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This survey appears in the February 20, 2004 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

The Middle East Crisis:
What the President Must Do

The following is Part 6 in a series of documentary comparisons of the views of the 2004 Democratic Presidential contenders. The topics are those raised by Lyndon LaRouche's candidacy since Jan. 1, 2001, and therefore we place him first. The other candidates are listed in the order of the number of their itemized campaign contributions. (LaRouche is number two by this count.) Part 1, in EIR Dec. 12, 2003, dealt with the Iraq War and the Cheney neo-conservative coup; Part 2, in EIR Dec. 26, 2003, was on economic policy; Part 3, in EIR Jan. 16, 2004, was on military policy; Part 4, in EIR Jan. 30, 2004, surveyed the candidates on the threat of police-state and emergency rule in the United States; and Part 5, in EIR, Feb. 6, 2004, dealt with the United States' economic infrastructure and how to rebuild it.

Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

1. Why the Crisis?

For decades, LaRouche has focussed special attention on Israel and the Palestinians, and the Middle East generally, stressing that the problem to be overcome includes the impact of over a century of London-centered geopolitical interventions—denying infrastructure development, orchestrating violence, drawing arbitrary boundaries, looting—and that peace in the region must be led by economic development.

LaRouche has fought for a policy of U.S. backing for Mideast economic development—known since 1990 as the "Oasis Plan" (described below) as the pathway to peace and justice, warning that without such an effort, the region is doomed to suffer to the point of potential nuclear war.

The candidate blames Gen. Ariel Sharon's September 2000 provocation on the Temple Mount for triggering the current Intifada, and calls Sharon's government since then "the hand grenade" of Cheney and the neo-conservative faction that wants to topple all the Arab governments by war.

On Dec. 10, 2001, the LaRouche campaign issued a press release, "LaRouche Speaks Bluntly About the Insane Fascism of Ariel Sharon," warning that "the policies being pursued by Ariel Sharon and top officials of the Israeli Defense Force will surely lead to the self-destruction of Israel, and its future vilification as a Nazi-like state, guilty of hideous crimes against the Palestinian and Arab people."

On Aug. 26, 2002, LaRouche summarized some of long-held views about the Mideast crisis, in an interview (via telephone) with Palestinian Satellite TV in Gaza.

He said, "At present, it's obvious that a certain faction in Israel, typified by Shamir earlier, or Sharon or Netanyahu, who are the hard-core of the old Jabotinsky apparatus, are now hoping that the United States will start an attack on Iraq, which would then enable Sharon, under that cover, to begin the exodus of the Palestinian people in large numbers, across the Jordan River into Jordan, in accord with their policy."

LaRouche said further, "We have in the United States a Utopian faction, which includes people who are financiers of Sharon. These are wealthy people, who have gangster backgrounds.... They call themselves, 'from rackets to riches to respectibility,' like the Bronfman interests, or the Lansky mob, and their descendents, who now control, for example, the Perle apparatus in the United States, which is behind Richard Perle and others. These people are, in a sense, really fascists. They are as bad as Sharon, perhaps worse.... It came largely from the United States, from these circles. At present, the President of the United States, and some of the leadership of the Demcratic Party, as well, are fully in support of Sharon."

U.S. Aid to Israel

On Sept. 15, 2003, LaRouche called on President Bush to shut down all funding of Israel, "if Sharon persists in even talking about the expulsion or assassination of the duly-elected Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat." LaRouche demanded that if Sharon persists in these threats, "President Bush should immediately sign an Executive Order freezing all U.S. financing of Israel.... President Bush should show some actual guts. Instead of defending America's true interests, the President picks on smaller states, while cringing every time that Sharon speaks. The U.S. cannot dictate policy to Israel, but the United States can certainly act decisively if Israel acts in a manner that challenges the framework of international relations and vital U.S. interests in the Middle East."

LaRouche also, in this statement, called for "a full probe into the circumstances surrounding the sinking of the U.S.S. Liberty, during the June 1967 Arab-Israeli War."

Israeli "Preventive Assassinations"; the Walls; Settlements in Occupied Territories

LaRouche has condemned the atrocities being committed by the Sharon regime, and demanded the U.S. intervene to stop them. In November 2003, LaRouche endorsed the petition to the Government of Israel, to "Release the Prisoners of Conscience (Refusniks) in Israel."

2. What Must Be Done

LaRouche calls for a State of Palestine; and economic development in the mutual interest of Israel and all in the greater Mideast region. During the 2001-02 Israeli assault on the Palestinian Authority headquarters in Ramallah, and siege on the person of P.A. President Arafat, LaRouche called for U.S. intervention to back the immediate creation of a Palestinian state.

On April 14, 2002, LaRouche released a statement, "LaRouche Tells Bush: Do Not Repeat Clinton's Mistake!" He wrote: "The United States' most vital strategic and related interests, including the interest of our European partners, requires an immediate historic intervention establishing a just peace in the Middle East, meaning an immediate establishment of the Palestinian State under its currently elected head of government, Arafat. If President Bush makes that decision right now, it will happen, since the President's decision as President will set into motion the other forces around the world which would produce that result. Indeed, all things considered, the fate of the planet as a whole could depend upon just such a decision."

