The mega American primary elections known as Super Tuesday are now over in America, and its implication is still to be seen in a Presidential race that is far from over. Many Americans living here in Israel had the chance to vote by absentee ballot. Those who didn’t should find out what needs to be done in order to vote in the main elections in November. Republican Party candidate John McCain appears to be the front runner and likely party candidate when the GOP convention convenes in August. He racked up the largest number of delegates over his rivals Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. Huckabee, who fared better than many thought he would, wound up winning a number of Southern States, as well some others that might make him a “king maker” at the convention and even force McCain to give him a top cabinet post of even offer the Vice Presidency spot. That will of course depend on how Romney fares in the upcoming primaries as he has many more delegates than “Huck”.
The Democratic side is much more confusing, however, even though Hillary Clinton appears to have won more delegates, due to her winning big states like New York and California. Obama won more states in total and may fare better in upcoming primaries in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas, not to mention the District of Columbia which has a large Afro-American population. This race is likely to end up on the floor of the Democratic Party Convention this coming July, and be a real free-for-all.
What this election is gearing up to mean for Israel is how the new Presidential administration will deal with the Jewish State and with its Palestinian and other Arab neighbors. If Hillary Clinton should win the Presidency, she will probably use tactics similar to those her husband Bill used when he tried to put pressure on both Israel and the Palestinians to reach a peace agreement that failed miserably at the Camp David summit in July, 2000. If Barack Obama wins the Presidency, it’s anybody’s guess what will happen, especially in light of Obama’s Muslim influenced childhood; an issue that is still not definitely settled in the eyes of many Americans and Israelis.
As for Republican candidate McCain, his politics seem to fluctuate for ultra conservative to moderate. He has definite ideas concerning America’s Iraq involvement, and has even said that he would keep American troops in Iraq “for a hundred years if necessary”. That’s a bit different than either Hillary or Obama, both of whom favor eventual troop withdrawals. McCain might be a safer bet concerning America’s stand against Iran, though, as his military background makes him understand this kind of a problem more than his Democratic (and Republican) rivals.
Both political parties and their candidates need to understand a few basic points though. The situation in Iraq will not go away on its own, and Al Qaeda and its top leaders are still active and ready to have a go at America again. Iran and its proxies like Hezbollah and Hamas are also ready and waiting for the right opportunities, as we here in Israel are acutely aware of. And a worsening of the American economy will be bad for everyone, especially here in Israel.
So as the race heats up in the U.S. elections, all we in Israel can do is hope that the “flack” from it won’t come down too hard on our heads â€“ literally!
February 9, 2008 at 8:46 am
If you were born in the US you are a citizen, and you mostlikely could vote if you did it by absentee ballot. It mostlikely would depend on which state you were born, so you could obtain the absentee ballot from the state that has record of your birth.
If so many overseas Israelis are eager for B. Obama to win the nomination and November election, then I hope those of you in Israel are ready for him to criticize Israel for its actions against the Palestinians. Just as he was early in criticizing our going to Iraq, he talked very early in 2005 about dialog with the Palestinians and Israel. As a brand-new senator at the time, he was told to “shut up” and he has in most cases other than broadly talking about dialog with those we like and those we don’t like.
Like him, I also don’t approve of most of Israel’s over the top actions. You seem to break your eggs with a sledge hammer and then wonder why you can’t make scrambled eggs.
Yes, Hamas is wrong about shooting rockets but very few have killed or hurt anyone. As Human Rights Watch and others have mentioned over the past decade or so, Israel has killed more than 10 people to each one of Israel’s that died. Ninety percent of those killed by Israel were civilians and children but more than 50% of those killed by Hamas were Israeli soldiers. Israel’s prime minister has stated more than once that Israel will use violence whenever necessary.
Then Israel wonders why people protest its actions and the UN speaks out against it. I DON’T!!
February 9, 2008 at 10:11 am
Glad to see you reading our blog. While some of your points are valid
(up to a point) I would like to remind you and others who may not have
visited of lived in Israel, that the only way to really know what is
going on here is TO BE HERE!
The Jews of Israel are part of a very small world minority of fewer
than 16 million. The Palestinians, most of them anyway, are part of
Dir al Islam or the world community of Islam numbering more than
1.3 Billion. And at least 80% of this number don’t want Jews or Israelis to have their own country – especially in the Middle East.
Israelis wouldn’t oppress or kill Palestinians (or Lebanese, Syrians,
etc.) if these groups would leave Israelis alone. Unfortuneately, they
do not. Thousands of Gazans used to work in Israel and supported their
families with the monies earned. Now this is not the case, and the onus of responsibility rests on the Palstinians themselves.
That’s where the matter stands, and this bit about “human rights” can
work both ways. A lot could be accomplised if Israelis and Palestinians could work together, but this is not likely to happen – perhaps ever.
February 10, 2008 at 2:31 pm
I was real happy about the Super Tuesday outcome, as I am for John McCain all the way! He is the right guy for America and he is the right guy for Israel too!!! I just wish Huckabee would bow out gracefully, as Romney did with half the delegates. At this point, Huckabee is only hurting the Republican party and is killing his chances of any post therein. A real shame.
February 10, 2008 at 3:14 pm
McCain should have won the nomination back in 2000, but he lost out to “that Texan” who, with his associate Mr. (Halliburton) Cheny, Shafted Al Gore out of the Presidency.
Of course, for Gore’s sake, losing the Oval Office may have been the best thing that even happened to him. Not only dind he have a lot more sleep and less headsaches during the past 7+ years, but triumphed over Bush and Co. by winning both an Oscar and the Nobel Prize.
Sometimes, by losing, one winds up winning!
McCain does have a big problem with “Huck” who will pick up more ultra conservative votes in the months ahead – especially if Barack Obama keeps up his pace.