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  #1  
Old April 21st, 2002, 04:10 PM
Freedom_Peace Freedom_Peace is offline
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SHARON is a man of peace........Joke of the Century...by Joker of the Century....

In Congress, Support Of Israel At Peak Pitch
By Gail Russell Chaddock | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

WASHINGTON (2002-04-19) WASHINGTON As President Bush grapples with how to revive anything like a peace process in the Middle East, Congress is closing in on a narrower objective: to make its support for Israel as visible and compelling as possible.
The official congressional line had been to wait for Secretary of State Colin Powell to return from the region before introducing new legislation or resolutions on the issue. But for weeks, members on both sides of the aisle have been pushing the White House to soften its calls for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and to define the Palestine Liberation Organization as supporting terrorism.

The latest nudging typifies the strong stand lawmakers on Capitol Hill have traditionally taken on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Since the founding of the Jewish state more than 50 years ago, support for Israel in Congress has run deep, sometimes acting as a check on administration policy.

Now, as the violence in the Middle East makes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a central issue again complicating the war on terrorism Congress is trying to expand its influence over US policy in the volatile region.

One reason is that many on Capitol Hill see the events of Sept. 11 and the American war on global terrorism as a historic opportunity to reframe the terms of the Mideast debate. At the same time, the failure of Secretary of State Colin Powell to secure a cease-fire and withdrawal of Israeli forces from West Bank villages and camps could open up a new struggle within the administration over how to proceed, and Congress wants to have a say in how it is resolved.

For many members, the goal is to push the White House toward granting Israel the same freedom that the US claims for itself to wage an all-out fight against terrorism and to declare that the Palestinian Liberation Organization is a terrorist group.

Support for Israel has never been more intense on Capitol Hill, even as criticism mounts in Europe and the Arab world over the largest Israeli incursion into Palestinian villages and refugee camps since the 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

At issue in Congress is more than a historic friendship with Israel or empathy for the only democracy in the region. Since the Sept. 11 attacks, many members make the case that Israel faces the same terrorist threat as Americans, only it has faced it much longer. A massive lobby effort in recent weeks by Jewish and other pro-Israeli organizations on the Christian right reinforces those claims.

"Americans do not want to be victims again," says Sen. Harry Reid (D) of Nevada, speaking Monday at the largest rally ever held in the US in support of Israel. "Nor can we expect Israel to stand idle while her citizens are being slaughtered."

A flood of new resolutions and bills about to be released on Capitol Hill aims to shape the Bush administration's next moves in the region. One of the most watched will be a resolution by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D) of California and Mitch McConnell (R) of Kentucky to declare the Palestine Liberation Organization a terrorist group, close PLO offices in Washington, and deny visas to PLO officials.

Others include resolutions endorsing Israel's right to self-defense, new sanctions on Syria and Lebanon, a proposal to cut back military assistance to Egypt, and resolutions condemning anti-Semitism in Europe, where big demonstrations have been held in support of Palestinians.

"Sharon is a man of the West. He's doing what a man has got to do. We will also encourage Israel to back off, but Israel will do what is good for Israel," says House majority leader Dick Armey (R) of Texas, who yesterday introduced legislation that would toughen sanctions against Syria.

GOP leaders in Congress want to avert a direct confrontation with the White House on these issues. "Leadership isn't going to allow anything to move forward that's embarrassing to the president," says Marshall Wittmann, analyst at the Hudson Institute.


Still, Mr. Bush isn't likely to find a Congress as willing to curb its sympathy for Israel as his father. After the 1991 Gulf war, the first President Bush prevailed on lawmakers to withhold action on an Israeli request for $10 billion in loan guarantees for 120 days, or until Israel made concessions on settlements on the West Bank, on the grounds that it would advance the peace process. Reluctantly, Congress agreed.

In the end, the deal did not end settlements or produce peace, but it did prompt deep resentment within the Jewish community and among Christian conservatives. Both groups are reminding today's lawmakers and the White House that imposing conditions on Israel can be costly.

Republicans are hearing from the Christian right, and Democrats from Jewish groups that have been a traditional part of their base. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which claims 60,000 members, has long been one of the most influential lobbies in Washington.

"There was a sort of apathy before 9/11, but now there is a growing consensus that Israel is facing potential extinction, directed not just against Israel but against Jewish people," says Chuck Brooks, Washington representative for the American Jewish Congress. "Congress is going to play a significant role in funding agreements, approving weapons sales, even in deciding whether funding for the Palestinian Authority is approved."

