Sunday, January 27, 2008

More Obama on Israel

The following is the text of a letter that Senator Obama wrote to our Ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad.

Dear Ambassador Khalilzad,

I understand that today the UN Security Council met regarding the situation in Gaza, and that a resolution or statement could be forthcoming from the Council in short order.

I urge you to ensure that the Security Council issue no statement and pass no resolution on this matter that does not fully condenm the rocket assault Hamas has been conducting on civilians in southern Israel...

All of us are concerned about the impact of closed border crossings on Palestinian families. However, we have to understand why Israel is forced to do this... Israel has the right to respond while seeking to minimize any impact on civilians.

The Security Council should clearly and unequivocally condemn the rocket attacks... If it cannot bring itself to make these common sense points, I urge you to ensure that it does not speak at all.


Barack Obama
United States Senator

As I've said before, it's not so much that Senator Obama always has the all right positions (I think that he almost always does), it's that he has the approach which enables him to arrive at the right position. His approach values the lives of all people, takes into account the current reality on the ground, and seeks to move it towards justice for everyone.

In Israel, I think most observers would grant that the daily life of the average Israeli is better than the daily life of the average citizen of the Gaza strip. But that's not the same as saying that Israelis are bad and Palestinians are good. It's more complex than that. And it's extraordinarily difficult, when missiles are landing on your home, to do anything other than to lash out. While I personally think that there is more that can be done to make the situation on the grond better for the average Palestinian, it's mighty difficult for Israelis to do anything other than retaliate, as long as missiles are landing on their homes.

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