Why Ralph Nader is running
Hint: says Obama is "supporting the Israeli destruction of the tiny section called Gaza."
By Mark Kilmer Posted in 2008 | anti-semitism | Nader | Obama — Comments (43) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Ralph Nader told Tim Russert on NBC's Meet the Press this morning that he is running for President. Russert was visibly upset, pleasing with Nader that he might give the election to John McCain just as he had done for George Bush in 2000:
Gore would've been president and not George Bush. You, Ralph Nader are responsible for what has happened the last seven years.
Surely Nader does not want that. Nader tells us that he believes that large corporations have taken over our government, but could this be a code for something else. Why isn't Nader supporting presumptive Dem nominee Barack Obama over John McCain, whom he sees as a continuation of the "criminal, recidivistic regime of George Bush and Dick Cheney"?
Let's let Ralph speak for himself:
Nader tells us that he finds Obama to be a "person of substance," which surprises those of us who have watched Barry on the campaign trail: change, change, hope, unity, hope, change. But Ralph believes that Obama is campaigning this way because he has "censored" his "better instincts." Why?
Nader, from page 2 of the MTP transcript:
I give you the example, the Palestinian-Israeli issue, which is a real off the table issue for the candidates. So don't touch that, even though it's central to our security and to, to the situation in the Middle East. He was pro-Palestinian when he was in Illinois before he ran for the state Senate, during he ran--during the state Senate. Now he's, he's supporting the Israeli destruction of the tiny section called Gaza with a million and a half people. He doesn't have any sympathy for a civilian death ratio of about 300-to-1; 300 Palestinians to one Israeli. He's not taking a leadership position in supporting the Israeli peace movement, which represents former Cabinet ministers, people in the Knesset, former generals, former security officials, in addition to mayors and leading intellectuals. One would think he would at least say, "Let's have a hearing for the Israeli peace movement in the Congress," so we don't just have a monotone support of the Israeli government's attitude toward the Palestinians and their illegal occupation of Palestine.
I heard the words fly from the man's mouth like so much drunken spittle this morning, and I dropped a pencil. This was on purpose on my part, to be sure, but I was stunned by the rhetoric. In the 21st Century?
Russert, of course, ignored that and skipped back to something less embarrassing:
But would you prefer, as an American citizen, to have Barack Obama or John McCain as president?
That wasn't the point for Ralph Nader, who finds both candidates too be controlled by that infamous cabal of bankers, big corporations, media elites, etc. You know, the "Israeli lobby."
Hey, Barry did speak to AIPAC in March of 2007 [transcript].
The U.S. and our partners have put before Hamas three very simple conditions to end this isolation: recognize Israel’s right to exist; renounce the use of violence; and abide by past agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Of course, this was in the same speech in which he called for the "isolation of Hamas and other extremists who are committed to Israel’s destruction."
I'm not familiar with Obama's alleged anti-Semitic ravings from before he ran for office in Illinois, but Nader says that they're there.
Although this is from The New Republic (Feb 4) and thus might or might not be true, here is the claim of a Gregory Levey, writing for them:
Each time I have asked a spokesperson from AIPAC, the influential pro-Israel lobbying group, about the organization's opinion of Obama, they have stressed that they are satisfied with Obama's positions on the Middle East. When I asked again recently, Jennifer Cannata, an AIPAC spokesperson, would once again only say, "Like all the leading presidential candidates, the senator has a strong record on issues of importance to the pro-Israel community."
Levey cites an anonymous "AIPAC official" as saying that the organization is "uncomfortable" with Obama's willingness to speak to Israel's enemies.
So we're left with Ralph Nader running for President because Barack Obama does not oppose Israel with enough zest and with AIPAC being "uncomfortable" with Barry's would-be friendliness with Israel's enemies. This means, of course, that Nader is a confused.
It's not surprising. If he takes votes from the Democrat, it would be a fine thing, but I'd hate to imagine what he might call his party.
[ADDENDUM: In a comment affixed to the Sunday Show Review, cordpt offers us this sample of the "old Barry" on Israel, from The Arabist: Obama's flip-flops.]
[ADDENDUM NO. 2: On her tour bus, Hillary had this to say about Nader's just-announced candidacy:
"This time I hope it doesn’t hurt anyone,'' she said, acknowledging that Democrats pay a higher price for Nader's candidacy than Republicans do. "I can’t think of anybody that would vote for Sen. McCain who would vote for Ralph Nader.''
Yeah, I imagine the anti-Semites would cling to Obama.]