December 16, 2003


NEW DEAN ADVISER SAYS: ISRAEL AID SHOULD HINGE ON WITHDRAWAL: Prestowitz Appointment Raises Some Eyebrows (ELI LAKE, 12/16/03, NY Sun)

Howard Dean’s presidential campaign yesterday named a group of foreign policy advisers - including an author who calls for making America’s aid to Israel contingent on an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza and concludes that America’s Jewish lobby has prevented successive presidents from properly pressuring Israel to make peace with the Palestinian Arabs.

The appointment of Clyde Prestowitz, author of “Rogue Nation: American Unilateralism and the Failure of Good Intentions,” released by Basic Books earlier this year, has drawn sharp criticism from Jewish leaders and Democrats alike, including Senator Lieberman, a Democrat of Connecticut, who said the former Vermont governor should reject his new adviser’s advice.

Mr. Prestowitz writes that America’s intervention in Iraq should coincide with renewed pressure on Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate. “This should include making aid to Israel conditional on withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza, a freeze on all settlement development, and closing of all settlements except those tentatively agreed on at Camp David and Taba.” He goes on to write, “In no way should any deal be conditioned on an end to all violence, a condition that simply gives veto power to extremists on both sides.”

The opening paragraph of the chapter Mr. Prestowitz devotes to America’s relationship with Israel and Taiwan (titled “Wagging the Dog: Two Tales”) ends with this line: “I have often felt America’s differences with the world could be largely explained in four words: Israel, Taiwan, religion, and lobby.” Writing of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah, he says, “In demanding all or nothing, they are the mirror image of the Israeli hawks who favor Eretz Israel.” In a section on the pro-Israel lobby, the Dean adviser writes, “A major factor in the collapse of the peace efforts has been these lobbies’ ability to prevent U.S. pressure on Israel.”

In isolation this might not matter much, but Mr. Dean continues to take actions and make statements that suggest a really unusual lack of support for Israel.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 16, 2003 11:10 PM

So Hamas is the mirror-image of Israeli right wingwers, eh?

Funny. I must have missed all those stories about Jewish homicide bombers in Gaza and Ramallah.

Posted by: Oswald Czolgosz at December 16, 2003 11:59 PM

Dean's angling for certain sectors of the electorate.

* Those convinced that America's support of Israel is unjust and/or against American interests (forgetting that America has had a "relationship" with Egypt and Jordan and that Bush has called for a Palestinian state, albeit with certain conditions)?
* Arab-Americans?
* Buchananites?
* Others?

And why not? Radical quagmires call for radical solutions. And so far, if certain mindsets have it right, American M-E policy has been a shambles.... And Israel endangers the world....

Posted by: Barry Meislin at December 17, 2003 4:29 AM

It's even easier: if we just jettisoned Israel, Taiwan, Judeo-Christianity and the death penalty, everyone in the world would love us, the army could stand down and we could afford health insurance for all Americans.

Posted by: David Cohen at December 17, 2003 7:52 AM

I wonder what the percentage of the population in Vermont is Jewish. This alone might explain Dean's tone-deafness. And growing up on Park Avenue probably didn't help him, either. I'll bet he has said Hymietown more than Jesse has.

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 17, 2003 9:15 AM