[HIMC] FW: [PACUSA] DeLay proclamations comfort Israeli hawks
grahamr at ev1.net
Thu Jul 31 23:39:04 PDT 2003
How embarr ass ing for the state of Texas to have this idiot/hawk making
such mendacious statements
From: Mary Ann Azevedo [mailto:mtawasha at houston.rr.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2003 1:00 PM
Subject: [PACUSA] DeLay proclamations comfort Israeli hawks
July 31, 2003, 12:58AM
DeLay proclamations comfort Israeli hawks
By MEGAN K. STACK
Los Angeles Times
JERUSALEM -- He delivered his words with the rolling cadence of a tent
revival. He slipped the West Bank's Ramallah into a string of cities that
included Auschwitz, Damascus and Pyongyang. He invoked Moses and Anne Frank.
He mixed Old Testament language into the American civics class lexicon of
life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
"I come to you with a very simple message: Do not be afraid," House Majority
Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, told a rapt crowd of Israeli lawmakers,
yeshiva students and academics here Wednesday. "We hear your voice call out
in the desert, and we will never, ever leave your side."
They may be talking peace and Palestinian statehood in Washington, but DeLay
is touring the Holy Land with a message for Israeli hawks: The war is not
over, and the United States is Israel's brother in arms in a pitched battle
"Standing up for good against evil is very hard work. It costs money and
blood," DeLay told a thronged hall in the Israeli parliament building. "But
we're willing to pay."
One of the most prominent leaders in a group of Christian Zionists whose
influence has grown in the post-Sept. 11 Bush administration, DeLay is a
longtime friend to Israel. And his conservative audience had plenty of cause
to be nervous.
The "roadmap" to peace is inching along. President Bush is pushing for a
Palestinian state and a halt to Jewish settlements in the Palestinian
territories. Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas was welcomed warmly at
the White House last week.
All of this is anathema to many right-wing Jews -- and also to many
Christian Zionists, whose reading of the Book of Revelation fires a fervent
devotion to Israel and a discomfort with Muslim claims on the Holy Land.
Instead of discussing reconciliation and compromise, DeLay lingered on
apocalyptic images of battle and strife.
"There is no middle ground, no moderate position worth taking," he said. "We
fight humbly and proudly together. ... Brothers and sisters of Israel, be
not afraid. The American people stand with you, and so does our president."
Aryeh Eldad, a right-wing lawmaker from the National Union Party, said, "As
I shook his hand, I told Tom DeLay that until I heard him speak, I thought I
was farthest to the right in the Knesset."
Bush's attempts to broker Israeli-Palestinian peace have caused a growing
schism between his administration and the Christian Zionists who form a
significant minority of the Republican vote.
"I've noticed a lot of nervousness about the roadmap (among evangelical
Christians)," said John Green, director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute at
Akron University and a monitor of religious influence on politics. "I've had
a lot of people remark to me that they're very worried."
Christian Zionist organizations encourage -- and even bankroll --
controversial Jewish settlements that Washington frowns on. The movement
also opposes a Palestinian state on land they believe was given to the Jews
A few hours after DeLay spoke in Jerusalem, Bush told reporters in
Washington that a Palestinian state by 2005 is a reasonable goal.
The contrast wasn't lost on right-wing Israelis, who noted the gap between
DeLay and Bush.
"We went for the roadmap because of President Bush; we've been persuaded to
make moves that in our eyes are dangerous," Israeli Public Security Minister
Uzi Landau said. "(These fears) were embedded in the speech we just heard.
This is refreshing."
Palestinian officials are watching Christian Zionists keenly too. Green
estimates that as many as 15 million Americans are at the core of the
movement and that 15 percent of the U.S. electorate belongs to related
evangelical churches. The Christian faithful send "many millions of dollars"
to Israel and its settlements, Green said.
"I'm very worried about them," Palestinian legal adviser Diana Buttu said.
"I know they're not at all happy with President Bush's stand on the roadmap,
and I think they're going to come and rear their heads."
Peace is a Palestinian responsibility, DeLay told his audience. If the
Palestinians suffer, it isn't Israel's fault, he argued.
DeLay has criticized the push for Palestinian statehood, but on Wednesday he
kept quiet on that topic. A spokesman for DeLay said the speaker didn't
think it was the appropriate time to discuss a Palestinian state.
He called on Palestinians to rise up against terrorism and said the United
States would help them if they renounced such violence.
Since Sept. 11, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has worked to link the Israeli
bloodshed from the Palestinian uprising to the attack on the World Trade
Center. DeLay, too, drew the comparison, assuring his listeners that Israeli
security is integral to the U.S.-declared war on terror.
DeLay met a woman who lost her pregnant daughter in a bus bombing and
visited the owner of a cafe bombed by Palestinian militants. He flew north
to eat lunch with Israeli soldiers near the Syrian border. All the while, he
assured Israelis that terrorism is terrorism, and their war is his war.
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