"Our job is to renew the United States' efforts to help Israel achieve peace with its neighbors while remaining vigilant against those who do not share this vision.... That effort beings with a clear and strong commitment to the security of Israel: our strongest ally in the region and its only established democracy."
These are the words of Senator Obama, spoken last March at an AIPAC conference in Chicago.
While the Senator's support for Israel is unquestionable and unwavering, there is a right-wing blogger who is spreading falsehoods about Senator Obama's record and remarks on Israel.
In an ideal world, such mud slinging would not require a response. But a political campaign does not make for a utopia. Instead, rapid response to injustice is necessary because, well, Mark Twain said it best: "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."
In the Internet era, that saying may have to change to, "A lie goes to all the inboxes around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."
Consequently, when I saw the blogger's screeds about Senator Obama, I felt compelled to respond. I did wonder, "Who does this blogger support?" It turns out, the blogger is the rare George W. Bush supporter -- such a fan that, in the recent past, he urged all Jews to vote for and support W. I always wondered if I'd meet or hear from one of those 29% of people who still support the President, and folks, we finally found someone who believes George W. is doing a heck of a job.
How does the blogger's right-wing bias impact his screed?
The blogger criticizes Senator Obama for taking on George W. in regards to Iraq and the United Nations. The blogger points out that Senator Obama favors a gradual withdrawal from Iraq, and that he opposed the nomination of John Bolton as our Ambassador to the United Nations. These positions taken by Senator Obama are two big, big positives for me.
The blogger does not stop at impugning Senator Obama's record. He also impugns the Senator's Jewish supporters in the Congress, who, in the opinion of this blogger, support the Senator because, "These Congressmen are well aware that Obama might be the next President-certainly it never hurts to have a friend in the White House."
Rather than spend all of my time (and yours) responding to the character attacks on Senator Obama and his supporters, allow me to point specifically to the Senator's record and remarks.
Senator Barack Obama stood up strongly for Israel's right to defend herself from Hezbollah raids and rocket attacks. Senator Obama insisted that Israel should not be pressured into a ceasefire that did not deal with the threat of Hezbollah missiles.
In the Senator's own words: "It is important to remember that Israel had unilaterally withdrawn from Lebanon only to have Iran supply Hezbollah with thousands of rockets.... When Israel is attacked, we must stand up for Israel's legitimate right to defend itself... And in moments like these true allies do not walk away." The ability to stand up for Israel when many stood up and walked away from her is one reason that I support Senator Obama.
Senator Barack Obama has repeatedly stated his belief that the United States and Israel enjoy a special relationship. In fact, he delivered this message personally to Palestinian students in Ramallah. Senator Obama told them that United States would never - never - distance itself from Israel. The ability to walk into Ramallah and tell people exactly what they do not want to hear is one of the reasons I admire Senator Obama.
Senator Obama has consistently voted for foreign assistance to Israel. Again, in the Senator's own words, "we must preserve our total commitment to our unique defense relationship with Israel by fully funding military assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and related missile defense programs. This would help Israel maintain its military edge and deter and repel attacks from as far as Tehran and as close as Gaza."
Senator Obama has been outspoken in his belief that Iran's President Ahmadinejad is a danger to the world.
But don't take it from me. Here is what Senator Obama has said: "Unfortunately, history has a way of repeating itself. President Ahmadinejad has denied the Holocaust.... We know the Holocaust was as real as the six million who died in mass graves at Buchenwald, or the cattle cars at Dachau or whose ashes clouded the sky at Auschwitz. We have seen the pictures. We have walked the halls of the Holocaust museum in Washington and Yad Vashem. We have touched the tattoos on loved-ones arms. After 60 years, it is time to deny the deniers."
Senator Obama went on to say that, "In the 21st century, it is unacceptable that a member state of the United Nations would openly call for the elimination of another member state. But that is exactly what he has done. Neither Israel nor the United States have the luxury of dismissing these outrages as mere rhetoric... It is too dangerous to have nuclear weapons in the hands of a radical theocracy... We should take no option, including military action, off the table." Before I became a supporter of Senator Obama, I read his words regarding the existential threat that Iran poses to Israel, and I was comforted to know that his views on Iran comported with mine.
Finally, Senator Obama believes that we must "help Israelis and Palestinians both fulfill their national goals: two states living side by side in peace and security... but in the end, we also know that we should never seek to dictate what is best for the Israelis and their security interests. No Israeli Prime Minister should ever feel dragged to or block from the negotiating table by the United States."
I was very pleased to know that the Senator believes we cannot demand of Israel, but that we can suggest. I have often been taken aback when an American politician believes he or she can tell Israel what to do.
My friends, these are Senator Barack Obama's own words, his own votes, and his deeply held beliefs.
There will always be those who seek to knock him down. That's the world of politics. It is up to us - supporters, and those still undecided - to look at the record for ourselves and determine the truth.
My truth is that Senator Obama is the best candidate for President of the United States, and he is the person in the race most unwavering in his support for Israel.
And so, I am unwavering in my support for him.