December 29th, 2008
10:30 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama could inherit Gaza crisis

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Barack Obama reiterated his support for Israel when he visited Sderot in July."]
(CNN) - As the violence rages in Gaza, President Bush is putting the blame squarely on Hamas, while President-elect Barack Obama is keeping a low profile and sticking by his belief that "there is only one president at a time."

But with less than a month until the inauguration, the president-elect could inherit an international crisis - one he will not be able to defer to Bush.

Israeli airstrikes pummeled Gaza for a third day Monday as part of what Israel's defense minister called "an all-out war" with Hamas. Israel says the attacks are a response to escalating rocket attacks against southern Israel.

Israel has tanks on the border and has approved the call-up of 2,000 reservists, but there was no indication of a Israeli ground incursion Monday. However, Israeli politicians say that all options are on the table.

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Israel
soundoff (164 Responses)
  1. BB

    Duh – he's inheriting everything left undone.

    December 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Israel's vow to fight the rogue Palestinians "to the bitter end" has the ring of a "final solution", does it not?

    December 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. Al, NY NY

    What do you mean COULD inherit it? Duh-bya is gonna sit back and do absolutely nothing until he rides off to his ranch in fantasy-land, thinking his legacy will be positive.

    December 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. Spider


    Will Barack Obama back Israel? She's been an ally since we became a nation. There's some change for you all. Turn your back on Israel, Barack. See what approval ratings that'll get ya.

    December 29, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. AnaB

    Ya think?

    December 29, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. Richard Rohde

    Is this the crisis that Hairplug Biden said was coming?

    December 29, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  7. Independents Unite

    Obama better get Gaza right.

    There was a perfectly adequate cease fire in place, till Hamas supported Palestinians decided they wanted to ignore that and start the rocketing of Israel again.

    These people are cowardly. They pick a fight, and then cry out to the world and to other Arabs when they get a response.


    I am tired of the anti-Israel BS. I read the CNN reports of the Hamas rocketing of Israel for the last several weeks in spite of the ceasefire. Hamas and the Gazan Palestinians started this particular incident; now hold them accountable for it.

    December 29, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  8. DIZIZI31

    The latest conspiracy theory.... Obama will speak to Arab Nations and a cease fire will occur. Republicans and Fox News will report Obama's alliance with Arabs is really a secret muslim relationship. Why doesn't anyone look at the Israeli Military, they have the troops, the technology and determination to engage in a long war. Why does the US have to be involved? Why is all this news? Just another distraction because no one wants to recognize the failures of the Bush administration. War is not the answer.

    December 29, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. BOJ Jr From Raleigh


    December 29, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  10. PJP in OK

    DUH-He is only inheriting things like Bush inherited from Cinton and every president inherits from a previous president. So Obama is not exempt!!!

    December 29, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Bush didn't finish much. Unfortunately, Obama doesn't have much of a way to get Hamas, a terrorist organization, to realize that this isn't the best way of going about things. Hamas only wants to be in charge as long as it means it is fighting a resistance war and not actually taking care of many day to day things. Obama is going to have to find a way to get the Arabs (and Iran since they are Persians) from helping Hamas fire on clearly CIVILIAN targets while hiding among civilians and being cowards.

    December 29, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. chuck


    December 29, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  13. Mesa

    Every president inherits something. Now we get to see if he lives up to everything he has claimed to be.

    One question. Who will be responsible IF (not when) he fails? Since the Dems are in complete control now, who will they have to point the finger at? Things that make you go "hmmmm".

    December 29, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. carlo

    He's inheriting that and then some. I think it is outrageous how people come on here and post about the most ascinine things like why is he on vacation (he's not even President yet!). We should be thanking the lord that anyone wants to be President, especially after the mess Bush has left us.

    December 29, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. Dave in Atlanta

    With the economy the way it is, and with elections about to take place in Iraq, it's highly likely that this little bit of unpleasantness in the Gaza strip will be the least of Obama's problems when he takes office. Besides, it is a self-correcting crisis. It is in the interests of both Hamas and Kadima to reach an agreement before things get out of hand. For Kadima, it is important because elections in Israel aren't too far off. For Hamas it is important because they can only be stubborn for so long before their own people lose patience with them, and start thinking about voting to bring Fatah back to power.