In an Aug. 26, 2002 Palestinian Satellite TV interview, LaRouche said that there must be a "coming back at least to the level of the Rabin agreements with Arafat ... otherwise, we're going to have this lingering threat, not only to the Palestinian people, but to the people of the entire region." And there must be a context of economic development.

LaRouche is known widely for his long-standing proposal for the Mideast, the "Oasis Plan," proposed in the 1980s as the basis for peace through mutual-interest economic development programs based on infrastructure improvements for plentiful water (nuclear-powered desalination), energy, and high-tech transportation. LaRouche calls on the United States, and collaborating nations, to provide resources to get this development process under way, to provide the environment for peace and security.

LaRouche has promoted his "Oasis Plan" perspective through private and public activities, including mass-circulation policy documents in the United States, as well as events in Europe and Asia. He receives wide media coverage regularly thoughout the Mideast.

On Jan. 23, 2003, for example, coverage of the LaRouche perspective appreared in Asharq Al-Awsat, the Arabic daily with the largest circulation in the world, and the most influential inside Saudi Arabia. Its correspondent Al-Qazwini published an interview done with LaRouche in Berlin in December 2002, in which Al-Qazwini describes the Oasis Plan as "a comprehensive development strategy" to "save the human race."

On June 2-3, 2002, LaRouche was the keynote speaker at a conference in Abu Dhabi, on "Oil and Gas in World Politics," at the Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-Up. In October 2002, a book was published by the Center, titled, Lyndon LaRouche: A Lecture on the World Economy. The conference and the book also included the contributions by LaRouche's wife, Helga Zepp LaRouche, on the dialogue of cultures.


At LaRouche's June 2002 Abu Dhabi presentation, he gave the strategic history and politics involved in unleashing the "scientific potential" to bring vast economic development into being in the region. "It is to the degree that we make significant steps toward applying and improving the methods for production and distribution of fresh water, that other crucial factors of development can be brought into play. In that case, we shall see the implicit strategic potential of the Middle East as the crossroads of Eurasia. Any long-range forecast of the prospects of Middle East petroleum must be studied in the context of that challenge.... There will be no peace without adequate provision of water."

Under the LaRouche "Oasis Plan" concept, new water sources are to be supplied through both nuclear-powered desalination facilities at coastal sites, and also at designated points along new inland canals and conveyances, such as the "Med-Dead" Canal, long proposed (as a tunnel/canal connection) to link the Mediterranean with the Jordan Basin near the Dead Sea Depression. Only 20 standard-sized nuclear power plants could create a volume of water literally equalling "a second Jordan River." This was the post-World War II perspective of the Eisenhower Atoms-for-Peace delegations to Trans-Jordan, including representatives of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Economic Development

The "Oasis Plan" water supply points and routes are also part of the network of development corridors of transportation, energy supplies, and new locations for high-tech agriculture and industry. The entire physical and political landscape is altered for the mutual benefit of all. This kind of perspective was implicit in the economic protocols of the September 1993 Oslo Accords, at which time, LaRouche said, "Turn the dirt," and start the process now—but the projects were thwarted by subsequent World Bank and other opposition.

LaRouche said, in the Aug. 26, 2002 Palestinian Satellite TV interview, "What is needed is large-scale water development and energy resources for the Middle East; because, presently, with the drainage of the aquifers in that area, there is not enough water for the foreseeable future to meet the resuirements of life for all the population. This is one of the aggravating factors. My concern has been, to get large-scale development projects ... desalination methods, and energy resources in there, so that we can have viable states, which are self-sufficient."

How To End Terrorism

LaRouche has stressed the spirit of the "peace of the brave" concept of Yitzhak Rabin, in his signing of the Oslo Accords with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 1993, as the kind of commitment which must prevail today. LaRouche has spearheaded U.S. and international exposure and opposition to the "chicken-hawk" faction in the United States backing Sharon's depradations.

On Sept. 18, 2002, LaRouche issued a statement, "Bush Must Say 'No' To Israeli Nuclear Blackmail." In it, he said, "In a mass-circulation LaRouche in 2004 release, 'The Pollard Affair Never Ended,' I named the names of the leading Sharonists inside the Bush Pentagon and State Department—Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Doug Feith, David Wurmser—some of whom literally prepared the foreign policy doctrine of perpetual war for then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in July 1996. These Netanyahu-Sharon Likud moles inside the Bush foreign policy and national security establishment are still suspected, now with more and more evidence, of involvement with the convicted Israeli spy, the American-born Jonathan Pollard.

"Since the release and circulation of a million copies of the 'Pollard Affair Never ended,' campaign document, new, even more damning evidence has surfaced. Therefore, I must intensify my demand for a thorough national security investigation into key staffers in the Office of Vice President Dick Cheney, beginning with his chief of staff and national security advisor, I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby."

