— by Max Samis
Time and time again, the Emergency Committee For Israel has launched partisan attacks that range anywhere from disingenuous to blatantly false. Now, their latest advertisement has been attacked by one of the individuals it quoted. Martin Indyk, the former Ambassador to Israel during the Clinton administration, told Alexander Burns of Politico that ECI took his words “completely out of context” in what he deemed a “low and odious” political ploy.
The Emergency Committee for Israel placed ads in Jewish newspapers this week accusing Obama of being a poor friend to Israel. The ad features several critical quotes, including this one from Indyk: ‘From his first day in the White House, he put the Middle East at the top of his political agenda. Unfortunately for him, his personal involvement only made things worse.’
Indyk, now at the Brookings Institution, says the newspaper ad is not an accurate representation of his view of the Obama administration’s Israel policy.
‘First of all, my words are taken completely out of context. I’m voting for Obama, and I hope he gets reelected. It’s outrageous to me that my words would be used in an ad to try and change Jewish voters,’ he said in an interview. ‘I don’t think there’s any chance it’ll work, but it’s a low and odious attempt to twist some words for the purpose of politicizing an analysis I was doing.’
‘The reality,’ he continued, ‘is that George W. Bush and Bill Clinton also got involved and made matters worse. And I too got involved and made matters worse.”
The former diplomat pointed to a number of Obama administration measures supporting Israel – including military aid and cooperation on covert actions against Iran – and concluded: ‘Anybody looking at the facts would judge him to have fulfilled his commitment to support Israel’s security.’
Indyk’s office also released a statement to Teisha Bader of Shalom TV:
I am deeply disappointed that my analysis of President Obama’s Middle East policy, as outlined in my recent book, Bending History: Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy, has been distorted for partisan political purposes. President Obama has made mistakes, just like others who have tried and failed to make peace in the Middle East. (I include myself in that category.) But the President has been true to his promise of doing everything possible to ensure Israel’s security and he deserves high praise for that.