Obama: Dividing Israel doesn't make me anti-Israel

Monday, February 25, 2008 |  by Staff Writer

US presidential hopeful Barrack Obama on Sunday insisted that just because he tends to side with those who advocate dividing the Land of Israel as the most viable path to peace does not mean that he is an enemy of the Jewish state.

Speaking to Jewish leaders in Cleveland, the Illinois senator complained that "there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt a unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you're anti-Israel."

Israel's opposition Likud Party and its supporters promote minimal or no territorial compromises in the quest for peace with an Arab world that has tried to militarily destroy the Jewish state at least three different times.

But, according to Obama, backing the Jews' biblical, historical and legal claim to all of the land in question "can't be the measure of our friendship with Israel."

Nor can supporting the view that only by defeating its Islamic foes can Israel enjoy any semblence of peace and security, continued the Democratic frontrunner.

As his popularity grows, Mr. Obama has come under scathing attack from supporters of the Jewish state for turning to advisors who have in the past expressed anti-Israel opinions.

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