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February 14, 2005

Attacks on Dean Show GOP’s True Colors—Here’s The Truth

Listed in: GOP Hypocrisies, NJDC News

Just last week we said that the GOP attack machine was lying in wait for our new DNC Chair, Howard Dean. We hoped to be proven wrong, but we were right.

Within hours of Governor Dean's election, GOP leaders launched a vicious smear campaign against him within the American Jewish community -- a campaign that 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 the Bush administration and its Republican minions use half-truths and innuendos to tear down opponents because they cannot successfully advance their extremist agenda on its merits.

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.

These are the 10 facts every American Jew should know regarding Howard Dean and Israel:

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).

These are the facts, plain and simple.

The attack politics of the GOP only work if people of goodwill do not know the truth. It is imperative that you help get these facts out -- so that as many people as possible know the truth.

Please help us to counter the Karl Rove-style mud-slinging by sharing these facts with friends and family who should know the truth!