Theodore's World: McCain Regarding Israel

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February 13, 2008

McCain Regarding Israel

Israeli reporter challenges McCain to polygraph after spat over interview

Israel Insider

Senator John McCain and his Mideast policy inclinations are being challenged over an interview that he granted two years ago to Amir Oren, a journalist from the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, on May 1, 2006, in which McCain declared that his administration "would send "the smartest guy I know" to the Middle East: "Brent Scowcroft, or Jim Baker though I know that you in Israel don't like Baker."

McCain reportedly added: "I would expect concessions and sacrifices by both sides."

When Oren asked McCain if that meant a "movement toward the June 4, 1967 armistice lines, with minor modifications," the reporter wrote, "McCain nodded in the affirmative."

To deflect criticism that he has encountered on the 2008 campaign trail, the McCain campaign has been quoting an article by John B. Judis, senior editor at The New Republic, who wrote in an article in that publication on October 25, 2006 that McCain was "miffed at his portrayal in Haaretz," saying that "after reading the Haaretz article and subsequent report in The Jewish Press [in New York]," he felt the need to "clear up several serious misimpressions." McCain said that "in contrast to the impression left by the Haaretz article, I've never held the position that Israel should return to 1967 lines, and that is not my position today."

The senator repeated this week what he said to the New Republic which was that "in the course of that brief, off-the-cuff conversation, I never discussed settlement blocs, a total withdrawal, or anything of the sort."

Reached at his desk in Tel Aviv, Oren said that McCain is "not telling the truth", and that he would gladly invite him to a polygraph to see who is telling the truth. He said the Republican frontrunner indeed recommended Baker and Scowcroft as potential candidates to deal with the Middle East, and that he clearly answered in the affirmative when it came to McCain's expectations of Israel, and how it should relate to further withdrawals.

Oren said that McCain stated clearly that Israel's policy should be one of "defending itself and withdrawing, defending itself and withdrawing." Far from an off the cuff conversation, Mr. Oren told the Bulletin that this was a formal interview that McCain provided him at the the Brussels Forum for American-European Relations, following an interview that McCain provided to the Washington Post. Oren mentioned to the Bulletin that the interview was conducted in the presence of McCain's aide, Richard Fontaine.

Oren was clearly upset to hear McCain was challenging the veracity of the interview from two years ago. In Oren's words, McCain should "show the same courage on the campaign trail that he showed in Vietnam."

David Bedein is a reporter for the the Philadelphia Bulletin (, in which this article first appeared. Bedein is also Bureau Chief Israel Resource News Agency.

Wild Thing's comment........

The one who denies that kind of a challenge is the one who’s lying. Gee Baker again. Yeah that wholly owned stoodge of the House of Saud is really the guy to send to Israel. After all, his Iraq plan was such a great idea. ...NOT!

It would be really neat if each party, the DNC and the RNC would provide a list of names of those running for President and in that list have each important issue listed and how each candidate would handle it, what they would do or their plan. It would be a ton of work to do it but once done could be used by every voting American as a way of knowing the candidate better. Plus it would be actual quotes with dates as a reference and a way of blasting them when they come back with their lies or their flip flops. Just an idea anyway.

Instead it is left up to each person to search out information and we already know how lazy most voters are. Someone asked me today at the gym what did each of the candidates left plan on doing with Israel. I would have loved to have just had a sheet to hand them on this and all the issues. And take the discussion from there. I am no one and it would have been great as a backup.

Posted by Wild Thing at February 13, 2008 12:45 AM


I imagine McCain has nightmares about polygraph machines for many reasons, like for almost everything he has said. He and Bill Clinton could do a comedy routine just trying to explain their lies.

WT. For about the same reasons as McCain and Bill C., the political partys could not do a position paper or list on their candidates policy stands. That is because those stands change to fit the moment and both the candidates and partys have to be able to deny that they stated something else previously.

Posted by: TomR at February 13, 2008 10:07 AM

WT, I have seen a few candidates for political office that have presented clear proposals, as you wish for. They never make it far. I can not explain why. I'd vote based on such a platform. Given that they do not, we have to go by their past voting record. One possiblity is that the number of voters who can not process concreate thought processes out number those who can. They vote on fealings, not facts.

Posted by: Odin at February 13, 2008 02:56 PM

Tom, yes your right, I understand. It would be impossible to do with wishie wsshie types like that. Thank you.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 13, 2008 05:06 PM

Odin, yes I always look into see how they voted in the past on things.
It wouldn't work because of what Tom said, he is right.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 13, 2008 05:09 PM