As President-Elect Barack Obama vacationed in Hawaii on December 26, stopping off to watch a dolphin show with his family at Sea Life Park, an Israeli air raid besieged the impoverished Gaza Strip, killing at least 285 people and injuring over 800 more.
It was the single deadliest attack on Gaza in over 20 years and Obama’s initial reaction on what could be his first real test as president was "no comment." Meanwhile, Israel has readied itself for a land invasion, amassing tanks along the border and calling up 6,500 reserve troops.
On Sunday’s Face the Nation, Obama’s Senior Adviser David Axelrod explained to guest host Chip Reid how an Obama administration would handle the situation, even if it turns for the worst.
"Well, certainly, the president-elect recognizes the special relationship [ahhhh...music to AIPAC's ears!] between the United States and Israel. It’s an important bond, an important relationship. He’s going to honor it ... And obviously, this situation has become even more complicated in the last couple of days and weeks. As Hamas began its shelling, Israel responded. But it’s something that he’s committed to."
Reiterating the rationale that Israel’s bombing of Gaza was an act of retaliation and not of aggression, Axelrod, on behalf of the Obama administration, continued to spread the same misinformation as President Bush: that Hamas was the first to break the ceasefire agreement, which ended over a week ago, and Israel was simply responding judiciously.