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Kerry and Dean are out of step with America about Israel

By Ariel Natan Pasko
web posted February 2, 2004

Both Democratic wanna-be presidents, John Kerry and Howard Dean proved recently how out of step with the rest of America they are in regard to US policy vis-a-vis the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

John Kerry

The leading US Democratic presidential contender, John Kerry, just said that the government in Israel currently lacks someone -- i.e. Sharon -- who can provide the goods in everything connected to negotiations with the Palestinians.

Yet, according to a poll commissioned by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and carried out by the firm of McLaughlin & Associates during mid-January of 2004 -- the poll questioned 1,000 Americans from throughout the United States -- 67.4 per cent of Americans say that the Palestinian Arabs have not met US President Bush's conditions for statehood, such as fighting terrorism, halting incitement to murder, and respecting human rights. So why blame the Israeli government?

Kerry, who spoke at a political rally ahead of the New Hampshire primary, criticized the settlement policy of the Israeli government, i.e. building homes for Jews in their ancestral homeland. He said that it was a mistake to increase building there at this time. When will it be a good time? When Palestinian Arabs stop hating Jews and being racist?

Yet, 66.6 per cent of Americans disagree with the Arab position that all Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria -- the West Bank -- and Gaza should be expelled from their homes. Most Americans see Jews continuing to live in all parts of their ancient homeland; even after a peace deal is made.

John Kerry called for strengthening the Palestinian Authority so that it will be stronger than Hamas. Here, Kerry's main rival, former front-runner Howard Dean, agrees with him. Dean said at a campaign event recently, that America should increase resources for the Palestinian Authority in order to persuade the Palestinians to relinquish the right of return.

I guess they haven't heard about how Arafat and his cronies have embezzled most of the donor money they've been given till now. That's hundreds of millions of dollars, and the reason that even the pro-Palestinian European Union has curtailed funding to the Palestinian Authority.

Yet, 65.2 per cent of Americans say the Palestinian Authority "cannot be trusted to fulfill peace agreements that it signs with Israel." That means most Americans don't believe the Palestinian Arabs will stop terror or give up the right of return.

And even more Americans, 73.6 per cent say the US should stop sending the $200-million each year to the Palestinian Arabs, that it does send. So why exactly does Howard Dean and John Kerry want to waste American taxpayer dollars?

Howard Dean

Dean called on Israel to demonstrate flexibility in regard to final borders in order to allow the creation of a Palestinian state.

Yet, 55.7 per cent of Americans say that the Palestinian Arabs' goal is "the eventual destruction of Israel"; only 21.3 per cent say their goal is "to have a small state living in peace alongside Israel." And here, Americans are right on target again, and the Democratic candidates are way out of touch.

Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi not long ago said, "We will continue with our holy war and resistance until every last criminal Zionist is evicted from this land. By G-D we will not leave one Jew alive in Palestine. We will fight them with all the strength we have. This is our land, not the Jews."

Finally, John Kerry promised that if elected president, he would ask former US presidents Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter to serve as a special envoy to the region.

Clinton's foreign policy failures are well known. His peace-making efforts in Northern Ireland and the whole Oslo peace process have gone nowhere. He coddled Saddam Hussein for eight years, need I say more. As for Jimmy Carter, other than receiving a Nobel Prize, what good has he done lately? Both have been soft on terror, the Palestinians, the Iranians, every evil dictator and regime in fact. Their re-involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian issue would be disastrous.

As ZOA National President Morton A. Klein recently said, "It is a myth that American public opinion supports creating a Palestinian Arab state or expelling the Jewish residents of Judea-Samaria and Gaza. An overwhelming majority of Americans oppose creating what would be a new terrorist state, and oppose the racist, un-American concept of kicking people [Jewish "settlers"] out of their homes and towns on the basis of their religion or ethnicity."

If these pronouncements by candidates Kerry and Dean are as "wise" as they get, then (1) It's clear they are out of step with the American people and, (2) Need to go back to school and learn a lot more about the Middle East.

Ariel Natan Pasko is an independent analyst & consultant. He has a Master's Degree in International Relations & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites, in newspapers, and can be read at: www.geocities.com/ariel_natan_pasko. (c) 2004/5764 Pasko

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