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View Full Version : Howard Dean's Israel problem



nAz
09-23-2003, 06:36 PM
I think he just shot himself in the foot.
AIPAC what a Freaking racket!

When he said the U.S. must be "evenhanded" in the Middle East, rivals and critics accused him of selling out the Jewish state -- even though his position is similar to Bush's and his campaign co-chair used to run AIPAC.

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By Michelle Goldberg

Sept. 23, 2003 |

Last Saturday, John Kerry gleefully predicted that Democratic rival Howard Dean was "imploding" over Israel. A meme was spreading in the Democratic Party that the former Vermont governor is insufficiently Zionist, that his views represent the antiwar fringe that's said to constitute his base. An Israeli newspaper had predicted that Jewish donors would shun him. Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote him an admonitory letter. Political strategists waxed catastrophic.

What made the uproar so odd is that Dean's Israel policy hardly differs from that of Bush and his main Democratic challengers. His campaign is being co-chaired by Steven Grossman, who from 1992 to 1996 was president of AIPAC, America's most powerful pro-Israel lobby. While Dean vehemently criticizes Bush on a range of issues, when it comes to Israel, he told an audience at Iowa's Drake University in February, "The administration's guiding principles in the Middle East are the right ones. Terrorism against Israel must end. A two-state solution is the only path to eventual peace, but Palestinian territory cannot have the capability of being used as a platform for attacking Israel."

"His position on the Middle East is a right-of-center position," says Juan Cole, a professor of modern Middle Eastern history at the University of Michigan. Yet Dean has been cast as the left-of-center candidate, and the self-propelling narrative of the current campaign ensures that nearly everything he says will be interpreted according to that conventional wisdom. And few issues in American politics are as sensitive as Israel, making a mere hint of dissent from the AIPAC line politically hazardous, even for a candidate whose campaign is being run by an AIPAC vet.

Actually, it's unclear how much Dean has strayed from AIPAC orthodoxy. Some of his recent comments about Israel seem aimed at the liberal Democrats fueling his insurgency -- many of whom disagree with his original position. His campaign managers, though, insist the current fracas is simply a result of Dean's extemporaneous remarks being misunderstood and blown out of proportion. Either way, Dean is seen as having deviated from the narrow parameters in which Israel can be discussed in American politics. That threatens to slow his momentum, dampen his fundraising and tarnish his political reputation.

eggbeater
09-24-2003, 04:09 AM
By Michelle <font color="brown">Goldberg </font color>

Sept. 23, 2003 |

A memo was spreading in the Democratic Party that the former Vermont governor is insufficiently Zionist .

An Israeli newspaper had predicted that Jewish donors would shun him.

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote him an admonitory letter.

His campaign is being co-chaired by Steven Grossman, who from 1992 to 1996 was president of AIPAC, America's most powerful pro-Israel lobby .

And few issues in American politics are as sensitive as Israel , making a mere hint of dissent from the AIPAC line politically hazardous , even for a candidate whose campaign is being run by an AIPAC vet.

Either way, Dean is seen as having <font color="red">deviated from the narrow parameters in which Israel can be discussed in American politics</font color>. That threatens to slow his momentum, dampen his fundraising and tarnish his political reputation.

nAz
09-24-2003, 03:43 PM
"Either way, Dean is seen as having deviated from the narrow parameters in which Israel can be discussed in American politics. That threatens to slow his momentum, dampen his fundraising and tarnish his political reputation."

Think theres any truth to that?