The 2008 election gives Israel-based voters a chance to rectify the legacy of the 2 Bush administrations.
By SHELDON SCHORER, COUNSEL TO DEMOCRATS ABROAD ISRAEL
The 2008 election will give American voters in Israel an opportunity to rectify the harmful legacy of the two Bush administrations by electing a Democrat to the presidency. The Republican candidates pride themselves on their identification with President George W. Bush and his policies. Only a Democrat can bring about change and lead the United States and Israel out of the current quagmire and into a position of greater peace and security.
The centerpiece of Bush's foreign policy, his war on terror, has been a disastrous failure. America has not lessened the threat of international terrorism, which has grown. American weakness - symbolized by troops mired in Afghanistan and Iraq - and the consequent loss of international political clout have had a devastating effect on Israel's security, making it less secure today than it was during the Bill Clinton era.
In addition to emboldening Hizbullah and Hamas, America has failed to dissuade Iran from pursuing an aggressive program of nuclear weapons development.
Both leading Democratic contenders, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, are strong friends of Israel, who understand its needs and who support Israel's efforts to achieve peace and security. A new Democratic president will continue the party's long tradition of support for Israel.
Hillary Clinton's concern and support for Israel's needs are well-known, and she has demonstrated this support in the Senate time and again.
Although his views are lesser known, Senator Barack Obama has also shown strong understanding for Israel. In a June 2004 speech, Obama summarized the Democratic position: "Our first and immutable commitment must be to the security of Israel, our only true ally in the Middle East and the only democracy. The administration's failure to be consistently involved in helping Israel achieve peace with the Palestinians has been both wrong for our friendship with Israel, as well as badly damaging to our standing in the Arab world."
More recently, Obama said, "My view is that the United States's special relationship with Israel obligates us to be helpful to them in the search for credible partners with whom they can make peace, while also supporting Israel in defending itself against enemies sworn to its destruction."
The Bush era of cowboy diplomacy, which has been marked by instability and insecurity, will soon come to an end. A Democratic victory will reverse this trend and will result in increased stability and security for both the United States and Israel.
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