Kerry, Nader and the Israeli factor
NEW YORK -- Pat Buchanan, a onetime presidential aspirant and a
frequent talking-head on US television networks, is contemptuous
of the US Congress for being so politically intimidated by the pro-Israeli
lobby in the United States.
once had the courage to describe the US Congress -- both the Senate
and the House of Representatives in Capitol Hill -- as "Israeli-occupied
territory". But his forthrightness and his openly anti-Israeli
sentiments have virtually doomed his political career.
moral of the story is that if you refuse to play ball with Israel,
you just don't survive in American politics. Period. Any US politician
who challenges America's unbridled loyalty to Israel -- be it George
Bush or his current opponent in the November presidential elections
John Kerry -- is bound to fail because of the tremendous influence
wielded by the pro-Israeli lobby.
critics of Israel have also been silenced by accusations that when
they speak against Israel they are also necessarily anti-Semitic
in their sentiments. Ralph Nader, one of America's best-known consumer
advocates and a perennial third party candidate at presidential
elections, is as outspoken as Buchanan.
who once took on the powerful US automobile industry by advocating
the cause of the hapless motorist at the mercy of American auto
giants, has dismissed President Bush and the US Congress as "puppets"
of the Israeli government.
days when the chief Israeli puppeteer comes to the United States
and meets with the puppet in the White House and proceeds to Capitol
Hill where he meets with hundreds of other puppets, should be replaced,''
despite a strong rejoinder from the Anti-Defamation League, which
represents Israeli interests in the US, Nader has refused to retract
Nader made his statement several weeks ago, the mainstream US media
did not think it newsworthy to run the story. But it thought it
fit to publicise his statement only after the Anti-Defamation League
wanted to publicise its own statement -- proving once again the
power the Israeli lobby exerts even in the mainstream media in this
has challenged the League to come up with an example of any US administration
that pursued a policy vehemently opposed by the Israeli government.
In the current presidential elections, both Bush and Kerry are strong
supporters of Israel. And they cannot afford not to.
two candidates from the Republican and Democratic Parties -- Bush
and Kerry respectively -- are trying to outdo each other as to who
remains the stronger supporter of Israel. Economically, Israel continues
to survive as a nation state primarily because of the staggering
$3 billion (not $3 million) in American economic and military aid
doled annually from taxpayers money.
remains the largest single recipient of American aid and has received
over $81 billion in economic and military assistance since its creation
in 1948. Until and unless the Arab-Americans in the US emerge as
a powerful voting bloc in the country, Israel will continue to exert
its influence in American foreign policy.
a full-blooded American of Lebanese origin, has little chance of
making his way to the White House. But he has played the role of
a spoiler drawing votes away from Democratic candidates. Bush's
victory in the last presidential elections in November 2000 is partly
attributed to Nader's presence as a third party candidate pulling
votes away from Al Gore who lost to Bush.
week, one of Bush's campaign supporters Richard Egan was accused
of contributing money to Nader's presidential campaign -- an attempt
to strengthen Nader and weaken Bush's opponent Kerry.
report from the Associated Press said, "Bush backers are hoping
Nader will siphon enough votes from Kerry to tip the election to
President Bush." Both Nader's potential influence in swinging
the elections in Bush's favour and Bush's intellectual capacity
to grasp the nuances of foreign policy are now an integral part
of the election campaign.
Leno, the late night stand-up comedian, came up with a gem last
month. Kerry, after meeting with Nader and failing to convince him
to withdraw from the presidential race, made a statement urging
Americans not to vote for Nader.
vote for Nader," Kerry declared, and rightly so, "is a
vote for Bush." And Leno said, with tongue firmly entrenched
in cheek, that when this message was conveyed to Bush at a White
House meeting, Bush thought for a while and said: "Then, I
am going to vote for Nader."