Posted on February 16, 1992 in Washington Watch
Six months ago it appeared certain that the 1992 elections would be a non-event. Buoyed by high ratings in the polls, George Bush seemed unbeatable. Democrats were in disarray. Paul Tsongas, a little-known former one-term Senator from Massachusetts was the only announced Democratic candidate. Other bigger name Democrats seemed unwilling and afraid to enter the race.
What is certain today, however, as the first rounds of the primary election season begin, is that the 1992 elections will be a real contest. Most experts still predict a Bush reelection, but so much has changed in the past few months that no one is now taking this election for granted.
In August 1991, Bush was polling 75% favorable ratings with a high 67% of the public calling for his reelection. After months of press focus on the weakened state of the U.S. economy, today the President’s favorable ratings have fallen to 41% and his unfavorable ratings have risen to 47%. Less than 50% now support Bush’s reelection—a danger sign for his campaign.
Five Democrats have entered the race. Most of these Democratic candidates either represent a narrow regional base or represent a particular interest group within the party and do not, at this time, seem able to unite the entire Democratic party. This problem continues to hamper the Democrat’s chances of success in winning the presidency in November, 1992. This, however, provides only some consolation to the President since he is receiving regional and interest group challenges that threaten the unity of his own party.
The President is receiving a strong challenge in New Hampshire, the first primary election, from TV personality Pat Buchanan. Ku Klux Klan and Nazi leader David Duke is also running against Bush in primaries in several Southern states. When he last ran for president four years ago, Duke was viewed as an insignificant candidate, but after shocking the nation by receiving over 40% of the vote in two state-wide elections in his home state of Louisiana, his threat is no longer easily dismissed.
For the time being the Duke challenge does not concern Bush as he must first deal with Buchanan. Buchanan is peeling away 20% to 30% of the Republican’s conservative base by accusing Bush of betraying his 1988 “no new tax” pledge made to his right-wing supporters.
It does not appear likely that Buchanan can win, but he can embarrass the President and weaken him in the face of his Democratic rivals. This is precisely what Ronald Reagan did to President Ford in 1976 and what Ted Kennedy did to President Jimmy Carter in 1980. In both cases while Ford and Carter beat these primary challenges from within their own parties, they were weakened enough to lose reelections in their November races.
This 1992 election is playing out against the backdrop of a dramatically changed world—a world requiring and, for the most part, accepting U.S. leadership. It is, to say the least, ironic that having won the Cold War and the Gulf War, many Americans not only seem unwilling to accept this new world responsibility, but are resentful of the demands it has placed on the President’s time and the nation’s resources. This is principally due to a prolonged recession. One million bankruptcies in the past year, unemployment at 7.1%, 2.3 million homeless, and 12 million Americans on some form of welfare—all have combined to sap the nation’s strength and erode it’s optimism. The recession has led to calls for trade protectionism and “put America first” isolationism from both the Democratic left and the Republican right.
The Arab world has obvious concerns in this regard. Peace, trade, and regional security are all issues of vital concern to Arabs and all are tied to the U.S.-Arab relationship. It is no exaggeration to suggest that the outcome of the 1992 elections is as central to the short-term fate of the Arab world as it is to Americans.
It is useful, therefore, to look at the policies of George Bush and his six major challengers to see how they stand vis-a-vis issues directly effecting Arabs.
One observation that can be made at the outset is that there is much that is new in candidates’ views this year. In 1988, with the exception of Jesse Jackson, it appeared that the Middle East position of all the campaigns, Republican and Democratit, had been written by the same person. Even candidate George Bush mouthed strong pro-Israel positions in 1988.
A great deal has happened to change this. The Gulf War produced and strengthened a U.S.-Arab alliance and shaped new U.S. interest in the Middle East. The continuing Palestinian intifadah and the brutal repression and intransigence of the Shamir government has resulted in dramatic shifts in U.S. public opinion. A December 1991 Wall Street Journal poll showed that by a margin of 41% to 29% Americans view Israel as a greater obstacle to peace than the Arabs, and a Gordon Black poll of September 1991 showed that by 2 to 1 Americans support a Palestinian state.
