Speaking at the World Policy Forum in France over the weekend, Mr. Jackson promised "fundamental changes" in American foreign policy, saying the U.S. must "heal wounds" it has caused to other nations, revive its alliances and apologize for the "arrogance of the Bush administration."
Then, for good measure, Jackson took a little excursion into anti-Semitism, as the New York Post reports:
[According to Jackson] "The most important change would occur in the Middle East, where "decades of putting Israel's interests first" would end.
Jackson believes that, although "Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades" remain strong, they'll lose a great deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House.
"Obama is about change," Jackson told [Post columnist Amir Taheri] in a wide-ranging conversation. "And the change that Obama promises is not limited to what we do in America itself. It is a change of the way America looks at the world and its place in it."
Jackson emphasized that he is not a member of Obama's policy advisory team--"just a supporter" as he describes it. But he did take credit for helping the Democratic presidential nominee launch his career.
So far, the Obama camp has said little about Jackson's remarks. They're probably hoping the matter will simply go away, and the MSM seems to be aiding in the effort (what a surprise). Aside from the Post, Jackson's comments have received very little attention, and don't look for them on the front page of The New York Times or Washington Post. Ditto for those evening news programs.
But maybe there is more to this than meets the eye. Matt Brooks of the Republican Jewish Coalition notes a similarity between Jackson's remarks and those of an Obama advisor, retired Air Force General Merrill "Tony" McPeak. Earlier this year, McPeak said that progress had not been made on the Middle East peace process because of the influence of the American Jewish community. McPeak suggested that American policy toward the Middle East is decided in "New York and Miami," which have large blocs of Jewish voters.
Amazing, General McPeak remains with the Obama campaign, those his role was been decidedly low-profile during the run-up to election day. And that begs another question: why has Senator Obama been so slow to distance himself from McPeak's remarks, and now, those of Jesse Jackson.
No one is accusing Mr. Obama of being an anti-Semite. But we can judge him by the company he keeps, and his alliances with General McPeak and Jesse Jackson raise legitimate concerns about how U.S.-Israeli relations would fare under his presidency.
Indeed, Jackson's expanded interview with the Post do nothing to alleviate those worries. He strongly supports Obama's desire for direct talks with the leaders of Iran, and claims that repairing relations with Islamic countries would be a top priority for his administration.
H/T: to Jennifer Rubin at Commentary.