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Israel-Palestine and the 2008 US Election

Sen. Gravel Says AIPAC Is
Pushing Confrontation With Iran

Philip Weiss
October 2, 2007

I keep declaring that the Walt and Mearsheimer is historic, that it has blasted down a wall in the American discourse. I keep getting more evidence.

The following exchange took place on the Jim Lehrer News Hour last night, between presidential candidate (and former Alaska Sen.) Mike Gravel and PBS's Ray Suarez. What is most significant about this is that the question of Israel's interest versus America's interest in confronting Iran is out on the table, on public television:

RAY SUAREZ: You're 77. Why put yourself through this?
MIKE GRAVEL: I love my country, and I love the humanrace. And I want to see a change made in theleadership of our country so we can do more to protectthe human race....With respect to my country going to warwhen there's no reason to go to war, killing humanbeings, I'm ashamed of this.
I'm ashamed of the leadership we have, whether it'sDemocratic leadership or Republican leadership. That'sthe reason why I'm in.
Look what we're trying to do with Iran right now. Lastweek, the Lieberman resolution -- he's the guy thatwrote the resolution with Iraq and killed over 3,000Americans and a million Iraqis. And now he comesforward with another resolution, and the leadership ofthe Democratic Party in the Senate doesn't even havethe brains or the judgment to recognize what he'sdoing. Sanctions on the Republican Guard? They already havesanctions. The U.N. passed them in March, Resolution1747. What is the game they're playing right now tohave sanctions? I mean, this was AIPAC that putLieberman up to do this. This is disaster...
If we touch Iran and they respond, you're talkingabout, in the minimum, a world depression, because theoil industry will just get shut down at the Straits ofHormuz. That's the minimum.
RAY SUAREZ: You're saying that the nationallegislature of this country, rather than doing thewill of the citizens of the United States, passed thatIran resolution, sanctioning the Republican Guard,because of the American- Israeli Political ActionCommittee?
MIKE GRAVEL: Wait a second. They'll be someinformation coming out about how this thing wasdrafted. So the answer is yes, the short answer.
The worst that will happen will be a nuclear exchange,and I don't think we'll ever be able to contain oncethey start shooting bombs at each other nucleardevices. This is what's at stake with this resolution.And it's the height of immorality, irresponsibility,and the United States Senate, with the Democrats incharge, voted for the passage of this resolution. Itdoesn't get any worse than that, Ray.

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Additional Resources

‘The Israel Factor’ – Haaretz ranks US Presidential candidates on how good they will be for Israel

US Politicians (and others) Speak at AIPAC’s 2007 Conference

Open Secrets: Banking on Becoming President

Senator Clinton on Israel and the Middle East


The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)

Council for the National Interest – Opposition to AIPAC

Anti-Defamation League

U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation

Muslim Public Affairs Council

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