On The O'Reilly Factor, Laura Ingraham said that when Sen. Barack Obama was speaking at a fundraiser to Orthodox Jews in New York, "He did not talk about the Hamas endorsement." But Obama has repeatedly denounced Hamas, including during his comments to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, in which he said: "We must isolate Hamas unless and until they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel's right to exist, and abide by past agreements."
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During the June 6 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, guest host Laura Ingraham said that "the other day, [Sen.] Barack Obama was speaking ... at a fundraiser to Orthodox Jews in New York." She said of his comments, "He did not, however, address the relationship that he has had in the past with Reverend [Louis] Farrakhan. He did not talk about the Hamas endorsement." But Obama has repeatedly denounced Hamas, including during his June 4 comments to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), in which he said: "We must isolate Hamas unless and until they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel's right to exist, and abide by past agreements." As Media Matters for America noted, Obama has repeatedly stated that his willingness to meet with international adversaries "does not include Hamas" and that he "does not support negotiations with Hamas until they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel's right to exist, and abide by past agreements."
Moreover, after Obama's AIPAC address, Hamas reportedly retracted its endorsement of Obama. According to Reuters, Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri stated on June 4, "Hamas does not differentiate between the two presidential candidates, Obama and [Sen. John] McCain, because their policies regarding the Arab-Israel conflict are the same and are hostile to us, therefore we do have no preference and are not wishing for either of them to win."
From Obama's address to AIPAC:
OBAMA: The long road to peace requires Palestinian partners committed to making the journey. We must isolate Hamas unless and until they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel's right to exist, and abide by past agreements. There is no room at the negotiating table for terrorist organizations. That is why I opposed holding elections in 2006 with Hamas on the ballot. The Israelis and the Palestinian Authority warned us at the time against holding these elections. But this Administration pressed ahead, and the result is a Gaza controlled by Hamas, with rockets raining down on Israel.
The Palestinian people must understand that progress will not come through the false prophets of extremism or the corrupt use of foreign aid. The United States and the international community must stand by Palestinians who are committed to cracking down on terror and carrying the burden of peacemaking. I will strongly urge Arab governments to take steps to normalize relations with Israel, and to fulfill their responsibility to pressure extremists and provide real support for President [Mahmoud] Abbas and Prime Minister [Salam] Fayyad. Egypt must cut off the smuggling of weapons into Gaza. Israel can also advance the cause of peace by taking appropriate steps -- consistent with its security -- to ease the freedom of movement for Palestinians, improve economic conditions in the West Bank, and to refrain from building new settlements -- as it agreed to with the Bush Administration at Annapolis.
Let me be clear. Israel's security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable. The Palestinians need a state that is contiguous and cohesive, and that allows them to prosper -- but any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel's identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.
From the June 6 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
INGRAHAM: I do this thing on my website called "The Pander Alert," OK, and on my show -- who's pandering to what group. And I know that's politics. But Howard, the other day, Barack Obama was speaking to -- at a fundraiser to Orthodox Jews in New York. And he was talking about Israel and you know, trying to obviously, I think, smooth relations between Jewish voters and his campaign.
He did not, however, address the relationship that he has had in the past with Reverend Farrakhan. He did not talk about the Hamas endorsement. Is that enough? I mean, for Jewish voters across the United States? Don't you have to do more than just try to make nice on the surface?
HOWARD GUTMAN (member of Obama's national finance committee): It would be great if he had addressed his relation with Reverend Farrakhan, since he had denounced Reverend Farrakhan long before he ever ran for president. Barack Obama is by far the strongest candidate for Jews and for Israel in this entire race. He's come out of Chicago, ran -- supported by the Jewish community by Penny Pritzker, by the entire Jewish community in Chicago was where he got the start in politics. His position on Israel is second to none. Witness the AIPAC speech yesterday.
So, true, there's a lot of misinformation in the Jewish community. It's something I've been working on in the last 16 months. But there is no stronger friend of Israel and no better friend for the Jewish community than Barack Obama.