Sunday, October 17, 2004

Haaretz on Bush's unpopularity

Only in Israel do a majority of people support Bush. Which is unusual since Israelis have always favoured the Democrats. The centre-left and anti-Sharon Haaretz editorialises -
Israelis loved Clinton, even though many opposed the Oslo process that he led, while others were angry at him for wasting precious years because of personal caprices (the Monica Lewinsky affair). Like Clinton, and despite certain relatively minor differences in their policies, his successor radiates friendliness toward Israel. He supports Israel's struggle against Palestinian terror and holds Yasser Arafat responsible, whether passively or actively; at the same time, he presents a vision of an agreement with a moderate and democratic Palestinian state. To other countries, Iraq may look like an unnecessary entanglement. To Israel, it means the removal of a serious threat that was actualized in 1991, that could include chemical and biological weapons and that was liable to be renewed once the sanctions regime weakened. Without Iraq as an enemy, there is no eastern front, and Israel has a better chance of reconciling with all its Arab neighbors and of isolating its other dangerous enemy, the Iran of the Islamic fanatics.

Israel's gratitude to President Bush does not contradict the traditional affinity of a large majority of American Jews for the Democratic Party.

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