NJDC issued this press release today:
Ira N. Forman, Executive Director of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC), released the following statement criticizing Sen. John McCain, President George Bush, and his allies for gross hypocrisies for casting Obama as the endorsed candidate of Hamas and for appeasement. Today in an opinion piece published in The Washington Post, former State Department official James Rubin revealed that in a British TV interview McCain did with Rubin in 2006, McCain responded to a question on whether U.S. diplomats should be working with the Hamas government in Gaza with, “sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another.”
Forman’s complete statement follows:
For the last few weeks Sen. John McCain, President George Bush, and their allies have tried to cast Sen. Barack Obama as being the endorsed candidate of Hamas and willing to negotiate with Iran. But this is hypocrisy. It takes particular audacity to attack Obama for appeasement when McCain has advocated dealing with Hamas, a position Obama has opposed.
In 2006, following Hamas’s victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections, James Rubin interviewed McCain for the British TV network Sky News's "World News Tonight" program. Rubin asked, “Do you think that American diplomats should be operating the way they have in the past, working with the Palestinian government if Hamas is now in charge?"
McCain responded, “They're the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another, and I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy towards Hamas because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice, so . . . but it's a new reality in the Middle East. I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and decent future, that they want democracy. Fatah was not giving them that.”
Who is the real McCain? What does McCain really stand for? What is McCain willing to do to get elected? We must wonder: is McCain really the “Straight Talk Express”? Or is he more like the “Smear Talk Express” or the “Hypocrisy Talk Express”?
NJDC may not agree with McCain’s previous willingness to engage with Hamas, but reasonable people can disagree on policy. Yet, the McCain-Bush hypocrisy on this issue is beyond the pale.