Howard Dean

1. Why the Crisis?

Howard Dean offers no history, nor discussion of the causes of the crisis between the Israelis and Palestinians. He focuses blame on the lack of involvement of the Bush Administration in the peace process, saying in a website statement (Statement of Principles on the Middle East Peace Process), "Recent developments in the region have created a new sense of opportunity.... U.S. disengagement from the process during much of the Bush Administration has been unacceptable."

Dean does not single out any of the Sharon government's activities for comment, but says, "The Israeli government will have to work to improve the living conditions of the Palestinian people, and ultimately will have to remove a number of existing settlements."

On Sept. 9, 2003, during the Congressional Black Caucus candidates' debate, Dean was asked, "You recently said the U.S. should not 'take sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.' Do you mean that the U.S. should maintain some sort of neutral stance to Israel? And does that include cutting foreign aid to Israel?" Dean replied, "Of course I don't mean any such thing, that we're going to take a stance that belies our historic relationship with Israel. We've had a special relationship with Israel since 1948 when we were the first country to recognize Israel. What I do mean, is we need to be a credible negotiator, a facilitator for peace in the Middle East."

2. What Must Be Done

On his campaign website, in Dean's "Statement of Principles on the Middle East Peace Process," Dean calls for "a two-state solution," and more U.S. involvement in working towards this. "The basic framework for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians is a two-state solution—a Jewish state of Israel living side by side in peace and security with an independent, demilitarized Palestinian state."

Water, Power, and Economic Development

Dean does not identify water or power, in particular. His outline generally states that the United States and international community must support "economic reconstruction efforts which are essential to the long-term success of any agreement between the parties." The specifics referred to in this connection are: "Helping the Palestinians establish a middle-class democratic society, in which some fully participate in economic and political decision-making"; and that the United States "will maintain its historic special relationship with the state of Israel, providing a guarantee of its long-term defense and security."

How To End Terrorism

On the Dean website statement: "The Palestinian Authority will have to fight terrorism and violence on a consistent basis to create the conditions necessary for a viable peace process."

At the Sept. 9, 2003 Congressional Black Caucus debate, Dean said, "We also need a renewable energy policy in this country [the United States], so we can stop sending all our oil money to where they recycle it back into terror. And we ought to stand up to the Saudis, who are teaching small children in the Islamic world to hate Americans."

Dean endorsed the National Governors' Association position paper on terrorism, issued Sept. 14, 2001.

John Kerry

1. Why the Crisis?

Kerry does not address the history of the geopolitics furthering Israeli-Palestinian strife. In remarks, Oct. 17, 2003, to the Arab American Institute in Washington, D.C., he said, "There is nothing to be gained in an endless cycle of violence and reprisals that only point in a downward direction. There is no future for that tiny sliver of land other than that of two nations living as peaceful neighbors—and the extremists on both sides need to realize that."

U.S. Aid to Israel

Kerry's most repeated theme about why the crisis is now so bad, is that Bush has disengaged from trying to resolve it.

On Dec. 3, 2003, in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Kerry said, "President Bush pays lip-service to the idea that Mideast peace is critical to the effort to combat terrorism, but his administration has lurched from episodic involvement to recurrent disengagement, jeopardizing—in my judgment, and in the judgment of many—the security of Israel, encouraging Palestinian extremists, and undermining our own long-term national interests and the efforts of the war on terror in the long run."

Israeli "Preventive Assassinations"; the Walls; Settlements in Occupied Territories

Stressing the theme of the Bush Administration's "non-engagement" in furthering the Mideast peace process, Kerry also spoke of Israel's right to bombing actions, at the Florida Democratic Convention, April 14, 2002: "American leadership means we must work to understand and positively affect the world around us. If the United States has a right to respond in Afghanistan to suicide attackers in New York City—and we do—then Israel has a right to respond to suicide bombers in the West Bank. But our role—and our responsiblity—is to engage more aggressively and positively—and to stay engaged."

Kerry criticized the Sharon government's building of a wall around the West Bank, on Oct. 17, 2003, in remarks to the Arab American Institute, "I know how disheartened Palestinians are by the Israeli government's decision to build the barrier off of the green line—cutting deep into Palestinian areas. We don't need another barrier to peace. Provocative and counterproductive measures only harm Israel's security over the long term, increase the hardships to the Palestinian people, and make the process of negotiating an eventual settlement that much harder."

He said, in his Dec. 3, 2003 speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, "I am convinced, as most people are, that the majority of people—Palestinians and Israelis alike—want peace, and understand there will be a two-state—Palestinian state, state of Israel—living securely, ultimately, one day together. And getting there is critical."

2. What Must Be Done

In his Dec. 3, 2003 speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Kerry said: "In the first days of a Kerry administration, I will appoint a Presidential ambassador to the peace process who will report directly to me and the Secretary of State, and who will work day-to-day to move that process forward. There are a number of uniquely qualified Amwericans among whom I would consider appointing, including President Carter, former Secretary of State James Baker, or, as I suggested almost two years ago, President Clinton. And, I might add, I have had conversations with both President Clinton and President Carter about their willingness to do this, and I think they would welcome it and embrace it as a means of moving forward."

