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.

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

    For 50 Points... Can you name the last U.S. President that did not inherit a Mid East crisis ?

    December 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  2. Piece of Israel

    Who does Israel think it is?
    Expecting to live in peace and all.

    December 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  3. Jeff in Illinois

    1) Are those Hamas rockets flying into illegally occupied territories? If so, wouldn't that be comsidered an act of national defense?

    2) If Bush's legacy will be positive because he "kept us safe" for the past 7 years, wouldn't that make every president's legacy positive?

    Clinton & Carter must have been saints to some of these Bush-Lovers, because we suffered so many less casualties on American soil at the hands of terrorists during their administrations. If the only measure of a president is keeping acts of war on U.S. soil to no more than the 2nd-Highest of All Time (including Pearl Harbor), then Clinton & Carter should be hanging in every Neocon's living room.

    December 29, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. Pete

    Kevin B,

    Disproportionate response? I'll tell you what, if someone breaks into my house or fires bullets into my windows, I'm going to chase the scum bag down and make sure he is dead so that my kids don't have to worry about it ever again. If you don't feel that sense of obligation to your children then you are just another person who takes no responsibility for anything, but likes to criticize others for taking action. Israel should take care of this once and for all.

    Get a clue.

    December 29, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. Serge

    Hamas (in Gaza) fired rockets almost weekly into Israel during a 6 month cease fire... Israel respected the cease-fire... the Palestinians didn't.

    What did you expect? I back Israel's actions, even though it will cost the lives of innocents. What else is Israel supposed to do?

    Hamas is a terrost regime and needs to be snuffed out. nuff said.

    December 29, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. jim, kansas city MO

    its really pretty simple. You see Gazan's yelling in front of camera "they are killing women and children", well by free elections Gaza's population voted for Hamas, therefore it is "legally and democratic" elected government. Now Hamas which is government of Gaza, at the same time they are terrorist organization, they are attacking Israel with rockets. You have to be honest Olmert, prime minister of Israel, has been very very patient with Hamas. TIme has come for Israel deal with Hamas once and for all in Gaza, and forbid radical islam to be practiced in Gaza, only moderate imams.

    For those who are yelling "women and children" next time when you vote, choose wisely. Cause its your government, Hamas, terrorist organization attacking Israel with rockets. When you attack stong state like Israel, there will be reprecusions.

    I stand by Israel.

    December 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  7. Pete



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

    No worries, the great fence straddler will have multiple plans from which to choose, and if Israel doesn't choose the right one, well then, at least Obama tried.

    December 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  8. Yeah but who is hiding his illegal immigrant aunt???

    It's time for CNN to tell us who is hiding Obama's illegal immigrant aunt and where she is. She's been living off taxpayer money in Public Housing and this is an insult to all legal immigrants who cannot get Public Housing like me and my family.

    December 29, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  9. arc, Lugano CH

    John G. December 29th, 2008 12:39 pm ET
    Is it too much to ask of the President-elect to come out and support Israel like he said he would? Hypocrite….
    John G. I respectfully disagree. The President of the United States should be the voice of the American Government in times of crisis such as what is happening in Israel right now. President Bush is that person. President-Elect Obama has spoken of what his policy towards the Israel/Palestinian conflict will be once he is sworn in, but I believe he is correct to stand down until he is sworn in as the next President.

    December 29, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. Suzi

    Obama has not been sworn in and has no power to make decisions. I can't imagine how destructive it would be to have a president and president-elect both trying to influence policy. That would be chaos. It's not a belief, it's a fact CNN!! There really IS just one president at a time.

    Hamas is the one that's been shooting rockets at Israel. The only reason that people get so huffy about Israel responding in kind is that they are powerful and effective. It makes it look like Hamas is a weakling that is being picked on. It's their tried and true tactic - be the martyr. Boo Hoo.

    God bless Obama and his team in everything they do.

    December 29, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. Erik S.

    Inheriting everything left undone? Do you know the problem with Americans? The majority don't know crap unless it is spoon fed to them by sites like CNN that have their own agenda. They rather be told what is wrong then find out for themselves. I mean, everything left undone, do you know how many years this has been going on, it's all Bush's fault again isn't it? The majority of ignorance people on this site continues to astound me, at least educate yourself, sheesh.

