December 28th, 2008
12:45 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama closely monitoring Gaza, adviser says

Barack Obama's approach to the Middle East as president will be the subject of much scrutiny.
Barack Obama's approach to the Middle East as president will be the subject of much scrutiny.

(CNN) - The president-elect's senior adviser said that while Barack Obama is monitoring the situation in Gaza closely, "the fact is that there is only one president at a time."

"There's only one president who can speak for America at a time. And that president now is George Bush," senior adviser David Axelrod said in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation."

Israeli airstrikes continued pounding targets in Hamas-ruled Gaza on Sunday, in what Israel said was a response to escalating rocket attacks against southern Israel.

The fighting ignited eight days after a six-month Egypt-brokered cease-fire between Hamas and Israel expired.

Palestinian security sources said Sunday that at least 277 people had been killed and hundreds wounded.

Obama spoke with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Saturday about the violence in Gaza, two transition aides told CNN.

Asked whether Obama takes on a passive role when talking to Rice, Axelrod said, "I would hardly describe him as passive."

"I think they have a good working relationship. And there's a - I think the calls are largely in the area of fact-finding for him," he said.

"But I think he wants to get a handle on the situation, so that, when he becomes president on January 20, he has the advantage of all the facts and information leading up to that point."

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soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Texas Teacher

    What else can the man do? His hands are tied until he is sworn in as President of the U.S. Until then, he must bow to Bush's methods.

    I can hardly wait until Jan. 20th. From that day forward, we will have the voice of reason and logic in the White House.

    Until that day.... we pray as our only recourse of action. :)

    December 28, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  2. RazorWilly

    Obama stay clear of the Isreal situation... Cut of their funding, that will get Isreal to stop this crap ijn about 2 weeks.

    December 28, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. Mike

    He's an idiot..he has no clue what is going on over there...hopefully, Israel will take this opportunity to stay on the offensive, b/c when this clown comes into office...the US will no longer be a friend.

    December 28, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. BB

    Just 23 more days – if Bush can keep his nose out of everything for just 23 more days, maybe we can recover.

    December 28, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. strong

    Barack is on the ball, super keen and he is not even in office yet! Don't burn yourself out there, Mr. Obama.

    December 28, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. Angie

    And we are so glad you are PRESIDENT ELECT OBAMA. I think the Washington DC idiot that has for whatever reason has occupied the house for the last 8 years has finally left the building. Which is good for America.

    December 28, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  7. RazorWilly

    Obama stay out of the ME situation... They are all crazy idiots.. they deserve each other

    December 28, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. blood is on your hand, obama.

    you could NEVER wash it away.

    December 28, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. Gaza & Israel = Afghanistan & US

    President Elect Obama ought to look very closely as the never ending saga of conflict between Israel and its neighbors in Gaza - a conflict not likely to end in our lifetimes or those of our children or grandchildren. Afghanistan could be the US's 21st Century Vietnam if Obama chooses to escalate there as he has indicated. 100,000 Russian troops waging war in Afghanistan for 10 years could not achieve a military victory. The US has NO chance of achieving anything close to a military victory. The Afghan government is corrupt to its heroin dealing Presidential core. The so called friendly tribal leaders live on the heroin trafficking. The Taliban and Al Queada are funded from the heroin business. The poppy field locations are well known to the US; our jets fly over them every day, and yet we do nothing. And now there is talk of arming the "friendly" tribal leaders to help keep the peace – the drug dealing tribal leaders. In case Obama has forgotten, the US sent arms and money to Afghanistan tribal leaders years before. It was during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, and the Afghan leader we funded and armed was the Afghan freedom fighter leader – Osama Bin Laden. It was, in fact, the US that essentially created Osama's reputation by helping him defeat the Russians. If Obama wants change, the best two decisions he can make are (1) withdraw from Iraq; (2) withdraw from Afghanistan. Anything short of this will spell a one-term presidency for Obama, and more lost lives in wasted billions in useless wars.