In addition, the successful effort of the Secretary of State James Baker and President Bush to bring about Middle East peace talks has given many Americans a sense of pride and accomplishment. Thus while Democrats and critics of the President may attack his domestic policies and his emphasis on foreign affairs, there is virtual bi-partisan support for the Middle East peace process.
Finally, the nation’s economic woes and the calls for “American first” have caused many politicians to rethink support for foreign aid, even aid to Israel. Democratic Congressman David Obey, powerful chairman of the committee that oversees foreign aid said recently that “this year it maybe politically more dangerous to support aid to Israel than to oppose it.”
Thus, while four year ago little was said about the Middle East and what was said reflected a straight pro-Israel line, today the candidates views reflect a growing appreciation of the region’s complexities and a more balanced approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict. While not all of the candidates’ statements reflect a fully developed policy and some pandering to pro-Israeli audiences still takes place, it is clear that views have shifted, candidates are feeling the tug of public opinion and their positions reflect this.
What follows is our attempt to outline the Middle East positions of the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates.
GEORGE BUSH is the incumbent president. As President, Bush has effected a distinct transition in public American Middle East policy from what it had been under the Reagan administration, with regard to both the broader U.S-Arab relationship and the Arab-Israeli conflict. While the Reagan administration pursued a strong public U.S.-Israeli strategic relationship, often at the expense of Arab interests, the Bush administration responded to the end of the Cold war and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait by committing the U.S. in a dramatic way to the security and stability of the Gulf and to a U.S.-Arab partnership. The U.S. mobilized an international coalition and secured passage of 12 U.N. resolutions designed to liberate Kuwait and defend the Gulf states.
At the completion of the Gulf war the Bush administration sought to further advance peace and stability in the Middle East by pursuing a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. In his address to the nation on March 6, 1991, Bush himself stated explicitly this new policy in an outline of the steps his administration would take in the coming months to promote an Arab-Israeli dialogue. “By now it should be plain to all parties that peacemaking in the Middle East requires compromise.” “A comprehensive peace must be grounded in United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and the principle of territory for peace. The principle must be elaborated to provide for Israel’s security and recognition, and at the same time for legitimate Palestinian political rights. Anything else would fail the twin tests of fairness and security.” The imposition of this twin test is a milestone in U.S. Middle East policy, marking the first time that Palestinian rights have been given equal weight with Israeli security concerns.
The Bush administration perspective is strongly internationalist. And it seeks, in its vision of a “New World Order” a Middle East engaged in regional cooperation and trade as being in the best interests of the U.S. But it realizes that for such a vision to become real, the Arab-Israeli dispute must be resolved on a sound and acceptable basis.
Not only has this administration strengthened its public ties to the Arab world but, again unlike the Reagan administration, it has publicly challenged Israeli intransigence. Bush’s Secretary of State, James Baker, signalled this transition in a May 22, 1989 address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) when he declared, “For Israel, now is the time to lay aside, once and for all, the unrealistic vision of a greater Israel.” And by voting in favor of U.N. Security Council Resolution 726, the Bush administration went beyond previous statements regarding the territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 war. The resolution referred to the territories as “occupied Palestinian territories” and “Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including East Jerusalem.” (emphasis added) The phrase in italics represents a specific departure from the Reagan administrations’ position of saying little in public against Israel’s claim to have annexed East Jerusalem.
With regard to the Israeli request for $10 billion in loan guarantees, Bush responded to a provocation by AIPAC and won a very significant battle with the pro-Israel lobby. By applying direct and public pressure on Israel to stop settlements as a condition for securing the loans, Bush has dramatically altered U.S. public opinion and caused a debate within Israel and the American Jewish community on the advisability of building settlements.
Finally, the Bush administration succeeded in using its prestige and power to convene two-track Middle East peace talks. This has not only created new conditions for peace in the Middle East, but it has also dramatically altered the U.S. debate on the Middle East. There is today bi-partisan support for the peace talks and strong public support for the principles on which they are based.
PAT BUCHANAN is a former White House speechwriter and is well-known as a columnist and television personality. The stated reasons for his campaign against an incumbent from his own party are primarily ideological. According to Buchanan, President Bush has abandoned the conservative agenda in the economic and social spheres. But Buchanan has also articulated a foreign policy agenda described as “America First”, arguing that the U.S. should retrench and take care of problems at home rather than worry about issues abroad.