    December 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. Michael Holford, Yakima WA

    CNN and the news media knows all too well that there is only one president at a time, yet invaribly the conversation and questions consistently go to the President Elect rather then to the CURRENT president who remains conspicously invisible and silent. Why isn't BUSH being asked the tough questions? After all...he is the President for the next three weeks. He still has time to stick his shoe in his mouth. Give him the opportunity by directing questions to Bush where they should be directed.

    December 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  13. BK

    @ Pete
    If someone broke into your house, you would chase them down, and that's fine.

    But would you hunt their family down and fire at random innocents on your way to get them? Would you surround their neighborhood and disallow even food and clean water from coming in?

    This strategy will not work. It has never worked. If it was going to work it would have worked sometime over the past few decades. Why do you think they will have more luck now than in the past?

    December 29, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  14. Jon

    Obama *COULD* inherit the Gaza crisis?

    December 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  15. Veteran in Kansas

    Gee, here I thought he was inheriting the last eight years of disgrace and undone mismanagement. Want to bet Bush second guesses every decision Obama makes after he leaves office.

    December 29, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  16. obama-mama

    John G acts like a whining beatch....Wait until the man takes office.....Go cry somewhere else....

    December 29, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  17. demwit

    Perhaps a bailout for them too???

    December 29, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  18. Sean from New Jersey

    come on people, these cultures have been fighting for centuries. to put blame on bush is nonsense

    December 29, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  19. Griff

    No Obama! The Hamas isa your doing... PLO 1964 PNC same year...
    Arabs..... Just like you...

    December 29, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  20. New Yorker

    RF – Evidently you misunderstood. Gaza is in turmoil because of the continual provocation by Hamas. LIP is correct. The media ignores the rockets fired at Israel day after day until Israel says enough and retaliates. How long would you allow neighbors to bombard your house with rocks before you fired back?

    The bloggers who blame EVERYTHING on President Bush really ought to get an education from someone other than MSM.

    December 29, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  21. MikeH

    To 'A Real (ignorant) American', and all others who don't want to follow history because it makes 'em think too much:

    Israel stole Palesitinian land and exiled Palestinians into refugee camps in Gaza.

    Israel routinely kidnaps Palestininans in Gaza who become politically active opposing Israeli policies. Some are murdered by Israeli agents working undercover.

    Israel erected A WALL blockading Gaza. People in Gaza are suffering shortages of food, water, medicine.

    What would YOU do? No really, if all your life you have been subjected to these harsh apartheid policies, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

    Is it any wonder the Palestinians are fighting back by any means necessary. HAMAS was democratically elected because they promised to fight the Israelis.

    The ZIONIST APARTHEID policy must end first. The Palestinian people be fed, provided sanitation, clean water, and medical services. Then, any problems with HAMAS can be dealt with, by Predator Missile negotiation if necessary.

    A definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Slaughtering Palestinian children with Lavi tanks won't work.

    December 29, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. richard

    GO ISRAEL – its about time

    December 29, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. New Yorker

    BK – The strategy that doesn't work is the Hamas strategy – provoke until Israel strikes back and then pretend like it's all their fault. If you can't see this for what it is then you've got some problem with your reasoning.

    December 29, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. Spider Brain

    Spider December 29th, 2008 12:16 pm ET


    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.

    Spider–You are a moron. Israel didn't come to be until 1948. It was then that our support began. The US was lukewarm in supporting the Balfour Declaration before that.

    Holding Israel accountable for it's behavior would be 100% approval rating for me. Their strikes in Gaza are way overboard...just like in Lebanon.

    People like you need to pick up a book and read a lot more.

    December 29, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  25. Lia

    Farrell, Houston, Tx December 29th, 2008 2:25 pm ET

    Bush is an idiot and should have never opened his mouth of place blame on anyone. This administration has worked to bring peace between Israel and Palestine bringing both parties to the table and now to play the blame game is dangerous and totally stupid. The sooner Bush is gone the world will be a better place to live in.

    Huh. Should he not mention the Hamas' rockets? Just ignore that minor detail? Gosh, some of you really look for anything you can turn into a complaint!

    December 29, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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