DENVER (JTA) – Barack Obama said Republican “tough talk” was not protecting Israel.
In his speech accepting the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination Thursday night, Sen. Obama (D-Ill.) derided the Bush administration and his Republican rival Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for failing to contain terrorism.
“You don’t defeat a terrorist network that operates in eighty countries by occupying Iraq,” he said, in a speech to an estimated 75,000 people at Invesco Field in Denver. “You don’t protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can’t truly stand up for Georgia when you’ve strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice – but it is not the change we need.”
Obama has accused Bush and McCain of undermining alliances through unilateralism. He favors intensifying diplomacy as well as sanctions in a bid to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Earlier in the evening, Rabbi David Saperstein, who heads the Reform movement’s Washington public policy office, the Religious Action Center, delivered the invocation at the opening of the Thursday session of the convention. Saperstein asked for God’s blessing “on all the leaders of our nation,” but he singled out by name Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who is suffering from terminal brain cancer, as well as Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.).
“May your name be invoked only to inspire and unify our nation, but never to divide it,” Saperstein said.