McCain camp fires back with charges of ‘libel,’ ‘slander’
By Aaron Klein
JERUSALEM – Sen. John McCain’s campaign has slammed a blogger who claimed vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin endorsed Hamas, calling the posting “slander” and “libel.”
Earlier this week, Jeremy Goldberg, a blogger at the Atlantic magazine website, posted a link titled “Palin endorses Hamas,” in which he mocked what he said was Palin’s difficulty answering a question about democracy in the Middle East during last week’s interview with CBS News anchor Katie Couric.
In the interview, Couric asked Palin, “What happens if the goal of democracy doesn’t produce the desired outcome? In Gaza, the U.S. pushed hard for elections and Hamas won.”
Couric was referring to the Hamas terror group’s 2006 victory in Palestinian legislative elections.
Palin responded: “Yeah, well especially in that region, though, we have to protect those who do seek democracy and support those who seek protections for the people who live there.”
The vice presidential candidate then spoke about the dangers of Iran.
Her response prompted Goldberg to vent: “Because she was apparently ignorant of the subject, [Palin] endorsed Hamas’ victory, and, in essence, called for the U.S. to ‘protect’ Islamists who seek to use democratic elections to lever themselves into power.”
Continued Goldberg, “A person who could be president of the United States has shown herself to be completely ignorant of one of the most vexing and important foreign policy questions of the day. Freshman congressmen know how to answer this question.”
Replying to the claim Palin endorsed Hamas, McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb issued a statement to the Atlantic, exclaiming, “Governor Palin did no such thing, and your title is nothing short of slander. Having read your work for some time I doubt that you believe Hamas qualifies as ‘those who seek democracy.’ That you would put those words in Governor Palin’s mouth is libel.'”
Goldberg said the title of his posting was a “joke,” designed to make the point that Sarah Palin knows so little about the Middle East that she accidentally “endorsed” Hamas.
Goldberg’s title was an allusion to an exclusive interview with WND and WABC Radio’s John Batchelor Show last April in which Ahmed Yousuf, Hamas’ chief political adviser in the Gaza Strip, said he “hopes” Sen. Barack Obama becomes president.
“We like Mr. Obama, and we hope that he will win the elections,” said Yousef. “I hope Mr. Obama and the Democrats will change the political discourse. … I do believe [Obama] is like John Kennedy, a great man with a great principal. And he has a vision to change America to make it in a position to lead the world community, but not with humiliation and arrogance.”
Yousef’s statements were construed by many U.S. commentators as a Hamas endorsement of Obama.
Obama repeatedly has condemned Hamas as a terrorist organization that should be isolated until it renounces violence and recognizes Israel.
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