The National Jewish Democratic
Council, describing advertising by the Republican Jewish Coalition against
National Chairman Howard Dean as a "smear campaign," today (Monday, Feb. 14) responded with 10 comments Dean made between Nov. 22, 2002 and Jan. 11, 2004, that it said constitute the "truth about Howard Dean."
The RJC advertisement quotes Dean as saying U.S. policy in the Middle East should be even-handed and follows that quote up with comments criticizing Dean from various Democratic leaders
(see previous story).
The NJDC said the Republican effort "dangerously politicizes support for Israel, threatening the crucial legacy of bipartisan support for Israel. Moreover, it blatantly mischaracterizes Howard Dean's record of support for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.
"The fact is that Dr. Dean has long been a good friend of the American Jewish
community, and it is a friendship based on shared values--values including strong support for Israel,
the separation of church and state and reproductive rights," the NJDC statement said.
The NJDC provided the following ten quotes from Dean:
1. Governor Dean told the Arab American Institute, "...I want you to know that I met with a group of Jewish leaders yesterday, and I intend to deliver the same message to you that I did to them. ...Israel has a right to exist and everybody acknowledges that, and those that don't are clearly obstructing peace. ...The Israelis have the right to defend themselves, and I defend the Israelis right to defend themselves" (Speech before Arab American Institute National Leadership Conference, October 18, 2003).
2. Governor Dean wrote that "The U.S. and Israel are partners in the war on terror. As long as that war continues, members of Hamas, who are enemies in that war, are going to be casualties if they continue to target innocent civilians with terrorist acts" (Letter to Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, September 12, 2003).
3. Governor Dean said America must "confront the Iranians, the Syrians, the Saudis, and others who send money to Hamas, and finance a worldwide network of fundamentalist schools which teach small children to hate Americans, Christians, and Jews" (speech before the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, June 25, 2003).
4. Governor Dean on his time in Israel: "On a tour of the Old City in Jerusalem during my 2002 trip to Israel, I experienced first-hand the miracle of the modern Jewish state. ... That experience reinforced my commitment to the special relationship the United States has with Israel. Israel will always have the resources necessary to guarantee its long-term defense and security. ...People ask me about the Middle East conflict all the time and ask me what I would do. I remind them that I saw first-hand the horror of violence when I worked at hospitals as a medical student at Yeshiva University's Albert Einstein Medical College. And I always say that we're never going to get peace in the Middle East as long as we have terror. Israel has both the right and the responsibility to protect and defend its citizens against terrorists" (Jewish Telegraphic Agency, January 11, 2004).
5. Governor Dean "blasted recent anti-Semitic remarks by Malaysia's prime minister, called for U.S. efforts to curtail Saudi Arabian incitement and support for terrorism, and urged pressure to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons" (Jewish Telegraphic Agency, October 20, 2003).
6. Governor Dean wrote that "the United States must remain committed to the special, longstanding relationship we have with Israel, including providing the resources necessary to guarantee Israel's long-term defense and security. Maintaining Israel's security is a key US national security interest. ... Since Harry Truman's historic decision to make the United States the first nation to recognize the Jewish state, Democrats have been united in their commitment to the state of Israel. I will not allow a split to emerge in our party on this critical issue...." (letter to House Democrats, September 12, 2003).
7. Governor Dean asserted that "The United States has to... take a much harder line on Iran and Saudi Arabia because they're funding terrorism. We need conservation and renewable energy to lessen our dependence on Mideast oil and to have a lever on the funders of terror" (interview with the Forward, November 22, 2002).
8. Governor Dean said that "our alliance with Israel is and must remain unshakeable, and so will be my commitment every day of our administration to work with the parties for a solution that ends decades of blood and tears" (Speech before the Pacific Council on International Policy, Los Angeles, California, December 15, 2003).
9. Governor Dean said, "Israel is not just an ally, but a beacon of hope for people who were abandoned 2,000 years ago and who are afraid of being abandoned again. I will not abandon Israel, ever" (Jewish Telegraphic Agency, October 20, 2003).
10. Governor Dean's position on Israel "is not 'substantially different' from that of the other Democratic candidates or the current administration, [Union of American Hebrew Congregations President Eric] Yoffie said" (Jewish Telegraphic Agency, October 20, 2003).