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Kerry Will "Put More Pressure on Israel"

According to his own foreign policy adviser.

1:00 PM, Oct 25, 2004 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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LAST FRIDAY, Charles Krauthammer argued in his column, Sacrificing Israel, that the currency with which a Kerry administration "would pay the rest of the world in exchange for their support . . . is obvious: giving in to them on Israel." Krauthammer pointed out that Kerry has emphasized over and over again his desire to move closer to our allies and to re-engage with the "international community." The easiest way to do this would surely be to accommodate other nations' distinctively less friendly view of Israel, and their desire for the U.S. to pressure Israel into concessions for the sake of the "peace process." So, Krauthammer concluded, "If Kerry is elected, the pressure on Israel will begin on day one."

Pro-Israel Kerry supporters protested vigorously. Kerry is pro-Israel, they said. Krauthammer is making a hypothetical argument, drawing a speculative inference. Kerry will be as supportive of Israel's security as Bush has been.

Unfortunately, they forgot to tell the man who is perhaps Kerry's top foreign policy adviser and surrogate, Richard Holbrooke. Appearing on The O'Reilly Factor Friday night, Holbrooke warned of a possible "Iran-type clerical dictatorship" in Iraq: This would be "very dangerous for Israel, the U.S. and the world." Then Holbrooke segued into an account of how Kerry would improve the situation in the Middle East: "He [Kerry] has said already he would start intense talks with the allies . . . and he would reach out to the moderate Arab states. He'd put more pressure on Israel, Syria, Saudi Arabia above all."

"He'd put more pressure on Israel." Holbrooke, perhaps Kerry's top foreign policy spokesman, confirms Krauthammer's prediction. So there is a real difference between Bush and Kerry on Israel. Isn't there, Sen. Kerry?

William Kristol is editor of The Weekly Standard.



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