McCain Accused of Hypocrisy Over Hamas, Obama
by Gil Ronen 14 Iyar 5768, 19 May 08 06:07
(IsraelNN.com) The Republican candidate for President, Senator John McCain, is being accused of "hypocrisy" for criticizing Sen. Barack Obama over his stated policy of dialogue with Iran and other enemies, when McCain himself previously stated the U.S. will have to "deal" with Hamas.
McCain previously attacked Obama because of an interview for WND and WABC in which Ahmed Yousef, a top Hamas official, voiced hope that Obama would become president. Yousef, Hamas's chief political advisor in Gaza, also compared Obama to John F. Kennedy.
The Huffington Post, which is considered pro-Obama, has featured a video from a 2006 television interview in which McCain himself implied an eventual willingness for U.S. talks with Hamas.
'They're the government'
When asked about the possibility of conducting talks with Hamas following their victory in the PA elections, McCain said: "They're the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another, and I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy toward Hamas because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice, so... But it's a new reality in the Middle East. I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and decent future, that they want democracy. Fatah was not giving them that."
McCain was speaking on Sky News to former Clinton State Department official James Rubin. In an op-ed in the Washington Post last Friday, Rubin blasted McCain, saying that "given his stated position then, it is either the height of hypocrisy or a case of political amnesia for McCain to inject Hamas into the American election." He also accused McCain of "smearing" Obama in quoting Hamas's praise for him.
Conservative bloggers conducted some research of their own, however, and discovered that on the same day as the Rubin interview, McCain spoke to CNN and made it clear that the only way the U.S. can "do business again" with Hamas-led Gaza is if Hamas renounces terror.
'We like Mr. Obama'
In the interview cited by McCain, Hamas's Yousef stated: "We like Mr. Obama, and we hope that he will win the elections. I hope Mr. Obama and the Democrats will change the political discourse... I do believe [Obama] is like John Kennedy, a great man with a great principle. And he has a vision to change America to make it in a position to lead the world community, but not with humiliation and arrogance."
McCain released the following statement in response to the latest accusations: "There should be no confusion, John McCain has always believed that serious engagement would require mandatory conditions and Hamas must change itself fundamentally - renounce violence, abandon its goal of eradicating Israel and accept a two state solution. John McCain's position is clear and has always been clear, the President of the United States should not unconditionally meet with leaders of Iran, Hamas or Hizbullah. Barack Obama has made his position equally clear, and has pledged to meet unconditionally with Iran's leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the leaders of other rogue regimes, which shows incredibly dangerous and weak judgment."
Will Jews defeat Obama?
Leading independent Democrats fear that if their party nominates Obama to run against McCain, the Jewish vote will help contribute to a Democratic loss in November, CBS reported last month. The network study said that Sen. Obama's rival, Senator Hillary Clinton, has not stated out loud what she believes--"that if Obama is the nominee a likely Democratic victory would turn to a near-certain defeat."
CBS noted that Sen. Obama lost the Jewish vote in Florida by double-digits. It said that an Obama victory in the primaries would forge an unusual alliance of Hispanics, blue-collar whites and Jews who would help send Sen. McCain to the White House.
In the APRPEH post on Friday, 16 May Two Campaigns, Two Candidates, One Israel I questioned the nature of the remarks reported by James Rubin and left for McCain to interpret what he meant by "dealt with" in reference to a PA government led by Hamas. The story that Rubin and Huffington were trying to sell is that McCain is no different that Obama seeking negotiations with terrorists and the enemies of freedom. McCain's remarks seem to be, when viewed in context with the CNN interview given the same day as the Rubin interview and posted by Hotair (also on Friday) reveal at least a few pre-conditions, albeit conditions for which Hamas could never comply. Obama still cannot be trusted with the security of the American people, even if McCain may have 'gaffed' on the Rubin interview. McCain has made his position clear. And unlike Barry H.O., McCain has a track record on this issue and doesn't hang out with terrorists and gangsters.
Ed Morrisey at Hotair in the article referred to above had this to say regarding Rubin:
The context here is crystal clear. McCain envisioned a possible change in Hamas from a terrorist group to a legitimate political party, one that recognized Israel and renounced violence. Under those conditions, McCain said that we could engage them in talks designed to establish peace, and only under those conditions. The Bush administration had the same policy at the time. Neither the US nor John McCain supported meeting with Hamas without preconditions, and they certainly didn’t have policy advisers meeting with them while they conducted terrorist attacks and plotted an armed takeover of Gaza.
This attack meme demonstrates a breathtaking bit of intellectual dishonesty. We expect that from the hard Left. Coming from the Washington Post, even in its opinion section, it disappoints. So much for the layers of fact-checkers and editors. And now that our friends on the Left have acknowledged the terrorist status of Hamas, can they explain Malley’s presence on the Obama campaign for months while his connections to Hamas were fairly well known?
It remains to be seen whether or not McCain actually believes the conventional wisdom stuff of 'if only Hamas would renounce terrorism and recognize Israel' we could begin negotiations over ending the conflict. Hamas would sooner advocate conversion to Catholicism and renouncing Islam before recognizing Israel's right to exist. Such ideas are for diplomatic naivete, also known as disparity in truth. There is an Israel and there are barbarians.