How is the U.S. presidential election playing in the Middle East?
Israel and Palin
While delegates at the Republican Convention are still buzzing about Sarah Palin's speech Wednesday night, Israelis, and Jewish people in general, are trying to come to terms with John McCain's surprise pick for vice president. Who is this woman and what would she mean to Israel?
As CBN News reported Wednesday, Palin told AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) that said she wanted "to work to expand and deepen the strategic partnership between the U.S. and Israel."
Certainly welcome news for Israelis, but there's an eager search going on for more insight into this little known politician.
In today's Jerusalem Post, one article's banner read, "Good for the Jews? Looking for clues in Alaska governor's resume." The article included this statement: "Picking through the trivia and smears for substance, there's this: Palin, 44, has genuinely warm relations with her Jewish constituents -- 6,000 or so -- and appears to have a fondness for Israel."
While other columns are not so complimentary about Governor Palin, the views of many Israelis will likely crystallize soon about this frontier woman who just might one day have a great say in U.S. Middle East policy.
Iran and the Candidates
MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) just released an interview with Iranian political science professor and expert on U.S. affairs Mohammed-Ali Fardanesh of Shahid Behshti University. The interview aired on IRIB/Jaam-E 2TV. If you'd like to see the clip, you can log on to www.memritv.org/clip/en/1843.htm
Here's an excerpt that shows how this Iranian views the candidates:
"Mr. Biden is a very respectable man. He has a good reputation, and he is respectable and healthy. He has been in the Senate for 36 years, since he was 29. They are more knowledgeable in foreign affairs. True, Obama has no experience, but McCain not only has no experience, but [sic] doesn't even know where 'abroad' is. The poor guy is very absentminded."
The Candidates and the Arab World
Finally, if you'd like to see how the presidential race is portrayed in the Middle East Arabic press, check out this page on the Anti-Defamation League website. You'll see many newspapers equally disparage both Barak Obama and John McCain as stooges for Israel. Here's the link: www.adl.org/main_Arab_World/as_cartoons_candidates.htm
Regardless of their views, the nations and peoples of the Middle East are watching the U.S. presidential race closely. After all, whoever is elected will make a huge impact on this part of the world.
That's why many over here are praying fervently for the outcome of this election 6,000 miles away.