News Release

Major Presidential Candidates at AIPAC

John McCain spoke at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Monday. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton spoke there this morning. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is meeting with President Bush this afternoon.

EDWARD L. PECK
Peck, a former ambassador who was chief of mission in Iraq and Mauritania, also served as deputy director of the White House Task Force on Terrorism in the Reagan administration. He said today: “There is nothing inherently wrong with lobbies, they are an essential element in our democratic system. Serious problems can arise, however, when a lobby becomes so powerful that it can exercise control over important aspects of the nation’s foreign policy while at the same time silencing those who do not share the same objectives. This is precisely the case with the so-called pro-Israel lobby.

“Those who are concerned that the massive financial, military and political support the Congress and the White House have consistently provided to Israel is not at all in the interests of either country find it difficult to express their views without coming under attack. The almost total absence of rational public discourse on these important issues perpetuates the suffering of the Palestinians, damages America’s role worldwide, and diminishes Israel’s hopes for peace and security among her neighbors.”

NASEER ARURI
Aruri is chancellor professor emeritus of political science at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and author of the book Dishonest Broker: The U.S. Role in Israel and Palestine. He said today: “Seldom does one find a single issue during election seasons on which political opponents and fierce foes coalesce and bury their differences as they do on the issue of Israel. … Senators Obama, Clinton and McCain reported for duty by giving a scripted speech the essence of which could have easily been drafted in Israel. Some of them even interrupted their speeches to pay tribute to their opponents for being long-term supporters of Israel, as if the latter is our 51st state.

“Moreover, the presumptive nominees for president were joined at the same platform by Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Condoleezza Rice and numerous other Congresspeople to assure Israel that it would continue to have a free hand in the Middle East and remain immune to criticism, and that under the rubric of Israel’s security equals U.S. security, it shall remain as the Middle East’s only superpower, militarily, economically, politically and technologically.”
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167