As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

You Can't Out-Hawk Me, I'm A "Pro-Israel" Democrat!

Around the world, countries are obsessed with trying to broker a cease-fire in Gaza. Egypt and France have put together a proposal, and both sides seem to be responding favorably toward it, at least tentatively. In the United States Congress, however, the obsession is not peace but who can get the pro-Israel resolution out faster.

U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the U.S. House of Representatives majority leader, told JTA he was looking at such a resolution, which is being drafted in the office of Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“Certainly it would not demand a cease-fire,” Hoyer said. “It would speak to the conditions that would justify a cease-fire. A cease-fire is not a just cease-fire when it’s just Israel” holding fire.

Good thing they have their priorities in good order.

Meanwhile, the President-elect finally spoke out on the situation, at least partially, with a balanced statement.

Barack Obama, who takes over as U.S. president from George W. Bush on January 20, broke his silence about the violence in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, calling the loss of civilian lives in Gaza and in Israel a "source of deep concern for me."

Obama added he would adhere to his principle that only Bush should be the voice of U.S. foreign policy at this time but he would have plenty to say after his inauguration in two weeks.

Nonetheless, Obama said that he is "not backing at all from what I've said during the campaign we're going to engage effectively and consistently in the peace process."

"We've got plenty to say about Gaza, and on January 20, you'll hear directly from me," he added.

One thing Obama needs to do in the Middle East if he wants to engage in the peace process would be to ask the right questions and leave no sacred cows - the settlements in the West Bank, Jerusalem, a binational state, and all the rest must be on the table. But he'll have to work past the unilateral nature of Israel/Palestine relations in Washington, where it's "Israel, right or wrong" all the time. That doesn't aid ISRAEL in their security, by the way.

Daniel Levy has a lot more on the situation which is very solid.

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