According to our sages, people we associate with can impact who we are. The Talmud (Sanhedrin 23a) advises judges and witnesses to make sure their colleagues are upstanding so as not to embarrass themselves by association. “...they would not sit at table without knowing their fellow diners."
This has become most obvious in this year's presidential election where Barack Obama has a cadre of affiliates and associations (social, political and financial) that should cause alarm with anyone who is concerned for Israel and Jewish welfare:
Samantha Power, Harvard Kennedy School of Government professor, who left her position at Harvard for a year after Senator Obama was elected to the Senate. She was referred to as one of his senior foreign policy advisers. One of her most irresponsible positions is that America send armed military forces, "a mammoth protection force" and an "external intervention", to impose a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.
Robert Malley is the Director of the Middle East/North Africa Program at the ICG and another of Obama's senior foreign policy advisers. Malley's propaganda has been fodder for Palestinians, Arab rejectionists, and anti-Israel activists across the world. Soros is a funder of the ICG through his Open Society Institute where he serves on its Board and on its Executive Committee. Other members of the Board include Zbigniew Brzezinski (whose anti-Israel credentials are impeccable) and Wesley Clark (who called US support for Israel during the Hezbollah War a "serious mistake"; who has flirted with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Malley has co-authored a spate of anti-Israel propaganda with former Arafat advisor, Hussein Agha.
Zbigniew Brzezinski's (the key Obama foreign policy adviser) lack of concern for the safety and security of Israel is well known. Brzezinski was Jimmy Carter's ("Israel is an apartheid state") national security advisor. Brzezinski has been disseminating vitriol about Israel for three decades and recently publicly defended the Walt-Mearsheimer study which concluded that US policy towards Israel was the result of Jewish pressure and inconsistent with American interests. More recently Brzezinski called for the US to initiate dialogue with Hamas, described Israel's action in the Second Lebanon War as a killing campaign against civilian hostages.
Other senior foreign policy advisers include Susan Rice (came up with the great idea that Jimmy Carter should be the Middle East negotiator) and Anthony Lake.
Then there is another associate, Rev. Jesse Jackson, who is worrisome to the Jewish community, aside from his past racist comments, he was recently quoted in France as saying: '[that Obama] would end decades of "Zionist control" if he became president.'
Chicago Leftist activists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn are not just infamous for their domestic terrorist activities but their anti-Israel positions as well: "the Palestinians use terrorism against Israel; and Israel currently employs terror in the service of settlement and occupation; "A bombing in a café in Israel is terrorism, and an Israeli assault on a neighborhood in Gaza is terrorism.". Of course targeting innocent Israeli women and children is equated here with a military operation against armed militants. (I wonder if this is because Bill Ayers takes this personally?)
Then there was Khalid al-Mansour, principal adviser to Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal (the Saudi billionaire blamed 9/11 on America), “was raising money for” Obama’s expenses at Harvard Law School. This does make one wonder how this poor kid was able to put himself through Harvard after not getting any honors at Colombia.
Sure Obama has acquaintances that are above reproof. But his strong ties with these other people would make any sensible person concerned with Israel and Jewish interests alarmed. I am afraid that the current support of Obama from so many American Jews is due to their ignorance, intellectual laziness or plain disinterest in having to question their world view. Anyone who seriously has a concern for the Jewish people will see the danger in the people who are surrounding Obama and influencing his decisions.
UPDATE: Although there are quite a few more examples here are a few I should not have left out:
At the annual AIPAC Policy Conference, Sen. Obama spoke saying that Jerusalem should be the undivided capital of Israel. The very next day, facing criticism from the Palestinian Authority and Arab nations, he flip-flopped. Sen. Obama said the future of Jerusalem would have to be negotiated by Israel and the Palestinians, calling his support for an undivided Jerusalem a "poor phrasing" of words.
General Tony McPeak is another close advisor who has strong anti-Semitic views.
There is also a supposed retraction of the Khalid al-Mansour connection by Kevin Wardally, "a spokesman for Sutton's family," e-mailed to Ben Smith of Politico. Upon further investigation this retraction is not credible:
Newsmax contacted the Sutton family and they categorically denied Wardally's claims to Smith and the Politico.com. So there was no retraction of Sutton's original interview, during which he revealed that Khalid Al-Mansour was "raising money" for Obama and had asked Sutton to write a letter of recommendation for Obama to help him get accepted at Harvard Law School.
Rashid Khalidi is another controversial figure who is friends with Barack Obama and who has anti-Israel sentiments and a close connection with Bill Ayers. A Stanley Kurtz recently said in an interview by Hugh Hewitt:
...would most Americans who support Israel be upset that Obama is close to Rashid Khalidi?
SK: Rashid Khalidi. They would be horrified, Hugh. They would be horrified. It would be like saying that the strongest advocate for the Palestinians and the greatest critic of Israel in the United States was close to Obama. And you know something? He is, and he was and he is. And so friends of Israel are rightly horrified by this.