Wednesday, November 08, 2006

 

Waxman, AIPAC on US Elections: No Sweat for Israel

Below are two excerpts from "US vote may alter stance on Mideast" by Matthew Berger in the Jerusalem Post (11/7/06). Thanks to Alison Weir of If Americans Knew for the tipoff.
Throughout his final campaign swing, Bush told audiences that leaving Iraq and ignoring Iran, as he accused the Democrats of suggesting, would put Israel in danger.

"They would like to get a hold of oil resources so they could then say to the West, 'Abandon your alliance with Israel or withdraw from the Middle East, otherwise you're going to be facing highpriced oil, and we'll bring your economy down,'" he said Monday while campaigning for Republican candidates in Nebraska.

US policy toward Israel is not expected to shift dramatically if Democrats take control of Congress. While Republican leaders have made efforts to overtly back Israel in recent years, analysts point to historic support for Israel among Democrats. In recent weeks, Democrats have been working to counter concerns they would balance support for Israel and the Palestinians or that Democrats would name committee chairmen who are seen as traditionally unsupportive of the Jewish state.

"There will be some Democratic chairmen who may not share all my views or have as clear a perspective on Israel as I do," Rep. Henry Waxman (D-California), a Jewish lawmaker, said in a recent on-line chat with Jewish voters, sponsored by the House Democratic caucus. "But they will not be chairing committees dealing with Israel and the Middle East."

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee also weighed in. In a statement last week, it said, "Strong bipartisan support for Israel exists in both parties and, regardless of who is in control, that support will remain steadfast."

"AIPAC works closely with leaders on both sides of the aisle, each deeply committed to strengthening the bonds between the United States and Israel," the statement continued. "No matter who wins the upcoming elections, AIPAC is confident that Congress will continue to support a strong Israel and a strong relationship between the United States and its most reliable ally in the Middle East." ...

Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, who has led Democratic support for Israel in the House, is expected to seek the role of majority leader, and Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, whose Israeli father fought in the pre-state Zionist underground, is expected to challenge several candidates for majority whip. Emanuel has received praise for his role as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, charged with raising money for candidates.
See also: Remarks by the President at Missouri Victory 2006 Rally

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