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Bush's vs. Kerry's Israel policies

At a White House press conference in April, President George W. Bush stood beside Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and reiterated his administration’s commitment to the inhabitants of the Middle East. “The policy of the United States,” said President Bush, “is to help bring peace to the Middle East and to bring hope to the people of that region.”

Mr. Bush continued, “The United States is strongly committed, and I am strongly committed, to the security of Israel as a vibrant Jewish state. I reiterate our steadfast commitment to Israel’s security and to preserving and strengthening Israel’s self-defense capability, including its right to defend itself against terror.”

President Bush stated for the first time what the world needed to hear about the Palestinian refugee issue:

It seems clear that an agreed, just, fair and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue, as part of any final status agreement, will need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than Israel.

The president showed courage in denying the Palestinians a “right of return” that would destroy Israel. Furthermore, he did so when he was at a nadir in the polls, when he was being brutally attacked by the liberal media over the war in Iraq, and when the 9-11 commission was undermining his integrity. Instead, with character and courage, President Bush made a moral decision to stand with Israel.

According to the Republican Party platform, President Bush is committed to “The security of America’s democratic ally Israel and the safety of the Israeli people.” It goes on to say, “We believe that the terror attacks against Israel are part of the same evil as the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks against America.”

Sen. John Kerry’s Israel policy

Sen. John Kerry has familial ties with the nation of Israel. Both his paternal grandparents were born Jewish. His voting record in the Senate has been fundamentally pro-Israel.

One indication of John Kerry’s Middle East peace plan is found in the words of the Democratic Party platform: “Under a Democratic administration, the United States will demonstrate the kind of resolve to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that President Clinton showed.” Clinton was the only American president to welcome the arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat to the White House.

One manifestation of Sen. Kerry’s Middle East policy is his choice of adviser for Israeli affairs, Jay Footlik. A Clinton leftover and longtime supporter of the Oslo accords that led to the last four years of intifada, Footlik is an advocate of the so-called “peace processes” that have become a code phrase for unilateral Israeli concessions. Another principle he champions is “evenhandedness” – that’s when the suicide bomber and his victims are assured the same measure of understanding and sympathy.

At the beginning of July, both houses of Congress overwhelmingly affirmed the Bush revolution in Middle East policy. By a vote of 407-9, the House “strongly endorsed” two pledges made by the president to Sharon in a letter on April 14: that the United States agrees it is “unrealistic” for Israel to pull back to the pre-June 1967 lines and dismantle major West Bank settlements, and that the United States expects Palestinian refugees to be resettled in the eventual state of Palestine. The following day, the Senate passed a similar non-binding resolution by a vote of 95 to 3.

One of the two senators absent from the vote was John Kerry. He was in California for election meetings and fund-raising. Is this a clear signal that a Kerry administration would not be bound by the commitments of his predecessor?

In June, Mr. Kerry released a position paper titled, “John Kerry: Strengthening Israel’s Security and Bolstering the U.S.-Israel Special Relationship.” The paper aimed to salvage pro-Israel voters who were justly upset by his remarks during the primaries, when he blasted Israel’s construction of an anti-terrorist fence.

“I know how disheartened Palestinians are by the Israeli government’s decision to build a barrier off the ‘Green Line,’ cutting deeply into Palestinian areas,” Mr. Kerry told the Arab-American Institute in October 2003. “We do not need another barrier to peace.”

Sen. Kerry called this first line of defense against suicide bombers targeting Israeli citizens a “provocative and counterproductive measure” that was not in Israel’s interest. In June, Sen. Kerry issued this campaign statement: “John Kerry supports the construction of Israel’s security fence to stop terrorists from entering Israel.”

In the first presidential debate of this election year, Sen. Kerry made reference to the “global test” regarding the war on terror, and went on to say, “Here we have our own secretary of state who has had to apologize to the world for the presentation he made to the United Nations.”

At a speech at Westminster College in Missouri on April 30, 2004, Sen. Kerry stated the United Nations “must provide the necessary legitimacy” to ensure the success of the war on terrorism. Mr. Kerry feels the United Nations “is the key that opens the door.”

The United Nations has presented 322 resolutions condemning Israel, and none condemning Arab states. Muslim countries have been members of the U.N. Security Council 16 times, while Israel is the only nation ever forbidden to sit on the Security Council. In every U.N. vote, with the exception of U.S. vetoes in the Security Council, Israel loses by a very one-sided majority. If U. S. foreign policy is abandoned to the United Nations, Israel has a bleak future.

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