    December 28, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. SANDRA

    I AGREE PRESIDENT ELECT OBAMA IS CORRECT PRESIDENT BUSH IS STILL THE PRESIDENT UNTIL JAN 20 2009 HE SHOULD ACT ACCORDING. THE PRESS AND MSM WANT TO HOLD MR OBAMA ACCOUNTABLE FOR EVERY THING THAT'S HAPPEN IN AMERICA AND OUT SIDE OUR SHORES .I THINK IT'S DARN UNFAIR AND JUST WRONG BECAUSE HE WON THE ELECTION THEY WAS TO OR TRY TO PUNISH HIM OR TURN THE PUBLIC AGAINST HIM BY ALL THE STORY THEY CAN MUSTER AND KEEPING ALL THESE NON STORIES ALIVE . IT THEM NOT THE VOTERS. THE CABLE STATIONS AND THE CLONES AND THEIR 24 HRS NAY SAYERS ARE ON THEIR RANT. WHAT THEY SHOULD KNOW WE ARE TURNING THEM OFF AND I HOPE THEIR RATING DROP MOST OF US ARE TRIED OF THEM THINKING OR TRYING TO

    December 28, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. Lyndon from CA

    Israel and Hammas, Israel and Fatah, Israel and Hezbollah, Israel and Syria, Israel and Iran. YAWN!

    December 28, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. Meka

    A President that will "DEAL WITH THE FACTS", unlike the current Administration.

    Prime Example: Investigating Team that went into Iraq, told the Bush Administration that there were "NO WMD" !

    December 28, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. Mike

    And Obama is thanking God that he is not yet the President. Obama's adminstration already shows signs of incompetance.

    December 28, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  14. arc, Lugano CH

    It sounds like President Elect Obama is approaching this most recent situation precisely in the way that he should; even if there is bound to be prejudiced-veiled criticism from the "Country First' Bigot Trailer Trash.

    December 28, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  15. norom

    Richard Rohde is a moron

    December 28, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    WH: Isreal should avoid civilian casualties.
    Meaning: ISREAL if you don't start the war before I leave the "coward and appeaser" Obama will connive with his father's brothers to disturb the extermination of Palestine.
    The question is: is war the only way Bush can solve problems? Obama will have a tough time cleaning this mess.

    December 28, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Becky, KS

    How close? He's not over there is he?

    December 28, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  18. Ann

    I start to think that CNN does this in purpose.. you cannot find a picture showing a smarter Obama face? I forgot.. this is his only face..

    December 28, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  19. Franky

    "One analyst of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cautioned against holding the incoming administration to "dangerously high" expectations."

    Exactly...

    Like I said, we are not New York or the Yanks.

    Our expectations are realistic so any of you out there who think this is gonna play just right or look for something to hold against, obviously you don't know nothing about the world...

    I will give props to Israel that finally they are growing up. And if you think Hamas is not thinking anything big...trust me, they are thinking something big. You gotta becareful with how you do it and what you do. Just be careful...and for real, watch out for civilians. Don't act like careless leaders...

    December 28, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. Joe Fattal

    Here is your test Mr. Obama that Joe Biden was talking about. They just trying the new administartion. With a new administaration, comes money, weapons, and whatever else the State of Israel needs to "survive". Over 200 civilians dead; no hamas in between, unless you can tell the difference. All those casualties to have the new administration siding with them. The US is considering Israel an ally, for what. What the US needs israel for, we know what Israel needs the US for, money, lots of money, and weapons. The more sofisticated the better, remember they fighing the Palestinians. So Mr. president-elect Obama, expect the israelis to be in gaza until you take office, then send, guess who. Hillary.

    December 28, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  21. common sense

    since 2005 hamas killed 9 israelis,and in return israel killed 1400 palestinians.HOW DO YOU JUSTIFY THAT?????...am a jew and that is not right

    December 28, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. Too catering to Israel

    they need to be monitored, they ride rough shod over their neighbors, but they do need to be tough, their neighbors are Hamas, Syria etc.

    December 28, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  23. rachel

    I wish he would say what he plans to do.

    December 28, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  24. Joe Regis

    Why these killing and sneaking attacks now, at this time of the year?

    Can somebody stop these nonsense now for Christ sake?

    December 28, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  25. rollicky

    As president Obama has geat need to cut off all monies being given to the jews as well as all the armament being given and stop supporting these terrorist in United nations and elsewhere.

    Also, have great need to provide the the Palestinian peoples with monies, arms, planes and Atom bomb as have given the jews.

    December 28, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
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