Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dan Seals Distances Himself from Obama Policy On Israel; Bob Dold Condemns "Rebuke" of Israel

Two-time loser Dan Seals, who is making his third attempt at the 10th Congressional District here in Illinois, and campaigned last cycle on the suggestion that he would be a rubber-stamp for now-President Obama's "agenda," has now found himself crosswise with the Obama administration's policies on two major issues.

First, you may recall that during the primary election, Seals ran to the left of State Representative Julie Hamos (a feat in and of itself) on the Afghanistan war, trying to appeal to the peace-at-all-costs left (shades of Lee Goodman, anyone?), and opposing Obama's escalation of the war (one of the few bright spots of Obama's fledgling foreign policy).

Now, Seals finds himself caught between trying to emulate Obama as much as he can (still trying to find Obama's coattails here in IL-10), but also needing to appease Jewish voters in the 10th that might not be all that happy about the Obama administrations vociferous objection to Israel's settlement policy and its claims that such action is standing in the way of the peace process.

The issue of striving for peace in the Middle East is no laughing matter, but I admit that it's fun to see Seals contort his desperate need to invoke Obama at every turn, but not offend an important constituency in the 10th District:

“As we move down the path of peace, it is crucial that the United States and Israel move in unison. While the United States remains totally committed to Israel’s security, I urge the Obama Administration to recognize the sacrifices that Israel is making to achieve peace in such a difficult situation. This administration must bring an end to unhelpful rhetoric and work to forge a stronger, more productive future in the spirit of the special relationship between our two nations.”

Doesn't say much, in my opinion. On the other hand, contrast Seals' milquetoast position with the much more forceful stance taken by GOP nominee Bob Dold:

“I have serious concern about the administration’s recent Israeli policy, tone, and tactics. Given our shared democratic values, long-time commitment to Middle East peace, and mutual strategic interests, it is wrong for America to distance itself from such a vitally important ally.” Dold continued, “In light of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s public apology, it is disappointing that the administration has continued to use this zoning dispute in Jerusalem as a pretext to increase unwarranted pressure on Israel. Instead, we need to focus on working with our Israeli partners to ensure Israeli security, advance the peace process, and prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.”

I especially liked Dold's insightful point about the Obama administration using the ongoing settlement issue as a sudden pretext to cover its shift in rhetoric and position towards support of Israel.

Sounds like the voters in the 10th District that are concerned with the direction the U.S. is taking towards Israel will have a pretty clear choice in November between Seals and Dold.


Anonymous said...

Obama is correct. It is time to distance ourselves from right wing Israeli positions. As General Petraeus recently indicated "the lack of progress in settling the Israel-Palestine dispute was damaging American interests in the Middle East". There is ample evidence that Israel does not want to do their part to achieve a FAIR peace and a two nation solution.

Dole is simply playing to the Jewish vote in the district.

Team America said...

Um, so, what do you think Seals is trying to do, then? I guess Seals is also trying to pander, just not as well...?

Anonymous said...

I think Anon is not familiar with the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 which was voted into LAW and re-authorized every six months since that time. It specifically states that Jerusalem is the undivided Capital of the State of Israel. ONLY the Kirk/Carney letter to Obama states that fact. That today's members of Congress don't remember that fact is due to the turnover in Congress every few years. Mr. Kirk helped draft that Act as Counsel to the International Relations committee in 1995. He remembers. Others need to be reminded of that law. And to Anon 1:27. Facts are clear: The struggle between the Israelis and Palestinians has nothing to do with land for peace. Gaza was given in total to them and peace is the farthest thing from their actions. This battle is for the survival of the State of Israel. Period. It's not a right wing or left wing anything, Anon. The Arab world wants a world without the State of Israel. This is not about land for peace, this is about SURVIVAL of the State of Israel. Jerusalem is open to all, no barbed wire fences, no prohibitions to anyone. All Israelis, Jews, Arabs, Bedouins, everyone living in Israel has schooling, housing, HEALTHCARE, without asking one's religion. And you dare talk about FAIR? WOW. Israel has done her part. She has no credible partner for peace.

Anonymous said...

At this point dan seals would be better off just officially declaring himself a supporter of hamas and iran and getting it over with. Him trying to support israel is like a 400 pound fat person claiming credibility on eating healthy or catwoman claiming to know the meaning of sanity.

