The Fine Line Between Pandering and Lying

Barack Obama held a press conference in Sderot, Israel today. I wouldn’t have blamed him if he had stuck to a reasonable degree of pandering, but check out this question and answer from the press conference:

QUESTION: Senator Obama, you said in AIPAC convention that the (INAUDIBLE) Jerusalem could continue to be the capital city. Then you changed it and clarified later on in the — (INAUDIBLE) wonder.

How could you be sure if your other statesmen, that you are going to be committed to the security and safety of Israel and you’re not going to change it even when you’re the President of the United States?

OBAMA: First of all, I didn’t change my statement.

I continued to say that Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel. And I have said that before and I will say it again. And I also have said that it is important that we don’t simply slice the city in half. But I’ve also said that that’s a final status issue. That’s an issue that has to be dealt with with the parties involved, the Palestinians and the Israelis. And it’s not the job of the United States to dictate the form in which that will take, but rather to support the efforts that are being made right now to resolve these very difficult issues that have a long history.

Let’s pause here. Characteristically, Obama claims that he “didn’t change [his] statement.” But this is a fantasy. At the AIPAC convention, Obama made the ringing declaration that “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.” “Must.” Within 24 hours, however, his advisers scurried to take back Obama’s commitment to an undivided Jerusalem, saying that he meant only that Jerusalem shouldn’t “be divided by barbed wire and checkpoints as it was in 1948-1967,” and that, in fact, Obama was open to Jerusalem also being the capital of the Palestinian state.

In Sderot today, Obama didn’t say anything about Jerusalem being the Palestinian capital, but he essentially repeated, not his original call for a Jerusalem that “must” be “undivided,” but his mushier fall-back position. In doing so, he not only failed to acknowledge, but specifically denied, that this was a change from his AIPAC call for a Jerusalem that “must remain undivided.”

Obama continued:

Now, in terms of knowing my commitments, you don’t have to just look at my words, you can look at my deeds. Just this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran, as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don’t obtain a nuclear weapon.

But Obama is not a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. Obama just made that up so he could count the committee’s action as one of “my deeds.”

If committed by a Republican, this would be a gaffe of historic proportions. Even a Senator as inattentive to his duties as Obama certainly knows what committees he serves on. For him to fabricate the claim, out of whole cloth, that the Senate Banking Committee is “[his] committee,” strikes me as another sign of Obama’s megalomania. That, plus more evidence that he is totally at sea without a teleprompter.

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