Consistent with this campaign theme, Buchanan was an opponent of military action of any kind against Iraq prior to the Gulf war. He argued that such a war would not be in the interests of the U.S., and angered Israel and many of its U.S. supporters when he charged that “There are only two groups beating the drums for war in the Middle East—the Israeli Defense Ministry and its amen corner here in the United States.” With the advent of hostilities, however, in a patriotic vein Buchanan supported the troops involved in the fighting, though he remained less than sanguine about the decision to initiate hostilities.
Buchanan continues to argue for a protectionist U.S. trade policy, against foreign aid, and for limiting U.S. security commitments abroad. He does, however, strongly support the administration’s efforts to convene Middle East peace talks and its continuing pressure on Israel to cede land for peace. Buchanan now supports Palestinian statehood, arguing that the intifada had changed his mind. “It was clear to me…that these were people who had reached a level of political maturity, that were willing to stand up to guns and assert their right of peoplehood and nationhood.”
Buchanan has responded to the charge of anti-semitism stemming from his criticism of Israel by saying: “I understand how American Jews can be supportive of Israel … But they’ve got to understand that I’m an American patriot. I believe in American national interests and I believe in justice. And if those beliefs conflict with the foreign policy of Yitzak Shamir and Ariel Sharon, I’m going to stand up and say so.”
JERRY BROWN is a former two-term Governor of California and more recently served as the California Democratic Party Chair. The focus of his campaign has been to attack the traditional domestic political process, in which special interest and PAC money have so much influence on shaping politicians’ views and behavior. Brown has emphasized his record in spurring economic growth, respect for minorities and progressive social issues while serving as Governor of the nation’s largest state. His approach to Middle East issues has been difficult to gauge because he has only occasionally touched on the subject.
In an interview with NBC’s John McLaughlin, Brown endorsed the Bush administration’s handling of the Middle East peace talks and said that self-rule for Palestinians within five years was “very consistent with the Camp David accords…where there is a gradual process of democratization, where each side can learn to live with the other.” Brown also opined that the administration’s position on Palestinian self-rule did not put undue pressure on Israel, an opinion which the government of Israel and its supporters in the U.S. do not share. He has also made vague reference to a future Middle East “moving beyond nationalism” where trade, human rights and democracy are promoted.
While not an isolationist, Brown has expressed some displeasure with Israel’s request for $10 billion in loan guarantees. He told a cheering audience in Maine, “I can’t understand why we would give $10 million in loan guarantees to Israel when we have homeless right here in the United States.” As an environmentalist, Brown does challenge what he calls “Dependency on foreign oil…”, sometimes slipping into his rhetoric the term “Arab oil.” He has stated support for cutting U.S. defense commitments in Europe and Japan and slashing the defense budget by 50% in the next five years.
BILL CLINTON is the incumbent Governor of Arkansas, a position he has held for about twelve years. Formerly the Chair of the Democratic Leadership Council, a moderate-conservative grouping of Democratic elected officials he helped to found, Clinton seeks to challenge the “anti-business, anti-economic growth, fiscally irresponsible spending” of more liberal Democrats. He was the early front-runner of the Democratic field of candidates, but his campaign has been hit hard by press scrutiny and charges of “womanizing” and “draft dodging” during the Viet Nam war.
Through the course of his campaign he has expressed positions on a number of Middle East-related issues. While generally sympathetic to the arguments and positions advanced by pro-Israel groups, Clinton has at times sought a more balanced position. His top foreign policy advisor is Anthony Lake, an official in the Carter administration’s National Security Council.
Clinton is one of the few Democrats running who endorsed Bush’s Gulf war strategy in general, and voiced no dissent on tactics. In a campaign release Clinton notes that “the U.S. has vital interests at stake in the Middle East. that is why he supported President Bush’s efforts to throw Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, the only Democratic candidate who took this position.” But in talking about the Israeli role during the war, Clinton “called it ‘the height of hypocrisy’ for the president to assert that Israel should be grateful that the United States saved it from Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.” He added that Israel could have defended itself on its own if it had to.
