Thursday, September 11, 2003

The letter to Dean

Here's the text of the letter sent to Howard Dean by a group of Democratic Congress members about his comments on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Dear Governor Dean:

We are writing to respond to your comments on the Middle East at a recent
campaign event and in Tuesday's candidate debate and explain why we believe
it is wrong to say the U.S. should "not take sides" in the
Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

American foreign policy has been-and must continue to be - based on
unequivocal support for Israel's right to exist and to be free from terror.
The Palestinians have at best been ambivalent about their willingness to
accept Israel's existence and from Yasser Arafat on down they have promoted
or acquiesced in the use of terrorism as a tactic in their struggle.  It is
unacceptable for the U.S.. to be "evenhanded" on these fundamental issues.

All of us want a genuine peace process to succeed, and all of us accept the
legitimacy of a Palestinian state once the Palestinian leadership and
people recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state and not only
renounce the use of violence but at last take action to dismantle the
terrorist infrastructure inside the Palestinian Authority.  Time and time
again, the Israeli people have shown their willingness to take risks for
peace.  But they will only do so with the knowledge that U.S. support for
Israel will not waver.

It is important for America to help facilitate a peaceful resolution of the
conflict, but in playing this role we must be true to our values and makes
sure that all the parties clearly understand our policies.  This is not a
time to be sending mixed messages; on the contrary, in these difficult times
we must reaffirm our unyielding commitment to Israel's survival and raise
our voices against all forms of terrorism and incitement.


Howard L. Berman


Howard L. Berman - California 28th
Nancy Pelosi - House Min. Leader, California 8th
Robert Matsui - California 5th
Steny Hoyer - Maryland 5th
Martin Frost - Texas 24th
Nita Lowey - New York 18th
Tom Lantos - California 12th
Edward Markey - Massachusetts 7th
Chet Edwards - Texas 11th
Ben Cardin - Maryland 3rd
Steve Rothman - New Jersey 9th
Steve Israel - New York 2nd
Gary Ackerman - New York 5th
Barney Frank - Massachusetts 4th
Rahm Emanuel - Illinois 5th
Adam Smith - Washington 9th
Anthony Weiner - New York 9th
Chris Bell - Texas 25th
Adam Schiff - California 29th
Hilda Solis - California 32nd
Robert Menendez - New Jersey 13th
Shelley Berkley - Nevada 1st
Robert Andrews - New Jersey 1st
Joseph Crowley - New York 7th
Jose Serrano - New York 16th
John Larson - Connecticut 1st
Ellen Tauscher - California 10th
Dennis Cardoza - California 18th
Patrick Kennedy - Rhode Island 1st
Linda Sanchez - California 39th
Harold Ford, Jr. - Tennessee 9th
Brad Sherman - California 27th
C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger - Maryland 2nd
Alcee Hastings - Florida 23rd


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