Palestinians, Israelis See Obama Differently

[Globe and Mail-Canada] Patrick Martin - Palestinian pollster Jamil Rabah cautioned against reading too much into Palestinian support for Obama. "They like this guy because he's black, because he's not the typical blue-eyed white Westerner. But they don't know anything about what he stands for." "They're investing so much in what they think he promises, because he's not George Bush," Rabah said. "They see in him what they want to see, but they're setting themselves up for disappointment." Barry Rubin, at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, believes the U.S.-Israel relationship will hold, "but I'm extremely worried about the unintended consequences of what might be Obama's approach to the region." "My concern is that the Islamists will see Obama as weak, and feel able to do what they want. Iran won't be afraid to develop nuclear weapons, Hizbullah won't be afraid to attack Israel and Hamas will be the same." In that event, he said, "I worry that pro-Western Arab leaders won't feel they're getting the support they need from Washington and that, then, they'll try to appease Iran. In the end, Islamists everywhere will feel bolder."

2008-11-07 01:00:00

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