web analytics
March 2, 2015 / 11 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Monitor »

McCain: Kerry Revisited?


Media-Monitor-logo

Arizona Sen. John McCain, the early front-runner for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, had a potential John Connally/Mike Dukakis/John Kerry moment earlier this month, and hardly anyone seems to have noticed.

What McCain did was make some disturbing informal remarks to the Israeli daily Haaretz – informal only in the sense that as a still undeclared candidate, his comments, as Haaretz’s Amir Oren wrote, “reflect the personal opinion of a senior and influential figure in the area of defense policy in the United States Senate, rather than an attempt to formulate policy guidelines for his administration.”

McCain told Haaretz that as president, he would “micromanage” U.S. policy toward Israel and the Palestinians and would dispatch “the smartest guy I know” to the region, presumably to jump-start a new push for a comprehensive accord.

Asked who that “smartest guy” might be, McCain responded: “Brent Scowcroft, or James Baker, though I know that you in Israel don’t like Baker.”

McCain foresaw “concessions and sacrifices by both sides” and indicated that Israel would be expected to “Defend itself and keep evacuating.” Asked whether that meant “movement toward the June 4, 1967 armistice lines, with minor modifications,” McCain, reported Haaretz, “nodded in the affirmative.”

McCain’s statements are jarring not only because they reflect the view, long championed by the State Department and both the moderate and liberal wings of the Democratic party, that the U.S. can somehow “micromanage” a fair and equitable Mideast peace (code for unilateral Israeli concessions, since the Palestinians have nothing concrete to concede), but as well for the almost cavalier dismissal of concerns about an interlocutor on the order of a James Baker.

(McCain’s mention of Scowcroft, whose Mideast views and chilly attitude toward Israel are indistinguishable from those espoused by Baker, is equally instructive and should serve as one more caveat for McCain supporters in the pro-Israel community.)

Judging from the Mideast-related mishaps of previous high-profile presidential wannabes, the reaction to McCain’s comments would have been far less muted had he made them later in the campaign cycle (the first presidential primaries are still some 20 months away and McCain, as noted by Amir Oren, hasn’t officially declared his candidacy). Time will tell whether his remarks in Haaretz were an aberration or a harbinger.

McCain’s reference to James Baker was especially curious given the flurry of criticism that descended on John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign when the Massachusetts senator told the Council on Foreign Relations that if elected president he would appoint the “uniquely qualified” Jimmy Carter, James Baker or Bill Clinton as his Middle East peace envoy.

Kerry only made things worse when he claimed afterward – despite evidence to the contrary in the “as prepared for delivery” version of the speech posted on his own website – that the offending passage had been inserted into the speech at the last minute by staffers.

Michael Dukakis was another candidate who stumbled badly when attempting to lay out a Mideast policy. Speaking at a forum sponsored by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in April 1988, the Democratic Massachusetts governor appeared unfamiliar with basic Israeli history and unsure of where he stood on a variety of important issues. Many in the audience of Jewish leaders pronounced themselves decidedly unimpressed, and the next day’s Daily News article on the meeting was headlined “Duke is milk and honey, and waffle.”

Kerry and Dukakis both went on to win their party’s nomination, though both had their White House hopes dashed by men named George Bush. John Connally didn’t even come close. The Democrat-turned-Republican former Texas governor gave a speech in October 1979 to the Washington Press Club in which he demanded that Israel halt what he called its “creeping annexation of the West Bank” and return all territory captured in 1967.

Connally was lambasted by conservatives and liberals alike (times certainly have changed), and his once promising presidential campaign quickly withered. By the time he dropped out of the primaries, he’d spent $11 million and won the support of exactly one Republican convention delegate.

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at jmaoz@jewishpress.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “McCain: Kerry Revisited?”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Americans have a more favorable view of Netanyahu than they do of Obama.
Americans’ Favorable View of Netanyahu at Record High, Says Gallup Poll
Latest Indepth Stories
UGANorthCampusSign

The University of Georgia Student Government Association called for more investment in Israel.

Middle-East-map

Without an alliance comparable to ISIS, Al Qaida & Iran, militant Islam will conquer the Middle East

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prays at the Western Wall ahead of his speech next week at the US Congress.

Ultimately, Esther, Netanyahu, and we, the Jewish people, must and will rely on the true King, God, for our salvation from this genocidal threat.

Netanyahu carried his message to Americans through the media after meeting with President Obama and castigating Iran at the UN. (September 30, 2013)

Netanyahu addresses a clear, present & lethal threat to the US/Israel/WORLD; NOT political bickering

Buried in the tax-returns of the JCF is millions of dollars funneled to NIF in the last few years.

Bibi’s speech to Congress will bring respect and honor to the Jewish Nation from the US & the world

Obama & Putin have handwriting/signature clues indicating differences between public & private life

It’s time for a new Jewish policy regarding Ramallah, NOT just because of the yarmulke incident

“GETT’s” being screened for Israeli Rabbinical Court judges at their annual convention.

If Jackson were alive he’d denounce Democratic party’s silence towards virulent anti-Semitism

Victim of Palestinian Arab terrorism, a victor in NY federal court, after years of being ignored by Justice Dept.

March 2013: Arabs hurled stones hitting the Biton’s car; Adele’s mother swerved the car-into a truck

The real issue is that in many respects the president has sought to recalibrate American values and our system of government.

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both outspokenly critical of Netanyahu’s upcoming visit to Congress, were wowed by him in 2011.

Note also the response to the speech by the top Democrats in the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both of whom have been outspoken in their criticism of Netanyahu’s upcoming visit.

Comptroller DiNapoli celebrates Sukkot with Crown Heights Jewish community leaders at the sukkah of Rabbi Chanina Sperlin of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

When you grow up in a home where your parents went through what my parents went through, you realize that life has to be meaningful. You have to be there for other people.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

The Clintonan “engagement” liberals remember with such fondness did nothing but embolden Arafat and Hamas and Hizbullah as they witnessed Israel’s only real ally elevate process ahead of policy.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/mccain-kerry-revisited/2006/05/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: