Do you think Obama is thinking of all those elderly Jewish voters he has to face in Florida in a few weeks? And of his need to fend off a potential Clinton attack from his political right?
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 condemn 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.
United States Senator
This letter is a perfect example of how election campaigns prostitute legitimate policy objectives. Of course, Israel was NOT forced to put Gaza under siege. To say otherwise is first of all to pander to the right-wing portion of the Jewish electorate and second to distort reality. Israel certainly has the right to respond to the Qassams but the method it has chosen has MAXIMAL impact on civilians. Unfortunately, Obama neglected to consider that fact.
Also disappointing is that Obama didn’t call for the UN ambassador to add a denunciation of the siege with his condemnation of the Qassam attacks. How many Arab-American voters do you think there are in Florida? Not many–just as I thought.
It’s no accident that this letter was first published by AIPAC’s favorite columnist, Shmuel Rosner. In fact, except for a few details in it, like the expression of concern for Gaza civilians, the letter could’ve been written by an AIPAC staffer. In fact, that’s a very strong possibility in this instance. Thanks to Racheli Gai who discovered this via the Tikkun daily newsletter.
There was talk earlier today that the Obama campaign denied he’d written the letter. But the U.S. UN Mission press office confirms that the Ambassador did receive a letter from Obama. And Rosner swears to it as well.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.