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October 24, 2003 - Image 19

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-10-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Their Own Words

2004 candidates woo Arab Americans.

Jewish Telegraphic Agency



ost of the eight
Democratic candidates
for president who gave
speeches at an Arab
American Institute conference last
weekend in Dearborn appealed to the
constituency's opposition to the Iraq
war and the USA Patriot Act.
The Israeli-Palestinian issue proved
more problematic, with candidates
hewing to policies that fell well short
of the "get tough on Israel" stance the
Arab American Institute advocates.

Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) and Rep.
Dick Gephardt (Mo.) hardly men-
tioned Israel, except to condemn
President George W. Bush for with-
drawing from the conflict.

Sen.. Joe Lieberman (Conn.): "If we
believe, as I do, that our foreign policy
is at its best when it is based first on
our values and second on our strategic
interests, then America does have a
special relationship with Israel, based
on its democratic values and political
system, and our strong strategic

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Ohio): "We
must use our considerable influence
with Israel to ask Israel to stop build-
ing walls, ask Israel to tear down the
walls, ask Israel to not participate in
the building of any new settlements,
because we have to recognize that in
order to achieve peace, we must stop
anything that smacks of isolation, or
of creating conditions which will
make it that much more difficult to
achieve a peaceful agreement."

Sen. John Kerry (Mass.): "No peace
process will ever be successful unless
Israelis and Palestinians are committed
to that process and willing to take
steps that each side finds difficult.
Palestinian leaders must bring an end
to the violence against Israelis and
find a way, with the help of others, to
rein in militant groups. Israel must be
prepared to meet its obligations ..."

Gen. Wesley Clark was sick with flu

and had his speech read: "Israel is the
key U.S. ally in the region and it does
have the right to defend itself, includ-
ing going after terrorists."

Former Vermont Gov. Howard
Dean on terrorism: "Eighty percent of
the Palestinians live below the poverty
line, and every Israeli parent worries
about their child coming home." On
the security fence: "I'm concerned
about the course of the wall. I need to
know more about it. It's a short-term
measure of the difficulties the Israelis
face in dealing with terror."

Lease For

Former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley
Braun: "Certainly the Palestinian peo-
ple have the right to choose their own
leadership, and to bring into the room
whoever they choose ..." "There's no
question but that the destiny — they
have shared destinies, in regards to the
region, in regards to resources such as
water, in regards to the economy, and
so that shared destiny ought to be able
to provide the basis upon which there
Can be some progress beyond what
we've seen before."
When pressed on the security fence,
Braun said: "You know, the United
States can no more make Israel take
down the wall than it could make the
Palestinians not send Yasser Arafat to
the negotiations. I mean, the fact of
the matter is these are issues that have
to be worked out on the ground."

Also delivering remarks was former
Montana Gov. Mark Racicot, who
chairs the Bush re-election campaign:
"The president has made it plain
throughout the course of his term that
he is committed to the road map for
peace in the Middle East: He is com-
mitted to an independent Palestinian
.state, and he has on more than one
occasion spoken to the issues of vio-
lence that have visited Palestinians and
the people of Israel, throughout a long
and very difficult period of time.
"He is setting about to provide the
leadership needed and necessary, for
people, individual people, in that
region to seize the moment, and the
opportunity with assistance from the
international community to once and
for all bring peace and stability to that
part of the world." El

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