February 21, 2007

Edwards and Israel

Even though the story was published more than a month ago, word began to slowly trickle out late yesterday about a comment presidential candidate John Edwards supposedly made to a group of Hollywood machers at a fundraiser in late January. The story, published in Variety by Peter Bart, says:

John Edwards was cruising along, detailing his litany of liberal causes last week until, during question time, he invoked the "I" word -- Israel. Perhaps the greatest short-term threat to world peace, Edwards remarked, was the possibility that Israel would bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. As a chill descended on the gathering, the Edwards event was brought to a polite close.
Now, a few things are kind of odd about this. One, there's no direct quote. Two, the piece was published January 19, and in the ensuing month not a single person at the gathering has said a word to any other reporter or media outlet. Three, that would seem like an odd thing to say to a gang of Hollywood Jews who, liberal as they are, are likely as Zionist as can be. And four, it's coming from Peter Bart who, awhile an exemplary Hollywood observer, may not have the greatest knowledge of the nuances of Mideast debate.

Edwards, nearly instantly, issued a statement that he does not consider Israel a threat to world peace, and never said anything of the kind either. Did Edwards say it? It's possible. But until I hear a tape, I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. He's still not my candidate, though.

Posted by Stephen Silver at February 21, 2007 09:54 PM

Giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, I'd guess Edwards probably said something that sounds close to what was reported, but was simply Edwards garbling his words and not having them come out how he meant them.

Posted by: Gib at February 22, 2007 09:02 AM

Even if Israel is a threat to world peace, would that mean they're an evil country? I would think every country is a threat to world peace to some extent, and that being in the Mideast would intensify that.

Posted by: Freddy at February 22, 2007 01:21 PM
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