I love how jews on the north shore bash Israel from the left because you know there's so much pluralism in arab and persian countries in the middle east. women have so many rights in saudi arabia and gaza, and those countries never ever fund suicide bombers or terrorist training camps or avoid the peace process.

Smart move for dold going to aipac, he needs to put caryn garber or jay tcath or rob bradner or jay alexander on payroll stat, because he's got a lot of work to do to win over the north shore congregation israel bunch the way mark did.


Lee said...

As we commemorate seven years of war-regardless-of-cost, this might be a good time to contemplate whether we and the rest of the world would have been better off if we had put more energy into pursuing peace.

Anonymous said...

Query Lee, are we better off in Iraq or Iran?

Anonymous said...

Lee goodman,

Will you now abandon your support for dan seals and barack obama and find a 3rd party independent or stay home now that it is clear that they are no longer interested in supporting your cause and have sold out to pander to the right? Obama hasn't quit iraq, reupped in afghanistan (remember mark kirk DID NOT WANT a surge in afghanistan) and have dramatically increased killing and drone strikes in pakistan which have killed hundreds of innocent people.

seems like if northbrook peace commitee wants to stay true to its principles you will abandon dan seals and start a third party challenge or stay home.

your friend

fan of king louis astaves the ellen alexi and pup slayer

Team America said...

FOLKLAEAPS- remember that Kirk opposed the surge simply because many of the generals on the ground told him it wasn't necessary and they would win anyway--in hindsight, it seems obvious now that the surge hastened victory but it will never be clear if Kirk was right and we would have won anyway. I think his motivation was that we shouldn't risk additional servicemen and women's lives unless it was necessary, but that should never be confused with the suggestion that Kirk was anything except 100% behind achieving victory in Iraq. And it goes without saying that he also is for victory in Afghanistan (which, somewhat surprisingly, Obama is also for, much to Lee Goodman's dismay).

Lee, let me put it simply: Even if you and your ilk were 100% right about the Iraq war (and you're not), that doesn't mean that every thing any Democrat ever does thereafter is correct and unassailable. You, and people who think like you, have gone to the well way too many times, with a simple knee-jerk reaction to any criticism of Dems or Obama to say, "well, hey, at least we opposed that stupid war."

Here's a newsflash, which I've said before: No one cares anymore, not when the issue is health care, jobs, foreign policy, etc. The American people want someone who can lead, not continuously retreat to 2003.

Your turn.

Anonymous said...

"Dold is simply playing to the Jewish vote in the district."

If that's what he's doing, he's got mine. Maybe you should complain that the Jewish controlled media are also part of the problem. Or the ZOG.

Anonymous said...

I hope you all realize that East Jerusalem (illegitimately annexed by Israel after capturing it in the 1967 war) is considered illegally occupied by the United Nations and most of the world's individual states.

Most of you would condemn any other country's similar actions to what Israel has done in this whole situation, but somehow the Zionist approach justifies it all.

Anonymous said...

Um, is San Diego "illegitimately annexed?" Or Dallas? Or Phoenix? Since when has any country in history ever given back territory won in war?

And I'm so sure the world would have put pressure on Jordan if they had captured West Jerusalem in 1967.

Holding Israel to a different standard than the rest of the world is anti-semitism pure and simple.

Oh, I remember an example of territory lost in war being demanded back as the price for peace: the Sudetenland.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:06, get over it. Using your "logic" then we have no right to most of the southwestern part of the US. When Israel won the 6 day war in 1967 Jerusalem became a city for all people. ALL PEOPLE. Everyone enjoys the benefits of healthcare, courtesy of the Israeli government. Everyone has education, courtesy of the Israeli government. And everyone is free to worship openly, freely in ALL of Israel. And you call that occupation? Anti-Semites like you are, sadly, even here in the 10th district. Jerusalem is the undivided Capital of the STATE OF ISRAEL and nobody will ever divide it again. Not Ever.

Anonymous said...

More examples of "illegitimate" annexations: Allsace-Lorraine, Northern Poland (formerly Prussia), the Kirul Islands, Ontario, the Phillipines, Texas, Gibralter, Scotland, Northern Ireland.

But Jews should be prevented from building condos in Jerusalem.

Bob gets it. He might not be Jewish, but he has grown up and lives with us and doesn't have a speck of antisemitism in him. Sincerity is a rare thing in a politician nowadays.