“IT’S NOT OUR PLACE TO TAKE SIDES” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said Democratic presidential frontrunner Howard Dean days ago in Albuquerque, New Mexico. But then he promptly took sides, saying that peace would require the dismantling of an “enormous number” of Jewish settlements.
This, historians may record, was the moment the wheels started to come off the bandwagon that had been speeding the former Vermont Governor to his party’s nomination….and perhaps into the White House.
“Howard Dean’s statements break a 50-year record in which presidents, Republican and Democrat, members of Congress of both parties, have supported our relationship with Israel based on shared values and common strategic interests,” said Dean’s rival Senator Joseph Lieberman (D.-Conn.) in this week’s Baltimore Democratic candidate debate.
In the verbal fistfights that happened during and after this debate, Dean accused Senator Lieberman of trying “to demagogue this issue” in a “despicable” attempt to divide the Democratic Party.
Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post reports that Senator Lieberman afterwards released to the press this statement: “While Dean claims he’s ‘not taking sides,’ he specifically called for Israelis to leave the West Bank.”
“To dictate to Israel the terms of concessions on any issue [like settlements] is inappropriate,” read a Fax sent to Dean by the Anti-Defamation League asking for clarification of his position. As of Thursday, September 11, reported Deborah Orin of the New York Post, the ADL had received “no response from Dean-land.”
Both the ADL and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, reports Orin, have called Dean’s remarks on Israel “’troubling’ and a break with U.S. policy.” “This is not a time to be sending mixed messages,” read a letter signed by more than two dozen Democratic Members of Congress (several of whom support Dean rivals), including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.).
“On the contrary,” the Congressional letter continued, “in these difficult times we must reaffirm our unyielding commitment to Israel’s survival and raise our voices against all forms of terrorism and incitement….It is unacceptable for the U.S. to be ‘evenhanded’ on these fundamental issues.”
We've come such a long way since then and, remind me, where is Dean?
I mean you know who is is/was, yes?