Drawing lines

John Kerry and Israel
On July 28, delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Boston will nominate John Kerry as their candidate for president. They will also approve the party’s national platform. Gay marriage will be finessed to satisfy Kerry’s cautious approach. Iraq? Bush’s efforts will be condemned; patriotism will be celebrated. God will reemerge as a Democrat. Health care? Democrats can do it better. Support stem cell research? Count on it, and watch for Ron Reagan as a surprise guest.

Palestinians and Israelis and a new beginning that’s fair to both sides? Forget it. When Howard Dean suggested that the U.S. should take an “evenhanded” approach to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, he was hit with a harsh letter from 34 congressional Democrats questioning whether, as their front-running candidate, he shared their “unequivocal support for Israel’s right to exist.” The next day Dean came out for Israel’s right to defend itself. He got the message.


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