Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Dean touches the Israeli third-rail

Billmon has endorsed Howard Dean. The deciding factor for him was Dean's recent comment that the United States should not "take sides" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Welcome aboard Bill.

Now, as to this particular issue, I must confess that I am not very well versed in the details of this conflict. Like fights over abortion and gun rights its one of those political debates I tend to avoid because it is so dominated by extremists on both sides. However, on its surface, Dean's statement feels right to me.

Why should the United States "take sides" in this conflict? We should continue to support the existence of the Israeli state. But how can the U.S. ever been seen as a viable moderator in this conflict if we approach the negotiation table as automatically being on Israel's side?

The fact that Joe Lieberman and John Kerry have chosen to leap on Dean's comment suggests to me more political opportunism than an actual defense of principle (well, it may be both in Lieberman's case). They are looking for something to beat Dean over the head with and they may think they can use this to divide the Democratic electorate.

Just what we need guys. More bitterness between Democrats. Thanks a lot.

Perhaps it's about time that this particular "third-rail" is decommissioned?

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