Obama’s Middle East Speech Slammed by… County Commissioner Candidates

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

It’s tough to say how often foreign policy issues decide a county commissioner race in PA, but Montgomery County Commissioner candidates Bruce Castor and Jenny Brown are giving it a try.

Their campaign just released a statement criticizing President Obama’s Middle East policy speech from yesterday. At issue is Obama’s description of borders in a two state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

“While we applaud our President for striking a major blow against al-Qaeda by delivering justice to Osama bin Laden, we cannot abide his directive that Israel should put itself at risk by returning to a border situation that left the country unable to defend itself against constant attacks,” said Castor.

“The United States should stand side-by-side with Israel and oppose this reckless and naïve proposal.”

Other Republicans have been quick to criticize Obama’s remarks. At issue are Obama’s words that the borders should be, “based on 1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps.”

“The president’s reference to pre-1967 borders as the basis for peace undermines our ally Israel’s negotiating position, demonstrates insensitivity to the security threats Israel faces on a daily basis and ignores the historical context that has shaped the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for more than 60 years,” said Senator Pat Toomey in a statement.

Some, however, note that Obama’s speech is in keeping with the border policy of former President George W. Bush. Bush wrote a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2004 in which he wrote that Israel’s borders, “ should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338.” U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 calls on Israel to withdraw to its pre-1967 borders.

At the very least, Castor and Brown’s tack is interesting. Foreign policy may not be a key issue in Montco, but the county is home to a large population of Jewish voters.

The commissioners race in Montco will be one of the most watched in PA in 2011, and could be a bellweather in the key national swing areas of the Philly suburbs.

The entire release is below.

Brown-Castor Oppose Return to “1967 borders” for Israel

BLUE BELL – Montgomery County Commissioner candidates Jenny Brown and Bruce Castor today announce their concern about the latest White House statement that Israel return to “the 1967 borders” with Palestine.

Castor, the county’s former District Attorney, said security concerns are paramount for our country’s greatest ally in the Middle East, especially in a time of heightened concern about terrorism and political upheaval.

“While we applaud our President for striking a major blow against al-Qaeda by delivering justice to Osama bin Laden, we cannot abide his directive that Israel should put itself at risk by returning to a border situation that left the country unable to defend itself against constant attacks,” said Castor.

An editorial by The Jerusalem Post described President Obama’s remarks as “a clear endorsement of Palestinian demands, and terminology that for many Israelis will bring fears of escalating pressure to return to positions similar to those from which a vulnerable Israel was repeatedly attacked between 1948 and 1967.”
– (5/19/11: http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Editorials/Article.aspx?id=221411)

Brown and Castor called on their opponents to join them in condemning the White House on this issue.

“The United States should stand side-by-side with Israel and oppose this reckless and naïve proposal,” said Castor.

May 20th, 2011 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg | 12 Comments

12 thoughts on “Obama’s Middle East Speech Slammed by… County Commissioner Candidates”

  1. Since Iran Contra, the Tunisian Uprising has anything changed?
    IMF Riot or Arab Spring? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpBSSDrKw4A

    US ‘trained’ Blogger Revolts http://wp.me/pPkXP-yt

    -sovereignthink

  2. Jack Sparrow says:

    ELECT THE 2 WOMEN THIS NOVEMBER YOU WILL MAKE HISTORY BY DOING SO

  3. Jack Sparrow says:

    Bruce Castor is an Idiot as well His Family is Mega Rich He was Born with a Platinum Spoon in his Mouth Bruce is a spoiled Rotten Brat and Thinks he is entitled to Everything He wants Guess what Bruce You Proved in the State AG Race that you are a LOSER

  4. Earl Gary says:

    I read in the paper yesterday that Shapiro mentor Joe Hoeffel thinks Israel is not a county commissioner issue. As usual, he misses the point. The issue is Josh Shapiro and his priority to be a liberal Democat first and am supporter of Israel second. Why would commissioner candidates Brown and Castor care? Because they are trying to get Jewish voters this fall to rethink Shapiro and Richards (who is Jewish also) and withhold voting for and contributing to their campaigns. This is an attack of Shapiro’s judgment and character calling both into question and thus relevant to this election. It just so happensmthe vehicle is international affairs. That other US senators from both parties, and all congress members willing to take a stand (Swartz is in hiding) are all against Obama in this is telling. Why does Shapiro/Richards have nothing to say? Because a good party soldiers they can’t dis Obama and as good Jews they can’t dis Israel. Thus they can say nothing. This was a good call by the Brown/Castor people. Credit Jenny Brown from Lower Merion for seeing the issue and acting on it.