Kerry lists as one of his campaign foreign policy priorities, "Working for Peace in the Middle East and Security for Israel." Among the points in his website statement on this: "Israel is our most important ally" in the region, and there must be American support for "the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a viable Palestinina state."

The statement calls for Prime Minister Qureia to take "serious, demonstrable" steps to rein in the violence, and "if he is committed to this course of action, the United States and its allies should provide technical assistance and training to the Palestinian security forces to strengthen their capacity to root out terrorist groups.... As meaningful steps are taken to fight terrorism, Prime Minister Sharon and Prime Minister Qureia must move forward simultaneously with determination ... on the road to peace."

Economic Development

Kerry does not address specifics of economic necessities such as water, power, and transportation in the immediate Israel-Palestinian situation. He speaks in generalities about developing the greater Mideast region, for example in a Jan. 23, 2003 speech at Georgetown University: "We must make significant investments in the education and human infrastructure in developing countries. The globalization of the last decade taught us that simple measures like buying books and family planning can expose, rebut, isolate, and defeat the apostles of hate, so that children are no longer brainwashed into becoming suicide bombers, and terrorists are deprived the ideological breeding grounds. I believe we must reform and increase our global aid to strengthen our focus on the missions of education and health—of freedom for women—and economic development for all."

For the larger Middle Eastern region, Kerry described his views in the Georgetown University speech: "We should build on the success of the Clinton Administration's Jordan Free Trade Agreement. Since the United States reduced tariffs on goods made in 'qualifying industrial zones,' Jordan's exports to the U.S. jumped from $16 million to $400 million, creating about 40,000 jobs. Let's provide similar incentives to other countries that agree to join the WTO; stop boycotting Israel and supporting Palestinian violence against Israel; and open up their economies.

"We should also create a duty-free program for the region, just as we've done in the Caribbean Basin Initiative and the Andean Trade Preference Act. Again, we should set some conditions: full cooperation with the war on terror, anti-corruption measures, non-compliance with the Israel boycott, respect for core labor standards, and progress toward human rights."

How To End Terrorism

Kerry said, on Oct. 17, 2003, in remarks to the Arab American Institute, "Forging a stable and lasting peace in the Middle East is vital to American national security, to the security of Israel and other countries in the region, and to the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a viable Palestinian state. It is also an essential part of winning the war on terror. Ignoring or downplaying the conflict, as the Bush Administration did for far too long, is a dangerous game.

"I know from my many trips to the Middle East that the majority of Palestinians and Israelies want to live side by side in peace."

On Nov. 7, 2003, in the Concord Monitor/ question-and-answer session, Kerry said of the Mideast, "It's one of the most important trouble spots in the world, around which a lot of the world's tensions are related, and it is imperative for a President to be deeply involved in the peace process. Bush abandoned that involvement for more than a year. I will re-engage in the Middle East and work with all parties and I'll bring together other nations to help in the process. I believe peace is attainable."

Besides "re-engaging" the United States in the Middle East peace process, Kerry outlined his general policy in his Dec. 3, 2002 speech to the Council on Foreign Relations: "Over the longer term, to prevail in the war on terror, we must build new bridges to the Islamic world. In recent years, our capacity to communicate and persuade has constricted.... As President, I wil fight for funding to expand our diplomatic presence, and I will direct American representatives overseas to reach out to populations, not just to governments, to religious and cultural leaders, and to a new generation growing up in this age of mass communications.... I will also appoint a presidential envoy for the Islamic world who will seek to strengthen moderate Islam and find new ways to isolate terrorists; and who will make the case for progress, mutual respect, and yes, for our conviction that Israel and the Arab world can and should live together in a secure and lasting peace."

John Edwards

1. Why the Crisis?

Edwards offers nothing on the background and history of the crisis between the Israelis and Palestinians. But he has spoken emphatically on Israel being threatened by Saddam Hussein and his "weapons of mass destruction."

On Oct. 7, 2002, at a speech to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Edwards referred to Israel, in terms of his own co-sponsorship of the resolution for war on Iraq. "My position is very clear. The time has come for decisive action to eliminate the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. I am a co-sponsor of the bipartisan resolution we're currently considering.... Saddam Hussein's regime is a grave threat to America and our allies—including our vital ally, Israel."

Edwards has made no mention of the building of the walls by Sharon; nor the Sharon government's "preventive assassination" policy; nor settlements in occupied terrorities; nor any other specifics of any kind.

2. What Must Be Done

At the Jan. 4, 2004 Iowa Democratic Party Primary debate, Edwards said, "The most critical thing is for us to be engaged. That's what's been missing from this Administration. [Bush] flies in, he has a photo-op, he leaves. We need to be on the ground constantly. We have to find ways to reduce the level of violence, to create some level of trust so that we can move toward peace."

