December 17, 2003


DEFENDING THE DOC: If you're Jewish, you've probably in the last week or two received an e-mail forward once or twice (along with all the "Jewltide" and "Jew Year" club party invites) warning that Howard Dean is a rabid opponent of the state of Israel who will dismantle that country's relationship with the United States as soon as he reaches office. Therefore, he must be stopped.
The evidence? Dean has said in the past that as president he would be "evenhanded" in regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and also called members of Hamas "soldiers." This "evenhandedness," according to the author of the e-mail, is "regularly employed by Arafat and his coterie of adherents, and it is a phrase that is anti-Israel."
Now I've made it clear in the past that I'm not a supporter of Howard Dean, and I'd rather he not become president. And yes, the "soldiers" comment was a gaffe that he later backed off of. But come on- Dean has made about 25 statements about Israel since the campaign began, and about 20 of them were positive- including probably the best known: "I'm not going to let anything happen to Israel. My wife is Jewish."
If out of all those comments, the worst they could come up with is that he's "even-handed," then no, he's not anti-Israel. What concerns me more is that if Dean had had his way Saddam Hussein, rather then getting dragged out of that hole on Sunday, would still have been in the palace across the street.

Posted by Stephen Silver at December 17, 2003 05:05 PM
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