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John Brennan, “Arabist”

By the standards of the Obama administration, John Brennan, its nominee for CIA director, will not be noteworthy for lack of warm feelings towards the State of Israel. In a normal administration, however, he would stand out for this reason.

I discussed Brennan’s views about the Middle East in a February 2010 post called “Israel On Its Own.” Scott had pointed to a speech Brennan gave at an event sponsored by the NYU Islamic Center in which touted his visit to “Palestine.” That land does not exist, but State Department Arabists frequently refer to the West Bank that way.

Brennan’s speech could hardly have been more cloying. As Scott wrote:

Brennan testifies to the beauty and goodness of Islam. Brennan’s speech is full of the apologetics, false equivalences and straw men that we have come to expect from the Obama administration in addressing these matters. As he instructs the faithful in the meaning of Islam, he doesn’t quite get around to the subject of jihad.

As to Israel, Brennan said, “it’s tough, but we’re not going to separate ourselves from Israel.” He did not say why it’s such a burden not to “separate” from Israel — our staunch ally since its birth. But as Obama proceeds to effectuate such a separation, the point is increasingly moot.

Scott urged readers to view the full video of Brennan’s NYU speech. It is certainly worth revisiting now, if we can dig it up.

SCOTT adds: The video of Brennan speaking at NYU is still available here, on the White House Web site. It is posted below.

Kerry Picket revisits the subject of Brennan on jihad here with videos deriving from an aborted meeting with the editors of the Washington Times.

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