On the issue of the Israeli request for $10 billion in housing loan guarantees, Clinton claimed that Bush’s linkage of the granting of the $10 billion to a cessation of Israeli settlement building was done not out of principle but for “Domestic politics” and implied that the President did so only after seeing that most Americans oppose foreign aid generally and because of a growing anti-semitism in the United States. At one point Clinton was quoted as saying, “It is not necessary to agree with everything the Shamir government has ever done” to grant the $10 billion. He restated and clarified this position in early January when he argued again that the loan guarantees should be granted, but that the conditions under which they would be granted should be negotiated. In yet another interview Clinton seemed to indicate that his disagreement with the president was due to his making the challenge to Shamir a public one. Clinton stated: “Certainly the settlement policy of [the Israeli government] has not been helpful to the peace process”, but “what I would do in private is different from what I would do in public.”
Finally, at a speech before a Jewish audience, Clinton stated his belief that Israel will “inevitably” be required to trade land for peace, and added that such a trade must be accompanied by “the democratization and demilitarization of the hostile Arab states.” Clinton has supported “President Bush’s efforts to get Israel and the Arab states to sit down at the peace table”—but warns that the U.S. should not put pressure on the parties or dictate terms.
TOM HARKIN is a two-term senator from Iowa. While many Democrats seeking national office adopt the style of John Kennedy, Harkin has unabashedly taken on the style of a hard-hitting Harry Truman (who served as U.S. President from 1945 through 1953).
Calling himself the “real Democrat”, Harkin has vigorously attacked George Bush from a traditional left-wing Democratic perspective. Harkin is the most isolationist of the Democrats, calling on the President to “come home” and “put America first.” He has called for halving the defense budget and leaving Europe and Japan to defend themselves. Harkin has attracted labor unions and strong Jewish support. Some peace organizations support him, but others have expressed discomfort over his one-sided Middle East views.
In his two elections to the Senate, Harkin has accepted $359,980 in pro-Israel PAC money. Of the Democratic field, he has made the most extreme pro-Israel statements on all issues, though it is illustrative of how far the debate has already shifted to note that his positions would be mainstream in 1988. There is even some doubt, however, that Harkin’s public statements are representative of his true stance on many of these issues since he has sometimes issued contradictory statements.
During the Gulf war Harkin was one of a number of liberals to oppose the war. After the war and during the period in which he was exploring a presidential bid, Harkin made the shocking observation that the Administration never should have agreed to liberate Kuwait or defend Saudi Arabia unless they agreed in advance to recognize Israel and normalize relations with it.
With regard to the peace process, Harkin has stated that he does not believe in a need for an even-handed approach to solving Middle East Problems. Harkin also labelled the administration’s argument that Israeli settlements are an obstacle to peace “ridiculous on its face. The biggest obstacle to peace is the lack of any will on the part of other countries to take off the boycott and sit down and negotiate with Israel.” He underscored these themes in a fundraising letter for his ‘92 Presidential bid in which he argues that one of the reasons he’s running is “because I’m deeply troubled by the Bush administration’s serious weakening of its support for Israel.” Later in the same letter he pleads: “I’m fighting them [the Bush administration and the GOP leadership] and their so-called ‘even-handed’ approach to the Middle East. I’m fighting George Bush, because he’s turned his back on Israel.”
In a speech to the American Section of the World Jewish Congress in New York city, Harkin ridiculed “the idea that the Golan Heights is somehow important to Syria. Of course it is not.” He elaborated on his belief that an even-handed approach to the peace process is not necessary by stating: “I find it more than passing strange that we would be pressuring Israel to give up land for peace, to reach all these agreements, when we know the best thing for peace in the Middle East are more democratic governments.” He warned against U.S. cooperation with Syria by saying, “It’s wrong that George Bush coddles up to Hafez Assad, perhaps like he coddled up to his old friend, Saddam Hussein.”
He also argued that as President he would move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
In stating his position on the question of the $10 billion in loan guarantees, Harkin argued that the U.S. has “a moral obligation” to grant them, and added, “These are human beings, they should not be used for bargaining chips.”
