Back in April, this reporter, writing for the Bulletin in Philadelphia, flew to the U.S. to cover the Middle East policies of Sen. Obama, just before the Pennsylvania presidential primary.
Only a month before, Sen. McCain, Sen. Obama’s likely November rival, had visited the missile-torn town of Sderot in Israel, where the Republican candidate had visited the home of Pinchas Amar, which had been devastated by a terrorist missile attack.
It was, therefore, a natural question for the Bulletin to ask Middle East advisors of Sen. Obama: would he also visit Israel, and if so, would he make a point of visiting Sderot?
Last Wednesday, Sen. Obama visited Israel on a whirlwhind visit.
A terror attack in Jerusalem preceded Senator Obama’s arrival at the King David Hotel by just a few hours. Only a block away from the hotel a terrorist from East Jerusalem used a tractor to crush tens of vehicles, until an armed passerby, a school teacher, killed the terrorist.
On Wednesday, after a series of pro forma political meetings with Israel and Arab leaders, Sen. Obama helicoptered to Sderot,and visited the same Amar family who had greeted Sen. McCain. The Amar home was still in a shambles from the rocket attack almost eight months earlier. Sen, Obama also visited the family of a young boy whose leg was amputated by a Gaza missile.
Both Sderot families whom Sen. Obama visited on Wednesday related that senator kept saying to them that he would always remember the human toll of terror in Israel that he had witnessed.
Sen. Obama left Sderot for Jerusalem, made a prayer at Jerusalem’s Western Wall, and flew on to address a rally in Berlin. Yet when he addressed matters of terror in Germany, his memory of terrorism in Israel proved to be short lived.
Addressing a throng of thousands in Berlin, Sen. Obama proclaimed:
“This is the moment when we must defeat terror and dry up the well of extremism that supports it…If we could create NATO to face down the Soviet Union, we can join in a new and global partnership to dismantle the networks that have struck in Madrid and Amman; in London and Bali; in Washington and New York…”
It would seem that Sen. Obama’s pledge to the people of Sderot to remember the human toll of terrorism in Israel did not outlast his flight from Israel.
Photo by: Rick Burres