    December 29, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  16. virginia for obama

    Please everybody! Lets stand behind Obama because he is our President whether you like it or not. Things around us are bad and we don't need all this division right now or anytime. I would feel the same even if it was Mccain handling this mess. So for god sakes lets UNITE.

    December 29, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. A "Bush"el of crap

    Yeah thanks Georgie boy! You just made sure you left a swack of crap for Barack to clean up. What a total mess your government has left. You should hang your head in shame.
    I hope all American's will give Obama a good chance to clean everything up.. As far as Rice's comments on people thanking Bush.. I truly do not think so. Thank the heavens above for a sane, good man we all have in Obama.

    December 29, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. Alan


    You mean that the Great Decider won't have this solved by Jan 20th?

    December 29, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. Ted:Canada

    America needs to sit down with Hamas.

    DO NOT down play your "effort " in this one – the world needs to see that you are "trying" and they will support you – regardless of the outcome.

    DO NOT invole other countries – directly or indirectly.

    If you can pull this one off – the rest of the middle east will be easier...

    Be Good!

    December 29, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  20. BW

    Republican or Democrat...I wouldn't want to be President! Every new administration inherits a ton of crap. Reagan had his hands full when he took office, don't forget! And love or hate Bush, Clinton left behind a whole dumping ground...not to mention a White House that needed to be fully sanitized!

    December 29, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  21. New Yorker

    Mr. Miller is correct and the fact of the matter is there will not be lasting peace as long as Hamas is operating. Israel has a right to defend itself against terrorists. If you think Israel should give up it's claim on the land it now occupies then you should be willing to give up the U.S.'s claim to the land it now occupies here in the U.S.

    December 29, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  22. obama-mama

    I'm sure Obama will do his best in the hell hole George created for him....I just keep him in my prayers.

    December 29, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  23. MikeH

    What Israel is doing to Gaza reminds me of what Nazi Germany did to the Warsaw ghetto.

    And is worse than what the South African Apartheid government of Pieter Botha did to Soweto (with Israel's help).

    Israel practices apartheid. Obama should cut this country's subsidies to Israel, and force it to find another way. This Zionist brutality is the seed of most all the Islamic terrorism in the world, it needs to stop, now.

    December 29, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  24. John G.

    Inhereting everything left undone? Surely you're joking. Wasn't Bill Clinton the one who proclaimed "peace" in the Middle East? Or was it just another photo-op with Rabin and Arafat to cement his legacy?

    Obama loves to ramble on every week, by "addressing the nation" in weekly YouTube pronouncements, yet when there is a real crisis, he defers to President Bush..."we only have one President at a time".

    In addressing the Israel/Palestinian issue over the summer, Obama said that if someone was attacking his home and threatened the lives of his family unprovoked, he would retaliate. Israel has done that this past week. Is it too much to ask of the President-elect to come out and support Israel like he said he would? Hypocrite....

    December 29, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  25. Maryland Democrat

    Just want to be sure I understand – this article is actually this:

    "Something that is happening now, a short time before Obama takes the presidency, may continue into when Obama takes the presidency"

    As opposed to the alternative, which would be that it definitely will or won't.

    I dont think this war will extend into January. No Israeli "war" has ever lasted very long – how many places actually have a pinnacle historical event, changing their very map, that can call it the "Six Day War"?

    Then there was the Fall war, which lasted, depending who you ask, 1 to 3 days
    There was the 1948 war, which I think lasted a week, maybe 2.
    The incursion into Lebananon last year lasted 3 weeks, which was an Israel record.

    But Gaza is smaller than Lebanon, and Hamas is less well armed than Hezbollah.

    So I'd say there is a good chance Obama won't inherit this Gaza crisis, though the question of what to do with the Levante (a non-political term that refers to the actual geographic point that includes Israel, Gaza, the West Bank, and extends into Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan) is likely to be inherited by another dozen presidents before any resolution comes about

    December 29, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
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