather Underground domestic terrorist employed Barack Obama at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Obama served with him on the board of the Woods Foundation, during which time both of them gave $75,000 to Rashid Khalidi, a Yasser Arafat toady.
- Robert Malley — One of Obama’s foreign policy advisers, Malley resigned from the campaign after reports that he met with Hamas surfaced earlier this year. Malley has a history of opposing Israel; in the Clinton efforts to achieve a peace settlement, he was the only American adviser to blame Israel when Arafat refused to accept 95% of what he’d demanded in the final settlement.
Maybe we could believe Obama when he says that an Obama administration would put our democratic allies ahead of the kleptocracies and worse in the Middle East if he hadn’t spent so much time with people who feel the opposite, and have acted on those feelings. His only actions on record have been to hire Malley and give money to Khalidi. What does that say about Obama that Jackson didn’t get right?
Maybe Jackson is trying to undercut Obama--who knows. But the fact remains that real questions remain about Obama, and Obama is in no hurry to address them.