Edwards offers only the most abstract generalities in his website's policy planks. Under the general heading, "Work to Resolve Conflicts," a point listed eighth among nine points of "Edwards' Foreign Policy Agenda" on his campaign website section, "Strengthening America's Role in the World Through Principled Leadership," is this reference: "Edwards is a strong supporter of Israel, and believes that the U.S. has a vital role in promoting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians."

Elsewhere, Edwards speaks of a two-state solution.

The Edwards campaign website otherwise makes the point of Edwards having met with leaders. It states, "He has visited our vital ally, Israel, and other Middle East states to discuss the peace process, and has met with America's key allies at NATO Headquarters and in London." And again, "Senator Edwards has considerable experience discussing critical foreign policy issues at the highest levels.... He has met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Middle East leaders to discuss the peace process and America's role in the region, and he has also conferred with key Arab leaders."

No mention is made of any specifics about the Israeli or Palestinian situation, in terms of the crisis of water, nor economic development, nor any other aspect.

How To End Terrorism

On Jan. 4, 2004 at the Iowa Democratic Primary debate, the question was put to Edwards, "Are you willing to negotiate directly with Hamas, and would Yasser Arafat have a seat at that table?" Edwards replied, "No. There is clear, overwhelming evidence of Arafat's connection to terrorism. I think a two-state solution is ultimately the answer. [We need] to create some level of trust. For example, going to the Palestinians and saying, 'Arrest these leaders of Hamas who we both know are involved in terrorism,' and saying to the Israelis, 'In exchange, we expect you to allow freer passage in the West Bank."

On Jan. 13, 2004, an Edwards policy document was released, titled, "Fact Sheet: The Edwards Plan for Promoting Democracy: A Strategy for Freedom," in which it is stated, "America will never defeat violent terror so long as hundreds of millions of people in the Muslim world and elsewhere are denied the right to express themselves peacefully, openly and democratically." The plan then calls for seven actions: 1) Establish an "Organization for Security and Cooperation in the Middle East," similar to the 1970s Helsinki Process, by the year 2008; 2) Create a "Middle East Partnership Program" at NATO, for joint training for counter-terror, etc.; 3) Create a "Freedom List" at the U.S. State Department, of the names of dissidents wrongly treated, in order to make the names public and "shame countries that incarcerate political prisoners"; 4) Establish a "Democracy Caucus" in the UN, to promote those countries trying to democratize, and "punish" others; 5) Increase funding for the National Endowment for Democracy; 6) Link American aid to democratic development, to cut help "to states led by dictators" and to reward "good performers"; 7) "Link membership in key international institutions to democracy," and be ready to cut out countries that slip; for example, make Russia's membership in the G-8 conditional, "if present anti-democratic trends continue there."

Joseph Lieberman

Senator Lieberman dropped out of the Presidential race on Feb. 3, the day after this survey was completed. It is included here because he, among the candidates and in the Senate, represents the U.S. faction LaRouche refers to as causing and worsening the Mideast war crisis, that faction of which Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is the "hand grenade." This faction backs the proto-fascist networks in and around the Likud, including Benjamin Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon,

1. Why the Crisis?

Lieberman has acted in the Senate, as well as through the election arena, to cast blame on the Palestinians for the crisis. He calls for U.S. support for Sharon; he called for war on Iraq; and he is backing threats of war against Syria, Iran, and others.

On Lieberman's website's "Issues and Ideas" section, the culpability of the Palestinians is stressed. "Joe Lieberman believes that Yasser Arafat is no longer a credible partner for peace. He has called for Arafat's removal and his replacement with leadership willing to stop terrorism, to recognize the right of a Jewish state of Israel to exist in security, and to build a democratic Palestinian state. For more than a decade, Lieberman has led efforts to pressure the Palestinians to follow this course. In 1989, he sponsored the PLO Commitments Compliance Act that called for the PLO to end its call for the destruction of Israel and to abandon terror; and has consistently urged Democratic and Republican Presidents alike to pressure the Palestinians to renounce terrorism before negotiating with them."

At the Oct. 26, 2003 Detroit debate sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus, Lieberman focused on the ouster of Arafat, thus backing Sharon's threats to Arafat's life. Lieberman said that he had visited the Middle East in December 2002, and did not then meet with Arafat, because he has not declared "war on terrorism.... Arafat [has] not done that. In fact, he stopped Prime Minister Abbas and now Prime Minister Qureia from doing what they wanted to do, which is to take on the terrorists. As long as he's there, there's not going to be real chance for peace in the Middle East."

Lieberman is known in Washington political circles, as the "senator from Mega"—a reference to the secretive Mega Group of Zionist billionaires, launched by Edgar and Charles Bronfman, Michael Steinhardt, and Max Fisher in 1991, to pool their vast financial resources and political muscle. Lieberman has worked in tandem with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who likewise has Bronfman machine connections; and the twosome has acted to pressure both the White House and Congress to back Sharon unconditionally.

