Clinton or Dole: Who's Best for Middle East Peace? A "Yellow Dog" Democrat against Clinton in 1996

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Clinton or Dole: Who's Best for Middle East Peace? A "Yellow Dog" Democrat Against Clinton in 1996

When the bumper sticker, "Clinton and Gore Out in Four," appeared around Washington two years ago Bill Clinton, on a personal level, had begun to lose this Southern "yellow dog" Democrat. Hardly imaginable was a president so lacking in personal dignity and "mystique" that he would be asked, as he had been, what kind of underwear he wore. Even more unthinkable was a president who would actually answer such a question, as Clinton in fact did.

Personal failings already appearing in 1994 look even worse today. It is virtually certain by now that Clinton has run around on his wife, so egregiously that she could not but know of it and feel the humiliation of knowing that others knew. He almost surely has cheated three times to the level of actual fraud on his income taxes, and paid up later only because congressional hearings on other matters revealed his cheating. His choice of friends and business associates reveals a near "instinct" for comer-cutters, as we see some of them already convicted of felonies and others indicted by a special prosecutor and under trial in court.

President Clinton might have been seen as the traditional South's go-between to bridge the layers of the region's conservative and hierarchical social system. But he lacked the integrity to be seen as a patron. Instead, disguised as just another Southern "bubba," relaxed and easy-going on the outside, Clinton is so fiercely driven by ambition on the inside that he is essentially unaware of or uncaring about ethical and moral boundaries. A political chameleon on this year's electoral landscape, he is a latter-day reincarnation of the ancient Greek sea god, Proteus, who could assume any shape that offered advantage.

But it is not primarily personal disappointment in fellow Southerner Clinton that makes it impossible for me to vote for him this November. Rather it is that he has tied his fate to the uniquely corrupting Israel Lobby, which not only degrades politics in this country, but taints intellectual life and media integrity as well.

More than 100 deceptively named political action committees under the aegis of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), which lobbies in Washington for Israel, buy or intimidate Congress into providing Israel more than five billion dollars in grants and loan guarantees every year. A compliant media covers the clear violations of electoral law by these PACs and shuts off debate by blasting critics of Israel and its American lobby as anti-Semites or, if they are Jewish, as self-hating Jews. Israel's essential contempt for Clinton, and by implication for the United States as a whole, is such that one Israeli newspaper referred to the president as "Israel's lapdog."

It is clear that under Clinton no balance on the Arab-Israel issue that would help U.S. interests can be expected. Rather, an all-consuming pro-Israel bias will continue to cast its shadow on America's relations with the Arab and Muslim worlds and continue to endanger the safety and lives of American diplomats and soldiers. …