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Obama Ignorance Watch (A Very Special Edition!)

9:25 AM, Jul 23, 2008 • By DEAN BARNETT
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As you know, Barack Obama is still trotting across the globe, sinking three pointers, ignoring military counsel and healing the occasional leper. Amidst all the hullabaloo, these Obama comments regarding Israel and terrorism have been sadly overlooked:

"Um, let me be absolutely clear. Israel is a strong friend of Israel's."

Hah! Truly eloquent, and still more evidence of what Marc Ambinder refers to as Obama's "talented, incredible gift of a mind." But that comment hasn't been overlooked, and really isn't important. But these comments have been overlooked and are a lot more important than the typical Obama gaffe:

"What I think can change is the ability of the United States government and a United States president to be actively engaged with the peace process and to be concerned and to recognize the legitimate difficulties that the Palestinian people are experiencing right now and recognize that it is not only in the interest of the Palestinian people that their situation improves - I believe that it is in the interest of the Israeli people…That's why terrorism is so counterproductive as well as being immoral because it makes I believe the Israelis want to dig in and simply think about their own security regardless of what's going on beyond their borders."

This is the conventional lefty trope about Israel, and it is completely contrary to all the facts. Then again, we all know by now that Obama has the ugly habit of repeating lefty tropes, blithely unconcerned about their accuracy or lack thereof.

The Israel government has responded to the many terrorist provocations of the past 15 years by pursuing an increasingly desperate search for peace. Israel spent the Clinton years trying to broker a deal with the since-deceased mass murdering capo of the Palestinian regime. That misguided Israeli effort to give away the store mercifully failed when Yasser Arafat spurned Israel's way-too-generous peace proposals.

Okay, that's ancient history and took place when Obama was still consumed with trying to organize communities and teach a Con Law class at the University of Chicago. But more recently, just last week as a matter of fact, Israel exchanged a terrorist prisoner infamous for shattering the skull of a four year-old for the corpses of two Israeli soldiers. Israel made this deal with the decidedly non-peaceful terror organization, Hezbollah.

The point is that Israel, as recently as last week, has consistently scrambled for peace and has willingly engaged terrorist organizations to do so. Far from driving Israel into "digging in," Hezbollah's terrorist activities have often had their desired effect. And yet Barack Obama yesterday peddled the risible notion that Arab terrorism had somehow squelched the Israeli desire for peace and forced Israel into a protective shell.

How can Obama, he of the "talented, incredible gift of a mind," be unaware of such basic facts? Then again, in Obama-world, perhaps such a deal would be called "tough and principled diplomacy." Regardless, Obama's assertion that terrorism has made Israel "dig in" is ludicrously counterfactual. I understand that on the Obama campaign bus they only watch ESPN, but it's still surprising that the news of last week's prisoner swap escaped the presumptive nominee's notice.