Thursday, January 17, 2008

John Edwards On Gaza

The following is from the Vice Presidential debate between Vice President Dick Cheney and Senator John Edwards on October 5, 2004. Senator Edwards made perhaps the best, most concise, clearest defense of the Israeli government and it's fight against terror. He did so during an IDF incursion into Gaza which drew major international criticism, a situation which is being repeated now. This first appeared in this blog on October 6, 2004. Current events demonstrate that nothing has changed in the last four years and that Senator Edwards ' statement is as timely now as it was then.

First, the Israeli people not only have the right to defend themselves, they should defend themselves. They have an obligation to defend themselves.

I mean, if I can, just for a moment, tell you a personal story. I was in Jerusalem a couple of years ago, actually three years ago, in August of 2001, staying at the King David Hotel.

We left in the morning, headed to the airport to leave, and later in the day I found out that that same day, not far from where we were staying, the Sbarro Pizzeria was hit by a suicide bomber in Jerusalem. Fifteen people were killed. Six children were killed.

What are the Israeli people supposed to do? How can they continue to watch Israeli children killed by suicide bombers, killed by terrorists?

They have not only the right but the obligation to defend themselves.

Now, we know that the Prime Minister has made a decision, an historic decision, to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza. It's important for America to participate in helping with that process.

Now, if Gaza's being used as a platform for attacking the Israeli people, that has to be stopped. And Israel has a right to defend itself. They don't have a partner for peace right now. They certainly don't have a partner in Arafat, and they need a legitimate partner for peace.

And I might add, it is very important for America to crack down on the Saudis who have not had a public prosecution for financing terrorism since 9/11. And it's important for America to confront the situation in Iran, because Iran is an enormous threat to Israel and to the Israeli people.
Replace Arafat with Abbas and that might have been a speech yesterday rather than four years ago.

I am supporting John Edwards for President, just as I did four years ago. Of the three main contenders for the Democratic nomination he is the only one who has shown consistent, unwavering heartfelt support for Israel throughout his political career. Ignore the pundits who have pronounced his campaign as all but dead. These are the same folks who assured us Senator Obama would win big in New Hampshire. The latest polls show Senator Edwards in a statistical dead heat with Senators Obama and Clinton in Nevada. A win in the Nevada caucuses could propel him to a win in South Carolina, the state where he was born and a state which he won in 2004. If a Democrat is going to win the White House in 2008 lets make sure American Zionists, both Jewish and Christian, help select the right Democrat. I believe that's John Edwards.

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