U.S. Aid to Israel

Lieberman calls for unconditional and expanded U.S. aid to Israel, despite the Sharon settlements in occupied territories, the wall-building/ghetto policy, and the "preventive assassinations." The Lieberman campaign website states, "Joe Lieberman has rallied bi-partisan support for Israel during his 15 years in the United States Senate. He has consistently supported increased foreign aid to our ally, including Israel's recent request for $12 billion in new aid, and opposed efforts to cut this wise investment in security. More than that, Lieberman has led his colleagues in offering support for Israel during difficult times. In the Spring of 2002, when Israel launched Operation Defensive Shield to root out Palestinian terrorists, President Bush insisted that Israel withdraw 'without delay.' Joe Lieberman, in contrast, led the Senate in passing a resolution expressing solidarity with Israel."

"Lieberman has led the fight to move America's embassy in Israel to that country's indisputable capital, Jerusalem. In 1995, he was the prime co-sponsor of the Jerusalem Embassy Replocation Act, and in 1999, he led his colleagues in taking the Clinton Administration to task for not moving the embassy to Jerusalem."

Sharon's "Security Fence"

On Aug. 5, 2003, Lieberman sent an e-mail release attacking Bush's criticism of the Sharon barrier-building projects. As reported in the Aug. 7, 2003 Forward: "In an e-mail message sent Tuesday night to Jewish supporters, Lieberman wrote that he was 'stunned' to learn of Bush's threats to withdraw loan guarantees if Israel does not stop construction of the fence, which Israel says it needs to stop terrorism." The e-mail said, "The Israeli people have the right to defend themselves from terrorism and to decide what's necessary to do that. And it's wrong to force them to choose between their security and our support."

Sharon's Settlements in Occupied Territories

At the Sept. 9, 2003 Democratic debate sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus, Lieberman defended Sharon's policy of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian Occupied Territories, when the question arose out of a fight between Lieberman and Howard Dean. Invoking false even-handedness, Lieberman complained that Dean "said Israel should get out of the West Bank. That's a predetermined outcome that ought to be negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians. That's taking sides."

2. What Must Be Done

Nominally, Lieberman supports a two-state solution for the Israelis and Palestinians; but he states that the priority is to back Israel. This is declared on his campaign website, and stated repeatedly. For example, on Sept. 8, 2003, Lieberman's campaign released quotes of the candidate's remarks in Santa Fe, New Mexico on Sept. 3, that, "For a half century under Presidents of both parties, America has preserved a special relationship with Israel—a relationship based on shared values, democratic principles, and strategic interests. Israel remains our most devoted ally in the Middle East, and would always come to our side when we need help. To diminish that relationship would not only diverge from 50 years of American policy, but would also not be in the best interests of the United States."

Water, Economic Development

Lieberman does not address water, power, and other severely short infrastructure in Israel and the Occupied Territories, nor the matter of economic development.

How To End Terrorism

Lieberman, who focuses on the Palestinians as responsible for terrorism, consistently calls for it to end by sheer decree. He repeatedly calls for the removal of Arafat from the region.

On Jan. 14, 2002, at a Georgetown University lecture, "Winning the Wider War Against Terrorism," Lieberman said, "We must also continue to demand that the Palestinian Authority end its tolerance for, and in some cases, sponsorship of terrorism, or our relations with the Authority will end."

On June 4, 2003, the Lieberman campaign issued a release on the occasion of the Israeli-Palestinian Red Sea Summit, in which Lieberman identified Palestinian "terrorism as the single biggest roadlock to progress in the region." Saying the talks showed hope, he said, "Prime Minister Abbas must make a 100% effort to stop the violence that has poisoned the well of peace. And Prime Minister Sharon must build on his words with action helping the Palestinian people build the better future they deserve."

Lieberman otherwise calls for the United States to "stay engaged" in the region.

Lieberman frequently calls for action against Syria, Iran, and other locations in the region, in the name of combatting terrorism. At the Jan. 14, 2002 Georgetown University speech, he said, "In the Middle East, for example, Hamas and Islamic Jihad thrive in their disruption of the peace process, thanks in no small part to the havens they find in Iran and Syria, and the support they receive from those two countries. Such support must stop—not next year, not next month, but now, if Syria and Iran hope to develop better relations with the United States."

Thus, Lieberman has acted to divert attention away from, for example, Sharon's involvement in the creation of Hamas as a countergang against the PLO, and other key facts about terrorism in the Mideast.

Wesley Clark

1. Why the Crisis?

Clark does not address the sources and history of the crisis between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. In a Nov. 20, 2003 speech to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York, on "Restoring America's Alliances," he gave a list of points, under the heading of leading crises. They included: "That the ongoing violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories has not only made Israelis insecure and increased the suffering of Palestinians, but is also a source of anti-Americanism in the region and beyond."

Clark does not make specific comments on the Sharon "preventive assassination" policy, nor the settlements in Palestinian Terrorities, nor the new walls. Typical of his campaign comments is reiteration that he is committed "to the survival and the preservation of the state of Israel," as reported in the Boston Globe, Sept. 20, 2003.