Standing in a near total opposition to these stated views before and to Jewish audiences is a 1991 letter to a constituent who had questioned his positions on Middle East issues. In that letter Harkin wrote: “I believe that the only solution to the dispute is a negotiated settlement that would satisfy the national aspirations of both the Israelis and Palestinians. The negotiations should be based on the principle of ‘land for peace’, as propounded by the 1978 Camp David Accords.” He closed the letter by adding, “I support Secretary Baker’s ‘dual track’ approach to peace in the Middle East.” (emphasis added) And in an official campaign document outlining his position Harkin writes that he “has always been a strong advocate of a peaceful, negotiated resolution of the conflicts between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and Israel and its neighbors based on the Camp David Accords. In fact, on March 3, 1988, Tom Harkin joined with thirty Senate colleagues in sending a letter to then Secretary of State George Shultz stating that UN security resolution 242 should be the be the foundation for a resolution to the Middle East conflict.”
Harkin adds that he “is supportive of the current peace process now taking place between the parties in the Middle East. In fact, he would go even further in bringing lasting peace to the region. Specifically Tom Harkin believes the United states should take the lead in a temporary multilateral moratorium on the sale or transfer of arms to the Middle East and favors future arms constraints for the region. Stopping the flow of conventional and non-conventional weapons to the region would help defuse an explosive situation and place the parties on the path towards peace.” And, “Concerning Israeli settlements, in accordance with official U.S. policy, Tom Harkin believes this matter is best dealt with in the negotiations. the peace process is now the appropriate forum for the parties to decide the settlement issue as well as the Arab embargo against Israel and Arab recognition of Israel. In that regard, it in the interest of all parties at the Middle East peace conference to proceed to substantive talks as expeditiously as possible.”
There are two phases to Harkin’s legislative history and voting record as a member of Congress (1977-1985) and the Senate (1985-1992). From 1977 to the summer of 1980, he consistently voted in favor of lowering the level of foreign aid to all countries, including Israel. During this period he opposed efforts to reduce U.S. support for Arab states, including Syria, and showed clear support for Palestinian human rights. And in June of 1980 he voted against an effort to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The second phase of Harkin’s voting record, from summer of 1980 to the present, is entirely different from that of the first period. The change dates from shortly after a heated closed-door meeting in then-Rep. Harkin’s office between Harkin, an official from the Israeli embassy and an official from AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. After that date he changed his voting on almost all Middle East-related issues, including a vote in favor of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He consistently voted in favor of increasing aid to Israel, and was equally consistent in his opposition to arms sales to Arab counties, including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. He voted against the resolution authorizing hostilities against Iraq.
BOB KERREY is Nebraska’s junior senator and formerly served as its Governor. Kerrey is a highly decorated war hero. During the Viet Nam war he lost a leg on combat a yet still continued to lead his troops to safety. For this he received the nation’s highest praise, the Congressional Medal of Honor. This experience served to shape much of Kerrey’s philosophy and campaign. The principle focus of his effort is the need for national health insurance. Though not an isolationist, he supports a strong U.S. military and supports a strong U.S. foreign trade initiatives. Kerrey has called for a reduction in defense spending as well as in domestic spending. He has maintained an independent stance on Middle East-related issues, yet has taken pains to avoid antagonizing any party.
In part due to his war experience, he opposed the Gulf war even to the point of being one of only three Senators to oppose the deployment of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia in 1990.
A Jewish reporter noted that “Mr. Kerrey’s recent record suggests his campaign won’t encourage pro-Israel democrats looking for a candidate to address their issues.” Kerrey was one of only 2 Democratic Senators to not sign on as a cosponsor of the Kasten-Inouye Bill granting the $10 billion in housing loan guarantees to Israel without conditions, and Morris Amitay, head of the pro-Israel Washington PAC, suggested that “Mr. Kerrey’s act of omission could well cost him—literally and figuratively.”
