Obama Offends 1.5 Billion Muslims
Writing at the San Francisco Chronicle, George Bisharat charges that Barack Obama unnecessarily offended the world’s Muslims by pandering to the Israel lobby.
On his first day as the presumptive Democratic candidate for president earlier this month, Barack Obama committed a serious foreign policy blunder. Reciting a litany of pro-Israeli positions at the annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), he avowed: “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.”
In promising U.S. support of Israel’s claims to all of Jerusalem, Obama couldn’t have picked a better way to offend the world’s 325 million Arabs and 1.5 billion Muslims.
What follows is a rather standard discourse on the Palestinian case, the need to be seen as an honest broker in the region, and so on. Given that there’s not much light between Obama and his Republican opponent, John McCain, on this one, it’s a purely academic exercise.
For the record, I’m sympathetic to Bisharat’s argument, as applied to American foreign policy in general more so than to Obama’s remarks in particular, but think the focus is misplaced. The issue is how best to advance U.S. interests, not how to make others happy. But taking the Likudist stance on Jerusalem as a starting point strikes me as decidedly unhelpful in that regard.
Also amusing: Bisharat is quoted, without comment, at little green footballs under the headline “Barack Obama Has Offended Billions of Muslims.” I was under the impression that offending Muslims was a good thing in LGF-land? Sure enough, it took until the 21st comment to get: “If there ever was a religion that needed offending it’s Islam.”