JERUSALEM – Sen. Barack Obama’s military adviser and national campaign co-chairman has implied U.S. politicians are afraid of Jewish voters in Miami and New York City and that American Jews are the “problem” impeding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Merrill A. McPeak, a former Air Force chief of staff, also compared the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist organizations to what he described as religious radicals in Oregon and claimed “born-again [Christians]” supported the war in Iraq to help Israel.
Discussing Middle East politics during a 2003 interview with the Oregonian newspaper McPeak stated, “We don’t have a playbook for the Middle East. You know, for instance, obviously, a part of that long-term strategy would be getting the Israelis and the Palestinians together at . . .something other than a peace process. Process is not a substitute for achievement or settlement. And even so the process has gone off the tracks, but the process isn’t enough.”
The Oregonian interviewer asked McPeak whether the problem in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict originated with the White House or the State Department.
“So where’s the problem?” the interviewer asked.
McPeak replied, “New York City. Miami. We have a large vote – vote, here in favor of Israel. And no politician wants to run against it.”
McPeak went on to insist that to solve the conflict, Israelis must “stop settling the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and maybe even withdraw some of the settlements that’ve already been put there. And nobody wants to take on that problem. It’s just too tough politically.”
McPeak did not point to Palestinian terrorism or the recent election of Hamas to power as problems impeding an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
As a follow-up question, the Oregonian interviewer asked McPeak whether “there’s an element within Hamas, Hezbollah, that doesn’t want Israel to exist at all and always will be there?”
McPeak responded by comparing the two terror groups to “radical” Oregonians.
“There’s an element in Oregon, you know, that’s always going to be radical in some pernicious way, and likely to clothe it in religious garments, so it makes it harder to attack. So there’s craziness all over the place.”
McPeak said there was “some” good will toward peace on the Israeli side, but qualified, “that’s maybe the more cosmopolitan, liberal version of the Israeli population – I think there’s enough good will there.
“I don’t know if there is still on the Palestinian side, because they’ve been radicalized pretty well,” McPeak said.
The McPeak interview circulated on several large blogs yesterday, including the popular Powerline blog, after it was first pointed out in the American Spectator online magazine by Robert Goldberg, a writer and vice president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest.
Interpreting the identity of voters in Miami and NYC McPeak had referred to, Goldberg stated: “Translation (as if it’s needed): Jews – who put Israel over every American interest – control America’s policy on the Middle East.”
Goldberg also pointed out McPeak once claimed Christian Zionists were driving America’s policy in Iraq to benefit Israel.
Stated McPeak while discussing the Iraq war: “Let’s say that one of your abiding concerns is the security of Israel as opposed to a purely American self-interest, then it would make sense to build a dozen or so bases in Iraq. Let’s say you are a born-again Christian and you think that Armageddon and the rapture are about to happen any minute and what you want to do is retrace steps you think are laid out in Revelations, then it makes sense . So there are a number of scenarios here that could lead you in this direction. This is radical….”
McPeak is the latest Obama adviser to be highlighted for controversial views regarding Israel.
WND recently quoted Israeli security officials who expressed “concern” about Robert Malley, an adviser to Obama who has advocated negotiations with Hamas and providing international assistance to the terrorist group
Also Samantha Power, who was described as Obama’s closest adviser until she resigned earlier this month after making strong remarks against Sen. Hillary Clinton, advocated in an interview investing “billions of dollars, not in servicing Israel’s military, but actually investing in the state of Palestine.”
Stated Goldberg: “Obama has a Jewish problem and McPeak’s bigoted views are emblematic of what they are. Obama can issue all the boilerplate statements supporting Israel’s right to defend itself he wants. But until he accepts responsibility for allowing people like McPeak so close to his quest for the presidency, Obama’s sincerity and judgment will remain open questions.”
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