At the same time, voices urging sympathy for the plight of Palestinians are becoming more restrained. "Before Sept. 11, we were making some real gains here," says an aide to Rep. John Dingell (D) of Michigan, a longtime Arab supporter. "Things have been set back, not only on foreign policy but on things of concern to the Muslim American community, such as racial profiling at airports."
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Old April 21st, 2002, 04:40 PM
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Old April 21st, 2002, 04:42 PM
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Old April 21st, 2002, 07:12 PM
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Talking

F_P, I thought you were the joker of the century
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Old April 21st, 2002, 07:40 PM
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F_P we get news on TV and radio and print media

about Israel and Palestine. Its like the only topic on airwaves and in print these days

However you try to defend Palestine and however you try to show Israel in a bad light the lines of opinions are drawn in people's minds.

I for one support Israel totally. If India had the guts, then we would be kicking Paki ass in the Kashmir region long ago. But thats another story.

Jut posting about how Israel is bad and Palestine is good is not going to change my or others's opinion. Similarly postings of how Palestine is bad and Israel is good wont change yours.

So give it a rest and stick to some interesting topics.
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Old April 21st, 2002, 08:27 PM
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Sunit bhai read this.....former President of USA..article in nytimes..........

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/21/opinion/21CART.html

America Can Persuade Israel to Make a Just Peace

By JIMMY CARTER


Ariel Sharon is a strong and forceful man and has never equivocated in his public declarations nor deviated from his ultimate purpose. His rejection of all peace agreements that included Israeli withdrawal from Arab lands, his invasion of Lebanon, his provocative visit to the Temple Mount, the destruction of villages and homes, the arrests of thousands of Palestinians and his open defiance of President George W. Bush's demand that he comply with international law have all been orchestrated to accomplish his ultimate goals: to establish Israeli settlements as widely as possible throughout occupied territories and to deny Palestinians a cohesive political existence.

There is adequate blame on the other side. Even when he was free and enjoying the full trappings of political power, Yasir Arafat never exerted control over Hamas and other radical Palestinians who reject the concept of a peaceful Israeli existence and adopt any means to accomplish their goal. Mr. Arafat's all-too-rare denunciations of violence have been spasmodic, often expressed only in English and likely insincere. He may well see the suicide attacks as one of the few ways to retaliate against his tormentors, to dramatize the suffering of his people, or as a means for him, vicariously, to be a martyr.

Tragically, the policies of Mr. Sharon have greatly strengthened these criminal elements, enhanced their popular support, and encouraged misguided young men and women to sacrifice their own lives in attacking innocent Israeli citizens. The abhorrent suicide bombings are also counterproductive in that they discredit the Palestinian cause, help perpetuate the military occupation and destruction of villages, and obstruct efforts toward peace and justice.

There are two existing factors that offer success to United States persuasion. One is the legal requirement that American weapons are to be used by Israel only for defensive purposes, a premise certainly being violated in the recent destruction of Jenin and other villages. Richard Nixon imposed this requirement to stop Ariel Sharon and Israel's military advance into Egypt in the 1973 war, and I used the same demand to deter Israeli attacks on Lebanon in 1979. (A full invasion was launched by Ariel Sharon after I left office). The other persuasive factor is approximately $10 million daily in American aid to Israel. President George Bush Sr. threatened this assistance in 1992 to prevent the building of Israeli settlements between Jerusalem and Bethlehem
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Old April 21st, 2002, 08:39 PM
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I dont think Jimmy Carter knows what is right

He recently insisted on travelling to Cuba!! Now Cuba has been such a old enemy of the USA. And the reasons are valid. Cuba is a two bit dictatorship and a communist cesspool.

How would you like a ex-PM of India wishing to go and kiss ass of Pakistani Musharraf???

I would care less if Jimmy Carter wanted to go and meet Yaseer Arafat. Who cares?

TOday Powell met Arafat but what did Arafat do? Only after so much pressure and time Arafat only denounced terrorism in the mildest form.

And honestly, if you peek outside the opinions of us desis and ask for opinions of most Americans abour the Middle East... you will be surprised.

I think I had told you that dont get too sentimental about Palestine just because you are Muslim and so are they. Palestine is a very dangerous role model for other terrorists who might take this suicide bombing terror tactic across the seas to other places like India and USA. So worry about that... Forget the politics about Palestine and Isreal. It does not matter who is right and who is wrong at this point. What matters is what will be the final outcome. If suicide bombing becomes the end result then God save us all!
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Old April 22nd, 2002, 05:45 AM
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Re: Sunit bhai read this.....former President of USA..article in nytimes..........

Quote:
Originally posted by Freedom_Peace
Ariel Sharon is a strong and forceful man
Well.. maybe he goes to the gym.. instead of posting articles, why dont you go to the gym too?
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