Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Clinton, Obama and AIPAC

The recent meeting at AIPAC is apparently one of the few venues where Hillary Clinton outdrew Barack Obama. Obama's last foray to AIPAC, in my opinion, was "solid but not spectacular." Here, a minor flap appears to be developing over Obama's comment (the night before the conference) that "Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinians."

I agree with Jon Chait that this overblown. It's self-evidently clear that Obama is talking within the context of the I/P conflict (had he be saying that the Palestinians were suffering more than, say, Darfuri Africans, I'd have issues). And we can recognize the immense hardship that Palestinians live under without turning to reflexive Israel bashing. Some of it is traceable to Israeli actions. Some of it is the Palestinian's "own fault." A large part, I'd forward, can be laid at the feet of Palestinian militia and terrorist groups, of which the average Palestinian man or woman has little influence on.

Whatever. I agree with Ezra Klein and think pro-Israeli speakers (in which I count Obama) should emphasize the manner in which prolonging the conflict hurts Palestinians. The Israeli and Palestinian interest here are not out of sync. A peaceful solution is to the benefit of both. When Palestinian's launch a suicide bombing, that is anti-Palestinian, because it has virtually no hope of causing any positive change and merely prolongs their suffering.

The sooner that truth is drilled into everyone's head, the happier I'll be.

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