Back in April, this reporter, writing for the Bulletin in Philadelphia, flew to the U.S. to cover the Middle East policies of Senator Obama, just before the Pa. presidential primary. Only a month before, Senator McCain, Sen. Obama’s likely November rival, had visited the missile torn town of Sderot in Israel, where the Republican candidate had visited the home of Pinchas Amar which had been devastated by a Gaza missile.
It was therefore a natural question for the Bulletin to ask Middle East advisors of Sen. Obama if he would also visit Israel, and if he would visit Israel, and make it a point to visit Sderot.
Last Wednesday, Senator Obama visited Israel on a whirlwhind visit.
A terror attack preceded Senator Obama’s visit by a few hours before Senator Obama arrival at the King David Hotel. Only a block away from the hotel a Hamas terrorist used a tractor to crush tens of vehicles, until an armed passerby school teacher killed the terrorist.
On Wednesday, after a series of pro forma political meetings with Israel and Arab leaders, Senator Obama helicoptered to Sderot,and visited the same Amar family who had greeted Senator McCain. The Amar home was still in a shambles from the Gaza missile devastation. Sentaor Obama also visited the family of a young boy whose leg was amputated by a Gaza missile.
Both Sderot families whom Senator Obama visited on Wednesday related that Senator Obama kept saying to them that he would always remember the human toll of terror in Israel that he had witnessed.
Senator Obama left Sderot for Jerusalem, made a prayer at Jerusalem’s Western Wall, and flew on to address a rally in Berlin. Yet when Senator Obama addressed matters of terror in Germany, his memory of terrorism in Israel proved to be short lived.
Addressing a throng of thousands in Berlin, Senator Obama proclaimed that “This is the moment when we must defeat terror and dry up the well of extremism that supports it… If we could create NATO to face down the Soviet Union, we can join in a new and global partnership to dismantle the networks that have struck in Madrid and Amman; in London and Bali; in Washington and New York… “
It would seem that Senator Obama’s pledge to the people of Sderot to remember the human toll of terrorism in Israel did not outlast his flight from Israel.