Here’s something that has been curiously overlooked by the US press regarding a candidate running for the office of president of the United States.
At issue is Ralph Nader, the independent candidate for president. Nader has publicly accused President George W. Bush and Congress of being “puppets” of the Israeli government and the pro-Israeli lobby.
“What has been happening over the years is a predictable routine of foreign visitation from the head of the Israeli government,” Nader said at several speaking engagements in Washington. “The Israeli puppeteer travels to Washington. The Israeli puppeteer meets with the puppet in the White House, and then moves down Pennsylvania Avenue, and meets with the puppets in Congress. And then takes back billions of taxpayer dollars. It is time for the Washington puppet show to be replaced by the Washington peace show.”
Nader’s main campaign issue also accuses the Bush administration of eroding civil liberties since Sept.11 , and its refusal to debate and discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He also attacked the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobby, for its influence on Capitol Hill.
Nader said that the US government, “if it was really interested” in promoting peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, would work more closely with the Israeli peace movement.
“It is time for the US government to recognize that this is not just a local conflict anymore. It is not just a regional conflict anymore. It is a conflict that is producing flashpoints throughout much of the world and endangering US citizens in those countries, US businesses in those countries, US workers in those countries, and endangering our own national security here. It is time for the US government to stand up and think for itself,” said Nader.
After Nader’s comment, the leaders of the ADL wrote to Nader, saying, “the image of the Jewish state as ‘puppeteer,’ controlling the powerful US Congress feeds into many age-old stereotypes which have no place in legitimate public discourse.”
Barbara B. Balser, Anti-Defamation League National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said: “We write to object to your characterization of the White House and Congress as ‘puppets’ of the Israeli government. Reasonable people can and do disagree with American policy related to the Middle East, and specifically American support for Israel. However, there is a line between thoughtful, reasoned, constructive disagreements and offensive hyperbole.”
In a three-page letter dated Aug.5 , Nader responded to ADL leaders, saying: “The Israelis have a joke for the obvious — that the United States is the second state of Israel.”