  5. Jack Sparrow says:

    Josh Shappiro Is always Pushed and Groomed by The Israeli Lobby and Thus The Israeli Lobby Gives orders to the News Media To Push Josh Shappiro The Media Follows Josh Shapiro around Like a Little Puppy Dog I saw this Happen at Obama’s Presidential Election Night at The Water Works In Philly It really was such a Pathetic sight to see Big People in the Media Grovel at Josh Shappiro’s feet This is not a Good Thing for Democracy Just say No To a No Nothing Do Nothing Josh Shappiro he has accomplished Nothing in His Elected Position Vote for the 2 Women For County Commissioner

  6. Myles says:

    I’m a Jewish voter and I feel misled by Shapiro on Obama. I vote for who I think can best represent me regardless of their religion. I did not vote for the Jewish candidate for commissioner four years ago because I thought she wanted to raise my property taxes. I for one consider this a serious issue. It’s a little insulting to suggest otherwise or that I will vote blindly on basis of religion, Not Mike.

  7. Not Mike Marino says:

    Skillful? Please… Whoever is congratulating themselves on this one, get real. It’s very weak sauce. Do you actually suppose that Jewish voters are going to pass on two Jewish candidates because one of them pumped up Obama three years ago on the Israel question? Shapiro is a fresh face and campaigns well. Castor carries a lot of negative baggage into this race. His credibility ain’t the greatest. This “skillful” press release will be perceived for what it is, Castor clumsily trying to wedge Shapiro on the Israel question. It’s a non-starter. Bottom line, if the Dems get their turnout advantage, Castor is history. People are tired of his act. He could well be the 4th horse in a 3-horse race. And he’s earned it.

  8. Harve says:

    Point: Golda doesn’t say Castor was skillful. Just that whoever did it was.

  9. Golda says:

    I guess that would be true if Castor campaigned for Paul and help persuade peopel Paul and his positions would be good for their interests. I don’t know if Castor did that or not. But I do know that Shapiro told all of us in person and by mail how great Obama was on Israel. Many of us believed him and feel betrayed. All those people who Castor persuaded to vote for Paul who are disappointed with Paul’s positions should hold that against Castor and Brown just like all us Jews that believed Shapiro on Obama should hold it against Shapiro/Richards. A fair point. Thank you for clearing that up, Mike.

  10. Not Mike Marino says:

    So, if this is a county issue, then Shapiro/Richards should now get to slam Castor/Brown for Paul Ryan’s attempt to kill Medicare? And, give me a break, Bruce “skillful”? He’s so “skillful” that he “skillfully” flushed his once-promising political career down the toilet. Guy had serious potential at one time but now his legacy will be as 1/3 of the most dysfunctional Montco board of all time.

  11. Golda says:

    The interesting thing is what is not in this story or in the release. Josh Shapiro was Barack Obama’s main contact within the Philadelphia region’s Jewish community in 2008. Shapiro beat the drum for Obama as being pro-Israel and tha has turned out to be as far from the truth as possible. This is a clever attack against Josh and his Jewish running mate Leslie Richards in their home base without saying so. What the Brown/Castor folks are really saying is that Josh is a liberal Obama Democrat first and a Jew second. Sure the Mideast has nothing to do with a commissioner race, but it may had a lot to do with Jew’s perception of Shapiro’s associations and judgment. Shapiro is a protoge of Joe Hoeffel, the throughly discredited partner in crime of the disgraced Jim Matthews. The last thing the Democrats need is their star on the ticket to be painted as a Hoeffel/Obama tool in the Jewish community. That will hurt down ballot races as voters stay away from the polls and could kill Richards. This was a skillfully done attack by people who know what they’re doing.

  12. Truth Squad says:

    Note to Josh Shapiro: You’re not up against Little Louis Guerra this time.

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