Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Still the third rail in politics

Imagine, writes Leonard Fein, that the U.S. candidates for the presidential nomination were asked for their views on the Israel-Palestinian conflict and, instead of coming up with the usual formulaic answers, one of them replied that, "Israel’s occupation of the West Bank must end, that the illegal outposts must be removed, that all settlement expansion must end, that Israel should help rather than hinder the modernization of the Palestinian security apparatus, that the status quo is simply not acceptable."

In "Better Safe Than Sorry for Candidates on Israel" (The Forward, 1/16/08) Fein claims that if you can imagine such a scenario ever taking place, then "employment awaits you at the Fantasy Channel." He explains that candidates, whether Congressional or otherwise, must stay put "within the walls of pro-Israel orthodoxy. Open a door to the outside of that house, and you’ll find yourself in never-never land, and not the fun kind either. Open just a window, and you will spend weeks, months, explaining, apologizing, repairing the damage. The Israeli-Arab conflict is to foreign policy what Social Security is to domestic policy -- a third rail."

Read his complete, candid article here.

And to the same subject, Taki adds his voice on Takimag.com. Claiming to be no fan of former President Jimmy Carter, Taki nevertheless defends him against the attack of the neocons, who express outrage over Carter's discussions with Palestinian leaders. Taki accuses all three current presidential candidates of a "crippling and chronic reluctance to let Israel feel the rough edge of their tongue."

He writes, "Utter a word against Likud policy and retire to your farm for the duration. This applies to all politicians in the United States – remember Charles Percy and William Scranton, two long ago politicos who dared to criticize and retired to their farms in turn."

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