Posted by Jeff from bgp01107368bgs.wbrmfd01.mi.comcast.net (22.214.171.124) on Wednesday, April 10, 2002 at 9:59PM :
You make me sick! Look at how you are right time and time again. Read this article!!
The ultra-conservative christians believe that the US should support Israel because of the "second coming" and meanwhile the Jews are supporting drilling in the national wildlife reserve and other legislation... all because of this "terror".
My God!! I stopped watching tv (except for the Simpsons) because I just don't trust the "news" (especially lately!!), and when I read things like this on the internet I just get more sick. Oh where oh where did everybody go wrong... maybe I'll move to Australia... or Canada... or Mehico... or...
Congress nearly united behind Israel
Few speak out against West Bank attacks
Edward Epstein, Chronicle Washington Bureau Wednesday, April 10, 2002
[Click to View]
Washington -- Rep. Mike Pence, a conservative freshman Republican from east-central Indiana, comes from a district with no more than a handful of Jews.
But he took to the House floor yesterday and delivered emphatic remarks supporting Israel's current offensive in the occupied territories, comments indicative of the strong sentiment coursing through both houses of Congress.
"Believing Christians and Jews and even many Muslims across Indiana say let us stand with Israel," Pence said. "I pray for the peace of Jerusalem almost every day.
"And the overwhelming majority of this Congress says let the United States stand with Israel," he added.
It is hard to find a negative word on Capitol Hill about Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon or his current offensive on the West Bank, and it is just as hard to find anyone with anything good to say about Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. For President Bush, the heavy pro-Israel bent in Congress provides support for his diplomatic initiatives to end the current fighting, but it could spell trouble if he presses Israel too far for concessions in the face of Palestinian suicide bombings or other terrorist attacks.
A coalescing of factors provides impetus for the pro-Israel sentiment. The traditional strength of Jewish lobbying groups has combined with widespread revulsion against Palestinian suicide bomb attacks, mistrust of Arafat after he rejected U.S.-backed peace plans and a feeling that Israel, like the United States, is fighting terrorism.
Also, some fundamentalist Christians in Congress, backed by groups such as the Christian Coalition, believe that God promised Israel to the Jews and that the state of Israel is part of the apocalyptic scenario leading to the second coming of Jesus Christ.
One of the most influential GOP members of Congress, House Majority Whip Tom DeLay of Texas, also was emphatic in his support for Israel at a recent speech -- despite Sharon's military offensive in the West Bank.
"The state of Israel has been targeted by groups committed to her complete elimination. And on the basis of our shared principles and democratic values, America has an undeniable obligation to stand squarely with our democratic ally," DeLay said.
"The time has come to drop the empty pretense that we can serve the region as a mere broker. Israel is resisting a campaign of death. . . . It is time for us to stand squarely against the terrorist organizations which systematically attack Israel," DeLay said.
Congress is working to turn these pro-Israel sentiments into action.
Just yesterday, Republican senators pushing for energy legislation that would open part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling announced support from several Jewish groups, including B'nai B'rith and the American Jewish Congress. The groups jumped in after Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein called for a 30-day halt in oil production to protest Sharon's offensive.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is drafting a bill with Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. that would deny Arafat a visa to visit the United States, curb operations of the Palestinian office in Washington and seize any assets held by Arafat in this country.
Feinstein said in the Senate yesterday that Sharon's offensive should continue until terrorists are captured in West Bank towns.
"Israel cannot be expected to place a limit on its own self-defense or end her effort to capture terrorists so long as fanatics on the Palestinian side continue to plot and carry out these horrific attacks," she said.
On the House side, Rep. Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo, is working on a resolution expressing "strong solidarity" with Israel, while not interfering with Bush's efforts to calm the situation.
Among the few members who have spoken up for the Palestinians are Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, who yesterday called for Israel to end its offensive and urged an end to suicide bombings and the start of a new peace talks.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Oceanside, who is of Arab descent, has introduced a resolution embodying similar sentiments.
One analyst who is close to many Republicans in Congress said they feel Israel is only doing what the United States is doing in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. "They feel that Sharon is involved in trying to eliminate terrorism. Shouldn't he be allowed to do that?" said Cliff May, the former spokesman for the Republican National Committee who now runs the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
Hussein Ibish of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee conceded that any support for the Palestinian cause is all but silent on Capitol Hill.
"When an elected official looks at the arrayed power on one side and my friends and me on the other side, it's a no-brainer for them," Ibish said.
Ibish said Israel, however, is making a mistake by courting support from fundamentalist Christian groups.
"Here are people (fundamentalists) who really have an incompatible vision of the future from the Israelis, yet they have this tactical alliance," Ibish said.
He also said Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell will have to confront the pro-Israel forces in Congress to make a new peace push.
"The situation means that it will take a great deal of courage and patriotism for an elected official, even the president, to put pressure on Israel," he said.
E-mail Edward Epstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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