2. What Must Be Done

In his November 2003 CFR address, Clark called for new diplomatic efforts for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. He did not give any content to what the efforts should be. Clark usually cites the Balkans as a model for an approach to areas of crisis, making the point that the United States was actively engaged, it was a joint effort, and NATO was involved.

On June 15, 2003 on "Meet the Press," Clark said, "We've got to bring more of the neighboring countries' leadership in more strongly. In the case of Yugoslavia, we set up the contact group [including] the European Union and Russia. Russia represented the Serbs' views in these meetings. We need a Middle East contact group. We need to lead that, and include Jordan, Egypt, and Saudia Arabia. With Syria and Iran, we need a process to decide if they should be engaged or confronted."

In a speech to the New Democratic Network, June 17, 2003, he repeated his points, "We need to work the Middle East.... We need to stay engaged in that, but we need to bring on some other actors as well. We should bring the Jordanians and the Egyptians fully in. We had a contact group arrangement in Europe where we brought people together. We need to do that here. We need to think about how the Syrians and Iranians can be engaged in this also."

In the CFR speech, Clark noted, "In recent weeks, past leaders of Israel's security services and the current Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces have spoken out. They have concluded that military measures alone will not provide security of Israel. I agree.... I would commit America to real Middle East diplomacy again—starting in the White House but including at all levels of our government, to breathe life into the Road Map for peace that has veered tragically off course. We must play a leadership role again to encourage both sides to meet their commitments. The Palestinians must start by taking decisive steps to combat terrorists and the infrastructure of terrorists. But the Israelis have responsibilities too." He did not elaborate further.

The focus of that November 2003 speech, with the short reference to Israel and the Palestinians, was a call for "A New Atlantic Charter," in the spirit of Churchill's Iron Curtain speech, for America to work with allies.

Clark does not address the water crisis in Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Jordan, and nearby, nor economic development.

In an earlier speech, on Oct. 17, 2003, in Dearborn, Michigan, to the Arab American Institute leadership conference, Clark made the same point—that the United States needs to play a leadership role. Otherwise, he said, "I'm proposing a full-time, high-level negotiating chief on the region who can help change the dynamics on the ground and push for results." He critized Bush for pulling out of the process.

How To End Terrorism

On March 30, 2002, on CNN Saturday, "Is Peace Out of the Picture for the Mideast?" Clark said, "After the negotiations in August of 2000, the Palestinians decided to use armed struggle as a way of advancing their cause. Israel has responded and this struggle has seesawed back and forth. We thought that after the events of 9/11, Yasser Arafat realized that terror was a big mistake. But he has resumed using terror against the Israelis. The Israelis can't use terror the same way, so they're using conventional means. For the Israelis, this is a struggle really for the existence of Israel."

Clark said in his October 2003 speech to the Arab-American Institute: "On the Palestinian side, [reaching toward peace] means ending the violence and becoming a partner committed to a peaceful, secure Jewish state. On the Israeli side, it means a willingness to negotiate seriously and help create conditions on the ground that demonstrate a real commitment to a viable Palestinian state. But let me be clear, Israel is the key U.S. ally in the region and has the right to defend itself—including going after terrorists who threaten Israelis—because violence will not work and must end. What we need now is a shift in momentum—away from violence and toward a safe and secure future."

Dennis Kucinich

1. Why the Crisis?

Kucinich does not get into the history, geopolitics or economics behind the worsening Mideast situation, nor name any of those factions acting to foment the situation. He provides this general description on his website: "Perpetual war and poisonous rhetoric will not help us erase the bitterness that still plagues relations among countries of the region."

Israeli Settlements in Occupied Territories; Walls

Kucinich, on his campaign website, in the "Civil Liberties" section, states, "Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are unlawful and against the interests of both Israelis and Palestinians. A Kucinich administration will vigorously oppose the expansion of settlements in the occupied territories, and insist on the dismantlement of existing illegal settlements in the West Bank and Gaza."

On Nov. 4, 2003, in the Concord Monitor/ online question-and-answer, Kucinich said, "I believe the government of Israel can help take a step in the direction of setting the stage for negotiations, by stopping the building of new settlements and by ceasing the building of walls."

2. What Must Be Done

On Nov. 4, 2003, in the same online question-and-answer, Kucinich stated, "It is urgent for the U.S. to become closely involved in the efforts to reach a peaceful agreement which protects Israel and which provides for the creation of an autonomous Palestinian state. Additionally, such an agreement must call for the rebuilding of the Palestinian areas which have been devastated. The U.S. can help to lead the way of such an agreement by participating in rebuilding housing, schools, hospitals, businesses, roads and other infrastructure. Such agreements would engender trust and confidence building and create the possibility where the parties can then deal with the issues of borders and right of return."

In his campaign website section "Arab Americans/View of the Mideast," Kucinich speaks of how the United States must promote "negotiations to achieve a viable peace between Israel, and a new Palestinian state."

