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December 26, 2003 - Image 26

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-12-26

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

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2 Controversy erupts over e-mails attacking Dean's
2 Mideast statements.
2
2
presidents," one of the e-mails says.
2 MATTHEW E. BERGER
"In his own words, he will insist
2 Jewish Telegraphic Agency



•••••.,

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Even-Handed.

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oward Dean is smarting
from e-mails that he says
distort his views on the
Israeli-Palestinian con-
flict, and he has suggested that
President Bush's right-hand man is
behind the e-mail campaign.
Speaking Dec. 15 to the Pacific
Council on International Policy, a
leadership forum in Los Angeles,
Dean said he believed Karl Rove,
the White House's senior political
adviser, is behind an e-mail cam-
paign that has flooded inboxes of
American Jews across the country.
The White House referred calls
about Rove's alleged involvement in
the e-mail campaign to the Bush-
Cheney re-election campaign Scott
Stanzel, a campaign spokesman, said
the campaign does not respond to
comments by the Democratic con-
tenders.
The message in the e-mails is that
Dean wants an "even-handed" poli-
cy toward the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict. Many Jews consider that a
way of saying that the United States
should be less supportive of Israel.
"I've discovered that 'even-hand-
edly' is a code word to certain peo-
ple who think that is being unfair,
and I don't want to ever repeat that
word again," Dean said at the Los
Angeles speech, in which he out-
lined his vision for foreign affairs
and national security. "It is now
making its way around the Internet
in an unsigned piece of literature,
undoubtedly from one of my wor-
thy opponents, perhaps Karl Rove."
The e-mails, which have been
widely circulated in the past few
weeks, highlight comments Dean
made in September, when he said it
was not in America's interest to
take sides" in the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict.
"Howard Dean promised that if
he is elected president, the United
States will no longer support Israel
the way it has in the past under
both Democratic and Republican

"

that the United States be 'even
handed."'
The e-mail also makes reference to
other Dean comments and says, "I
urge you that if you have any love
for America and Israel you should
not and cannot vote for Howard
Dean for the office of president."
Dean has since spent a great deal
of time and energy clarifying his
views. He has said that he meant
that Bush, by downgrading U.S.
involvement in the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict early on in his
administration, had abandoned the
role of honest broker.
Dean also has emphasized his sup-
port for Israel. He said in his Dec.
15 speech that he believed the U.S.
alliance with Israel "will always be
and must remain unshakeable and
so will be my commitment, every
day of my administration,.to work
with the parties for a solution that
ends decades of blood and tears."

`Politically Motivated'

The campaign later said Dean
made the controversial comments in
a lighthearted exchange with a ques-
tioner, who wanted to know how he
would deal more even-handedly
with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Matthew Dorf, Dean's liaison to
the Jewish community, reiterated
Dean's comment that the e-mails are
politically motivated.
"It's clearly the work of political
opponents and not true friends of
Israel," he said.
People who contact Dean about
the e-mails receive an e-mail from
Dorf providing information on
Dean's positions on the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict.
Dean's jab at Rove was not the
first time Dean has put out unsub-
stantiated rumor and then insisted
he was speaking facetiously.
Earlier this month, Dean suggest-
ed that the Bush administration had
advance notice from Saudi Arabia of
the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Conspiracy charges against Rove

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