Candidates clash over Yad Vashem comment

The McCain and Obama campaigns clashed over Obama’s remarks at Israel’s Holocaust memorial.

Speaking at Yad Vashem during an Israel visit Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee said, “Let our children come here and know this history so they can add their voices to proclaim ‘never again.’ And may we remember those who perished, not only as victims but also as individuals who hoped and loved and dreamed like us, and who have become symbols of the human spirit.”

Within hours, the campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the presumptive Republican Party nominee, pulled a 2007 quote in which Obama said that U.S. military force was not appropriate to every instance of genocide.

“Well, look, if that’s the criteria by which we are making decisions on the deployment of U.S. forces, then by that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the Congo right now, where millions have been slaughtered as a consequence of ethnic strife, which we haven’t done,” Obama said in July 2007.

McCain has not endorsed U.S. intervention in the Congo. A spokesman said the Republican sees the current European Union interventionary force in Congo as adequate, although it is small and limited in scope.

In statements to the Huffington Post, U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler (F-Fla.), Obama’s chief Jewish surrogate, called the McCain camp release “unconscionable.”

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