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Clueless Democrats Confront the Middle East By: Ariel Natan Pasko
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, January 30, 2004

Both Democratic presidential frontrunners, John Kerry and Howard Dean, proved recently how out of step they are with the rest of America in regard to the Israeli-Palestinian issue. 

The leading Democratic presidential contender, John Kerry, just said that the government in Israel currently lacks someone who can negotiate honestly with the Palestinians. (That is, Sharon is no good.)

Yet according to a poll commissioned by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and carried out by the firm of McLaughlin & Associates just weeks ago, 67.4 percent of Americans say that the Palestinian Arabs have not met President Bush's conditions for statehood, such as fighting terrorism, halting incitement to murder, and respecting human rights. So why blame the Israeli government for failure in negotiations?

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

Yet 66.6 percent of Americans disagree with the Arab position that all Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria (the so-called "West Bank" and "Gaza") should be expelled from their homes. Most Americans forsee 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 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 already been given, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars. For this reason, even the pro-Palestinian European Union has curtailed funding to the Palestinian Authority.

Yet 65.2 percent 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 percent, say the U.S. should stop sending the $200-million each year to the Palestinian Arabs that it currently sends. So why exactly do Howard Dean and John Kerry want to waste American taxpayer dollars?

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

More than half of Americans (55.7 percent) say that the Palestinian Arabs' goal is "the eventual destruction of Israel"; only 21.3 percent 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 God, 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 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. Jimmy Carter negotiated with North Korea to end their nuclear program -- except they failed to do so. His negotiations with the Ayatollah Khomeini were also famously ineffective. Involving either of these failed players 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, unAmerican 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 it's clear they are out of step with the American people and have no business in the White House.

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