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A Jewish group in the United States has recruited a number of retired IDF and high-ranking Mossad officials to appear in a video supporting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, saying he would be a better partner for Israel in the White House.
In the video, released by the pro-Obama Jewish Council for Education & Research, Brig.-Gen (Ret.) Shlomo Brom, former IDF commander of strategic planning, said that the Bush administration caused major damage to Israel's interests. He said Obama would be a better president for Israel than his rival John McCain, whose policies, Brom said, would likely be too close to those of Bush that were "not so helpful for Israel."
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Similarly, Yossi Alpher, a former Mossad senior officer, said that McCain would maintain the same pose that the Bush administration adopted, which, Alpher said, had failed. He said Bush's approach had strengthened radical Islamic elements, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Alpher said that he was excited when he saw Obama's readiness to bring a fresh approach to the region.
Col. (res.) Shaul Arieli, a former brigade commander in the northern Gaza Strip, said it seemed Obama was the best person to open a new page in the relationship both with the Arab world and Israel, and to bring stability to the Middle East.
Former IDF chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Amnon Lipkin-Shahak said that during the Bush Administration, US involvement in the Middle East was "not professionally handled."
Maj.-Gen. (Ret.) Amram Mitzna said that another four years of indecision, stagnancy and a lack of intense US involvement in the Middle East peace process would be bad for Israel. He claimed Obama would achieve a greater involvement and that he "brings many hopes."
Former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy also spoke fondly of the Democratic candidate, saying that he brought a breath of fresh air, was "impressive" and a "great communicator."
Brig.-Gen. (res.) Giora Inbar, a former IDF commander in south Lebanon, said he would personally vote for Obama to help Israel. Inbar said he was not convinced that the Bush method was the right way to deal with the axis of evil and that he would welcome anyone who chose to handle it differently.
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan hailed Obama's willingness to be engaged with the Iranians in order to stop the Islamic Republic from attaining nuclear capabilities.
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