Stop the presses: McCain blames Obama for Gaza flotilla incident
06/02/2010 - 09:21
James Besser

Politico is reporting this morning  that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who lost his 2008 presidential race to President Barack Obama, is blaming the victor for the Gaza flotilla mess.

“This is another step in a chain of unfortunate events beginning with President Obama's insistence there be a freeze as a precondition for peace talks; a freeze on settlements in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, not a settlement," Mccain told Fox News. “The mistaken belief that pressuring Israel on settlement freeze would somehow move them closer and show the Arab world that they were putting pressure on Israel has backfired."

Interesting; pro-Israel folks have been commenting positively about the generally restrained response to the incident by the Obama White House, but to some Republicans, it's all Obama's fault – like the BP oil spill is his fault (and never mind that Republicans have been the top advocates of letting oil companies regulate themselves while they “Drill, Baby, Drill), unemployment (but this killer recession started long before Obama took office) and illegal immigration (which no administration, Democratic or Republican, has seriously addressed).

My point isn't that the Democrats are good – they have plenty to answer for, like their GOP counterparts – but that Middle East policy, more and more, is becoming something we discuss only through the language of reflexive partisanship. Support for an endangered Jewish state isn't the issue, it's finding your political adversaries' possible weak spots on the issue and then figuring out ways to use them to score political points – and campaign contributions.

I'm guessing this can't possibly good for what used to be the goal of pro-Israel forces – creating the broadest possible political movement, and insulating it from partisan politics, American style, where political gain is the only real goal.



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I don't think Bush was to blame for 911 and Democrats who said it would be rightly skewered. So this should not be acceptable either. What we're also seeing here is that McCain has lost his voice as a credible man of centrist integrity. Despite some right-wing leanings on domestic issues, he was always worth listening to as he based his positions on his understandings of facts and not shrill partisanship. Alas, the McCain of the 2000 campaign went on vacation a long time ago.
We always knew where Bush 2 stood on Israel. Barrack is one big question mark. When it comes to Israel were it not for the amount of jews that vote he would be a real palestinian supporter.