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December 30, 2008

O'Malley weighs in on Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Democrat Gov. Martin O'Malley said today that Hamas "chose to provoke" a military response from Israel through "endless rocket attacks" in recent weeks, and that the U.S. will stand firmly behind its democratic ally in the Middle East against terrorist attacks.

Why did the governor of a small state feel the need to weigh in on an international conflict raging half a world away?

First, Maryland is home to one of the largest Jewish populations in the U.S., outside of New York, Florida and California. While the Baltimore region's Jewish voters tend to lean Democratic, a signficant portion regularly back Republicans, and helped former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. achieve victory in 2002. With his re-election effort now less than two years away, O'Malley needs to make sure the coalition that carried him into office -- which includes Jewish voters -- remains intact.

Second, perhaps the time has come when O'Malley feels the need to stretch his wings beyond the state's borders. If he has aspirations that extend beyond Annapolis, he needs to stake out positions on a range of issues, including the Middle East.

See below for O'Malley's full statement on Hamas and Israel.

“Israel, like every nation, has the right to defend herself and her people from attack. Since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, Hamas has launched thousands of rocket and mortar attacks indiscriminately against civilian targets in Israel.”

“Just as Hamas chose to provoke a military response from Israel with endless rocket attacks, Hamas also has the choice to reject terror and violence with an immediate ceasefire, recognize Israel’s right to exist, and accept the existing agreements between Israel and the Palestinians as they work toward a just and lasting peace.”

“In this current conflict, the United States stands with its democratic ally Israel in her desire for a lasting peace in the Middle East with secure borders.”

Posted by David Nitkin at 1:09 PM | | Comments (8)
        

Comments

Governor tax and spendjust ought spread his wings out of Maryland for good
National ambitions!
He is a fraud!!

David,

I don't give a damn what Governor Martin O'Malley thinks about the latest Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. I'd rather here him discuss what he did to screw up our State Budget. Then I'd like him to fix the problem without cutting the essential agencies, and without raising our Taxes AGAIN!! Sorry but I don't think he's ready for the big time stage of international Politics. As Mayor he left Baltimore in shambles, and he is on the way to ruining the entire State. Is this a guy you want in the Federal Government. I can't wait for 2010, I'll do my part to make sure he's a one term Governor. I just hope the rest of the voters follow suit.

Mike:

O'Malley took a hit when he raised taxes and pushed for spending cuts a year ago, hoping the politically unpopular move would solve the state's fiscal mess and give him enough time to recover and run again as a pragmatic problem solver. Then the economy tanked, and there are no good options for him or any other governor. It's hard for the governor of a small, politically less-than-significant state to build a national presence when times are good, much less during fiscal distress. It will be a rough year for O'Malley and all other state leaders.

This from the tax/spend Gov who can't bring about a fiscally responsive State government.
I guess this statement brings about an attractive distractive event to his failing state policies. First off, we support (continously) Israel because of the Jewish vote here in MD and Nationally solely political, while alienating PEOPLE, who suffer through reduced global relief aid, due to a region/government who dislikes them because they beat them at their own game (democratic elections) in 2006. Hamas and the Palestinian people didnt ask the Jews to come adrifting after the Holocaust and take over their land. Then spend the next century fighting for it, while facing them and their financing allied United States buddies! Leave them and their land alone and you wouldn;t have a 'terrorist' group of pissed off people who have no claim to their land! Sound familiar Martin...it's called Slavery and the American occupational take-over of America from the Indians. Things that are equal to each other are equal to the same. (The Law of Relativity)!

He isn't building a national presence.

David:
O'Malley raised taxes to increase Government spending. The first week he was in Office he took $600,000,000. from the Rainy Day Fund and obligated the money for new spending NOT Budget balancing. Then within his first 11 months in Office he raised taxes by $1,200,000,000. The LARGEST tax increase in Maryland's history. Again that new money was for NEW spending. O'Malley wanted the job and can only govern by making excuses for his FAILURES. The Great State of Maryland has suffered under the O'Malley Administration, please help him with his campaign for the US Senate. Maryland can only Hope that O'Malley finds another job soon. I have a idea, let Babs retire now and O'Malley can appoint himself to the Senate.Two or six more years of STUPID O'Malley is torture !

Mr. Nitkin-
Just wanted to point out during thr special session he raised spending and taxes together!
Why not just blame Ehrlich?
Another Sun columnist covering for Governor OweMalley!
Happy New Year!
Jay

Jay and Dick:

True enough: some spending was raised at the same time as other spending was cut. The tax increase were packaged with spending cuts for political sales purposes, but, I agree it's worth noting that some spending went up.

The Rainy Day fund was padded by Ehrlich when times were good, and it was always intended that it would be used to help cover the structural deficit in the next year. We wrote a good bit about that at the time. It's also important to make a distinction between spending on new programs versus increased spending because existing programs are growing more expensive. It's the latter that is most of the growth in the size of the budget under O'Malley.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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