While principled on some issues, Kerrey can sometimes be confusing and even contradictory in his position. For example, in a 9/17/91 speech on Senate floor Kerrey addressed the causes for the rift in American-Israeli relations over the loan guarantees. He asked, “Where did we go wrong? The blame is shared. I believe Israel’s rapid construction of settlements in the West Bank has been provocative and counterproductive.” He cites his meeting with Shamir in which he strongly argued for a freeze in settlements. “But Israel’s settlements policy is not the proximate cause of the of the new tension in the peace process and in US-Israeli relations.” This cause the “the astounding performance of the President over the past week.” Bush’s request for the delay is “as baffling as it is destructive.” He assaults more the manner of the President’s action than the action itself, though he does accuse Bush of holding “humanitarian aid hostage to political aims.” He concludes “I want to make the case for the loan guarantees. I want to make the case for against Israel’s settlement policy. But I want that process to be a constructive one that can help break the gridlock—both within Israel and the Mideast—not exacerbate it. For that reason, I will join with my colleagues who reject an unjustified delay and act to consider the loan guarantees for Israel at the earliest opportunity.”
Kerrey supports the direction of the U.S.-led peace process, and has praised Bush and Baker for putting together the Madrid conference. Before a “predominantly Jewish group” of supporters in Omaha, Kerrey said Baker “deserves a great deal of credit for pursuing diligently these negotiations.” He argued that the US “should promote the idea of autonomy for Palestinians and not adopt the land-for-peace concept that some want to use as a basis for a settlement.”
In answer to question about moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem he said “The current policy of recognizing Tel Aviv should be continued.”
PAUL TSONGAS, was a Senator from Massachusetts from 1878-1984, and declined to run for a second term when he was diagnosed with cancer and given only 8-10 years to live. He has since been told that radical surgery was a complete success and that he is now fully cured, and has therefore renewed his quest for public office. Tsongas is the self-styled pro-business Democrat, supporting a targeted cut in capital gains taxes and offering incentives for research and development and investment in new businesses.
The first Democrat to announce, he was largely ignored because he was unknown and not at all charismatic. However, after Clinton’s campaign began to plummet in the polls, Tsongas began to draw attention with his high ratings in the polls in his neighboring state of New Hampshire.
Tsongas has said and done very little on Middle East issues. In his campaign’s book, A Call to Economic Arms, he described the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon as something out of Dante’s “Inferno”, but says that intervention would have helped nothing, that Lebanon is a mess, and possibly beyond hope.
However, in a 1982 letter written after his return from a fact-finding trip in Lebanon and Israel, Tsongas sharply criticized the Begin government and argued that the U.S. should make an intensive diplomatic effort to help Lebanon and backed that up by successfully getting the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to expand then-President Reagan’s request for emergency aid to Lebanon from $20 million to $50 million.
With regard to the peace process, Tsongas wrote in his 1982 letter that the PLO must renounce terrorism and accept U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338 and also recognize Israel’s right to exist. “The PLO must understand the war against Israel is over,” he wrote. “At the same time, I feel that the present Israeli government’s interpretation of the Camp David framework does not adequately address the Palestinian question” or address the long-term needs of any of the parties, including Israel. Tsongas urged autonomy negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and added that “Israel must not build any new settlements on the West Bank of the Gaza Strip.
Speaking more recently on NBC’s “Meet the Press” (7/20/91) Tsongas announced that he believes Arabs and Israel should cooperate not only politically but economically. He envisions the creation of “an economic tie that links them so it is in the vital interests of an Arab state to have a viable Israel and vice versa.”
Later in same “Meet the Press” interview Tsongas indicated support for a unilateral US strike against any remaining Iraqi nuclear capability, saying that while the UN should be the first recourse “in the last analysis, that nuclear capability has to be taken out.”
On 9/16 visit to Plains, GA Tsongas criticized Bush for “turning the issue of $10 billion in U.S. loan guarantees for Israel into a personal fight” with Shamir. “What I don’t understand is why he has gone out his way to pick this fight. No Arab state has made this an issue.” He added later that Bush is using this fight just as the same kind of ‘symbolic issue’ that Willie Horton served in the 1988 campaign. “We were the nation that put enormous pressure on the Soviets to let Jews emigrate. Finally, that has happened and now all of a sudden we change our mind.”
Standing in contrast with some of these public comments is a position paper issued by the Tsongas campaign which takes a strongly pro-Israel stance on a number of issues. The paper is very critical of the Bush administration’s Middle East policy in general, particularly regarding the peace process. It argues against including Jerusalem in the negotiations, as “it is time that we recognize that Jerusalem is and will remain the undivided capital of Israel.” The paper also argues against Palestinian statehood.
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