In May 2002, Kucinich stated his general view of what must be done in the Mideast, on the occasion of voting "present"—i.e., refusing to vote yes or no—on House Resolution 392, expressing "solidarity with Israel" as it battles the "terrorist infrastructure in the Palestinian areas." He stated that the United States must not take sides, and that "I will vote, 'present' today because I believe the security of Israel requires the security of the Palestinians. I will vote 'present' because I believe the United States can do better through honest brokering, and a principled commitment to peaceful co-existence." Kucinich said it is wrong to try to equate "Israel's dilemma, which is the outcome of the Palestinians' struggle for self-determination, with the United States' campaign against the criminal organization, Al-Qaeda." And he criticized the U.S. policy for being "amorphous" and "undefined."

Kucinich said, "There is a role for Congress and the Administration in helping to bring a lasting peace in the Middle East.... Determine a course of action to bring about peace. This course will require multilateral diplomacy, which strengthens cooperation among all countries in the region. It will require focused, unwavering attention. It will require sufficient financial resources. And it will require that our nation have the political will to bring about a true, a fair, and a sustainable resolution of the conflict."

Kucinich has called for the creation of a "Department of Peace," to work internationally and domestically; to work in "violence control"; to support "disarmament, treaties, peaceful consensus building." His campaign website defines the intent of this proposal as dealing with economic justice as well as political.


Kucinich calls for infrastructure-building, as leading toward peace in the Mideast. He does not specifically detail a resources development program, especially for water. On the Kucinich website "Platform" listings, there is the section, "Water as a Human Right." It lists "Ten Principles," including, that water shall be considered forever in the public domain, and protected from "commoditization"; and that "Wealthy nations shall provide poor nations with the means to obtain water for survival." Also, "It shall be the duty of each nation to provide accessible, affordable drinking water to its people."

Economic Development

The Kucinich "Department of Peace" proposal states that, "Its focus on economic and political justice will examine and enhance resource distribution, human and economic rights and strengthen democratic values." His website says more specifically, "An even-handed approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is key to a solution, as is global financial aid to the Palestinian people as they move toward Statehood."

How To End Terrorism

On Nov. 24, 2003 in the Des Moines, Iowa Democratic contenders' debate, Kucinich stressed his general point (referring to Iraq), "The only way that we can effectively combat terrorism in this world is to work with the United Nations and with the world community."

Kucinich has warned against the Administration's making a case for force against Syria on grounds of Syria harboring Iraqi leaders and terrorists. On April 15, 2003, Kucinich said, as reported by Associated Press, "Threatening action against Syria could fuel speculation that the Bush Administartion is seeking to build an empire in the Middle East."

In the Kucinich "Platform" section, for "National Security," on his campaign website, he criticized the Bush Administration for believing "that international terrorism can be defeated solely through military, law enforcement, and intelligence actions, without addressing the underlying foreign policy issues...." Kucinich states, "It is time to redefine the argument and to convey to the public that effective multilateral institutions, appropriate economic aid, principled foreign policy, and support for arms control regimes buy us more real security than launching preventive attacks or further increasing the Pentagon budget."

Al Sharpton

1. Why the Crisis?

The Sharpton campaign website does not present the candidate's views on the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. Listed under "Rev. Al Sharpton's Top Ten," is this general statement: "Strengthen our REAL national security by fighting for human rights, the rule of law, and economic justice at home and abroad."

Sharpton makes general references to terrorism, as the crisis in Israel and the Occupied Territories. On Oct. 27, 2003, the day after the Detroit Congressional Black Caucus-sponsored debate, in which Lieberman called for the ouster of Arafat from the region, Fox News TV reporter, Greta Van Susteren asked Sharpton, "Is Arafat part of the problem in your mind, or part of the solution?" Sharpton replied, "I think that one can negotiate with those on all sides, and assume that there have been serious problems on the Palestinian side [which] many feel Arafat instigated. But I also think that the solutions have not been achievable without him being part of the discussions."

2. What Must Be Done

On the candidates international policy grid on, Sharpton answers "Yes," to the questions, "Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?" and "Should the United States continue to provide leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process?"

On June 13, 2003 on NPR radio, Sharpton said, in an interview with Bob Edwards, "I've been to the Middle East and met firsthand with the Palestinian and the Israeli side. There's nobody in this race that has, in my judgment, dealt more around the world on these global issues. We need to develop a balanced strategy of creating allies around the world, supporting democratic movements around the world, and not have an inconsistent pattern of saying we're going to be with the most cruel reactionary dictators if they serve our interests, and then make them the pariahs when we decide they do not."

On a Fox TV Oct. 27, 2003 show, Sharpton said, "I think that we've got to deal realistically, that we must try to find some level of peace and some level of balance, and we must do that in a situation that the people that are at the table can deliver what they promised. I don't know if we can deliver that without talking to some people we may not like to talk to [a reference to Lieberman's call for the ouster of Arafat as pro-terrorist]."

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