On Sunday, February 24, 2008, Barack Obama met with the Cleveland Jewish community for nearly an hour. He spoke about his views on issues of concern to the Jewish voters, including his strong support for Israel’s security and the U.S.-Israel relationship, and his determination to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. He also took questions from the audience, including on issues raised in email attacks against the Senator.
We thought you would like to see and hear his remarks for yourself, and hope that you would pass them on to others, so everyone will have an opportunity to hear the truth about Senator Obama’s views from the Senator himself. Below are links to several video excerpts:
Senator Barack Obama on Israel’s Security:
“Israel’s security is sacrosanct, it’s non-negotiable…. Israel has to remain a Jewish State and what I believe that means is that any negotiated peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians is going to have to involve the Palestinians relinquishing the right of return as it has been understood in the past.”"
Senator Barack Obama on the Palestinians’ Commitments:
“I have consistently said, and I have said this to Palestinians, I said this when I was in Ramallah, that you cannot fault Israel for being concerned about any peace agreement if the Palestinian state or Palestinian authority or Palestinian leadership does not seem to be able to follow through on its commitments. And I think the approach we have to take with respect to negotiations is that you sit down and talk, but you have to suspend trust until you can see that the Palestinian side can follow through and that’s a position that I have consistently taken and the one I will take with me to the White House.”
Senator Barack Obama on opposing negotiations with Hamas:
“….you can’t have a conversation with somebody who doesn’t think you should be on the other side of the table. At the point where they recognize Israel and its right to exist, at the point where they recognize that they are not going to be able to shove their world view down the throats of others but are going to have to sit down and negotiate without resort to violence, then I think that will be a different circumstance. That’s not the circumstance that we’re in right now.”
Senator Barack Obama on Israel’s right to Self-Defense:
“When Israel launched its counterattack against Hezbollah in Lebanon during the summer of 2006…I said, if somebody invades my country or is firing rockets into my country or kidnapping my soldiers, I will not tolerate that. And there’s no nation in the world that would.”
Senator Barack Obama on bridging African-American and Jewish Community Relations:
“….one of my goals constantly in my public career has been to try to bridge what was a historically powerful bond between the African American and Jewish communities that has been frayed in recent years. For a whole variety of reasons. I think that I have served as an effective bridge and that’s the reason I have overwhelming support among the Jewish community that knows me best, which is the Jewish community in Chicago. And I think that anybody who has friends among the Jewish community in Chicago should check out those credentials.”
Senator Barack Obama on Bush Foreign Policy:
“I do not understand how anybody who is concerned about Israel’s security and the threat of Iran could be supportive of George Bush’s foreign policy. It has completely backfired. It is indisputable that Iran is the biggest strategic beneficiary of the war in Iraq. We have spent what will soon be close to a trillion dollars strengthening Iran, expanding their influence. How is that helpful to Israel? How is that helpful to Israel?”
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