* The second debate format was favored by some, disliked by others. The "in your face, in your space" format was not ideal in this writer's opinion. I could not help but wonder if the obvious hostility between the two reflected the hostility between the two sides in the greater society.
* When asked what they would do about the cost of living, which has gone up the last four years, we saw two different views of what has happened over that time. Obama said he cut taxes to the middle class and small businesses. He said he ended the war in Iraq and got bin Laden. He passed healthcare reform, and what he said were the toughest Wall Street reforms since the 1930's. He said he was using the savings ending two wars to put people back to work.
* Romney said if you reelect Obama you will get a repeat of the last four years. He said Obama predicted 5.4% unemployment by now; if that were the case we would have 9 million more jobs. There was no immigration plan as promised. There was no fix of Social Security and Medicare. The deficit was not cut in half as promised. Health insurance premiums not down $2500. per year as we were told, but up $2500. per year. 23 million people unemployed, with one out of six in poverty. The food stamp rolls went up from 32 million to 47 million. The economy has been growing slower each year. Romney said Reagan inherited 10.8% unemployment but helped the economy create twice as many jobs as did Obama in the same time.
* So, obviously two different takes on the last four years. Which candidate has a more realistic view of the Middle East? Here are some considerations for the two candidates. Which one do you think has the more realistic view?
* Abbas, as the head of the Palestinian Authority, is Israel's supposed peace partner. Abbas' term of office actually ended four years ago; and no elections have been held since (although municipal elections were just held). Abbas' doctoral dissertation was a denial of the Holocaust. In 2008, Abbas rejected Olmert's offer for a two state solution (just like Arafat rejected Barak's offer in 2000). Abbas has refused to negotiate with Israel since Obama took office. Abbas is now asking the UN to upgrade the PA's status from "observer" to "non-member state." As a non-member state, the PA would be able to join the International Criminal Court and file a complaint against Israel. The vote is expected to take place in the General Assembly...AFTER the US general election. (Coincidence? Obama told Medvedev and Putin that he would have more "flexibility" after the election. Today, the NY Times reports that Obama plans on having one on one talks with Iran - after the election.)
* Abbas posted on his official Facebook page that Israel not only occupies Palestinian territory illegally, but "the point applies to all the territories Israel occupied before June, 1967." Abbas has also said that UN recognition of a PA state in the West Bank "proves that Palestinians have rights to all the land that is occupied." (From both Jewish Press, 10/17/12 and Caroline Glick, 10/18/12.) So, as this blog has noted before, Abbas is claiming the right to all the land of Israel. He does not believe Israel has a right to exist. The land occupied by Israel before June, 1967 was based on the boundary set by the 1949 Armistice - the same area that the PA tells the West will be the State of Israel in a two state solution. But they clearly don't mean it. It is all a lie.
* So what about the other Arabs? Won't they keep the Palestinians in line? Hezbollah and the head of Lebanon's Baath Party just called for the "eradication" of Israel yet again. (Per The Jerusalem Post, 10/12/12.) With Islamist states taking over in the Middle East, any hope for moderation is unwarranted and unrealistic. Mohamad Morsi, the new head of Egypt, has said: "there is no peace with the descendants of apes and pigs" (referring to the Jews). (Per Caroline Glick.) In Turkey, school books describe Darwin as a "big nosed Jew." They went on to explain that Darwin had two problems: "First, he was a Jew; second, he hated his prominent forehead, big nose, and misshapen teeth." As for Einstein, he is described as "filthy and slovenly" and ate soap. The textbook adds: "the sad part is during that time the Gestapo was putting Jews into ovens and making them into soap." So, it's just a shame to the Arabs that the same fate did not befall Einstein, perhaps the greatest scientific genius of all time.
* And how does the West view the "peace process?" Catherine Ashton, the European Union Foreign Policy Chief, said this: "settlements are illegal under international law and threaten to make a two state solution impossible." First, how can settlements be illegal when there has never been agreed upon borders? Second, only someone on the left is willing to ignore the obvious, so let me highlight it: ABBAS, THE PA, HAMAS, HEZBOLLAH AND MOST OTHER ARABS DO NOT ACCEPT ISRAEL'S RIGHT TO EXIST AS THE JEWISH STATE! So what two states did you have in mind, Ms. Ashton?
* How about the US though? Sadly, 15 different leaders of Christian churches have called on Congress to reconsider aid to Israel, accusing it of human rights violations. (As reported in the 10/21/12 NY Times.) These include the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the United Methodist Church, the National Council of Churches, the United Church of Christ, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the American Friends Service Committee (described as a Quaker agency), the Mennonite Central Committee, and two Catholic leaders. Let me be clear: to single out Israel can only be due to anti-semitism. Israel has the best human rights record in the Middle East. Arabs serve in the government. Syria is murdering tens of thousands of its citizens. Many Arab countries deny basic civil rights to women and gays. Why aren't these Christian leaders OUTRAGED over hundreds of thousands of Christians having been kicked out of Iraq, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories; and persecuted like the Coptic Christians in Egypt? Why?
* So who better understands the realities of the Middle East, Obama or Romney? Who has the better relationship with the duly elected Prime Minister of Israel, Obama or Romney? (If you answered Obama please read my earlier posts concerning Obama and Israel.) Which candidate has a true affinity for Israel and the Jewish people; and which, by his own words, has aligned himself with the Muslims? Which candidate is most likely to believe in the words of our second President, John Adams, who said of the Jews: "They are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this Earth. The Romans and their Empire were but a Bauble in comparison of the Jews. They have given religion to three quarters of the Globe and have influenced the affairs of Mankind more, and more happily, than any other Nation ancient or modern."