Thursday, November 23, 2006

 

Jack Murtha-Steny Hoyer Followup

In The Impending US Troop Buildup in Iraq, I wrote: "Late last week, as expected, the House Democrats soundly defeated John "Jack" Murtha in his bid to become Majority Leader." Murtha was defeated by Steny Hoyer who got a brief mention in an earlier post--Waxman, AIPAC on US Elections: No Sweat for Israel.

E.M., a friend, recently sent the text of Hoyer's 12/15/2003 remarks to the AIPAC Political Leadership Conference. Below are a few gems from that speech.
From my perspective as the Democratic Whip, I believe that AIPAC and all the friends of Israel can look back at the past year as one of many successes.

In April, Roy Blunt and I circulated a letter signed by 313 House Members urging President Bush to abide by the principles for Mideast peace that he articulated on June 24th, 2002.

First and foremost among them was this absolute precondition for peace: that the Palestinian side unconditionally cease the campaign of terror and violence against Israel.

In June, the House passed a resolution by a vote of 399 to 5 condemning the unconscionable terrorist attacks against Israel and expressing our solidarity with Israelis in the continuing war on terrorism.

In October, the house passed the Syria accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act by a vote of 398 to 4.

That legislation would require the president to impose economic and diplomatic penalties on Syria unless it makes immediate and meaningful changes in its policies.

And it sends an unequivocal message to Damascus: you cannot belong to the family of civilized nations while simultaneously sponsoring and providing safe harbor to terrorist organizations.

On October 30th, the House unanimously passed a resolution repudiating the repugnant anti-Semitic remarks by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad at the Islamic Summit Conference.

Comments such as these – that "the Jews rule the world by proxy"– are not simply hateful and outrageous, they are divisive and dangerous.

Jew and non-Jew alike must combat them.

And, of course, we also saw the fall of the butcher of Baghdad – Saddam Hussein – who was a mortal threat to his own people, the state of Israel, the middle east region and the world [No mention of WMD nor a particular threat to the US].

And, as you know, I had the privilege of leading the largest congressional delegation in history to Israel in August.

This was my sixth trip to Israel, and my fifth as a member of Congress. ...

Let me say very clearly: as a member of the Democratic leadership and a long-time supporter of Israel, it is absolutely imperative that Members of Congress – especially our new members and those who have few Jews in their Congressional Districts – recognize the moral and strategic significance of the U.S.-Israel partnership.

Furthermore, it is imperative that Israel’s circle of friends in Congress include non-Jews, too. For the reality is this: Israel’s safety and security is not a Jewish/non-Jewish issue. It is an American national security issue.

I am confident in saying that two new Democratic members who have a better appreciation of that are Denise Majette of Georgia and Artur Davis of Alabama. Both were part of our delegation [Majette defeated incumbent Rep. Cynthia McKinney with a large influx of cash from Zionist American Jews; Davis has likewise been the beneficiary of Zionist Jewish largesse (see e.g. McKinney opponent rakes in pro-Israel cash)] pro-Israel. Both are articulate, engaging African-Americans from the south. And both are committed supporters of Israel. ...

Secondly, I am very disturbed by the surge in virulent anti-Semitism, and the accompanying hostility toward the Jewish state. Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are two manifestations of the same bigotry. ...

There are some who believe that we must demonstrate more even-handedness in the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.

I do not.

Instead, I believe we must guard against making muddled parallelisms between justified actions by Israel and terrorist tactics designed only to inflame and destroy. ...

The United States and Israel have stood together since 1948 because we stand up for what is right – liberty, freedom, and democracy. ...
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