All Four of Kerry’s Possible Candidates for U.S. Envoy To Arab-Israeli Talks Are Biased Toward Arabs
March 2, 2004

NEW YORK- All four of the reported candidates for a future position of U.S. envoy to Arab-Israeli negotiations have records of pro-Arab bias, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has warned.

The New York Times reported on March 1, 2004, that U.S. Senator John Kerry has mentioned former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger and former Mideast envoy Dennis Ross as possible choices for the post. Previously Senator Kerry also named former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker as additional candidates.

  • SANDY BERGER – IMPLICITLY JUSTIFIED ARAB VIOLENCE: Berger, who served as National Security Adviser in the Clinton administration, is remembered for his statements implicitly justifying Palestinian Arab violence against Israelis. In a speech he gave at Tel Aviv University on May 21, 2000, Berger said that Palestinian Arab violence was not only a “curse,” but also “a blessing” because it might speed up the negotiating process. In a similar vein, Berger said before a meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on July 31, 2000, that “If there is no agreement, we may be sadder and bloodier, but then maybe they’ll be prepared to make a deal.” (Washington Times, Aug.4, 2000) Berger’s remarks were strongly criticized by Jewish leaders, and sixteen Members of Congress signed a letter of protest.

  • JAMES BAKER – “JEWS FORGET INSULTS AS SOON AS THEY SMELL CASH”: His frequent public condemnations of Israel earned Baker a reputation as the most anti-Israel Secretary of State in U.S. history. In 1992, Baker even used a four-letter obscenity when referring to American Jews who disagreed with his pressure on Israel. Jerusalem Post editor David Bar-Illan revealed that Baker once remarked, “Don’t worry, Jews remember the Holocaust, but they forget insults as soon as they smell cash.” N.Y. Post, March 6, 1992)

  • DENNIS ROSS – “HIS VISION OF PEACE RESTS ON PRESSURING ISRAEL”: After serving as James Baker’s right-hand man in the Bush administration, Ross became chief U.S. envoy to the Arab-Israeli talks in the Clinton administration. He frequently pressured Israel to make one-sided concessions and almost never criticized the Palestinian Arabs’ constant violations of the Oslo accords. An investigative report in The New Republic (July 8, 1996) concluded that Ross’s vision of a Mideast peace agreement “rested on pressuring Israel,” and even after Baker left office, Ross “wound up executing Baker’s anti-Israel agenda.” In October 2003, Ross brought three officials of Yasir Arafat’s terrorist Fatah movement to Washington, where he presented them as moderates and arranged for them to meet with Members of Congress and journalists.

  • JIMMY CARTER – WAS “BUOYED BY THE INTIFADA”: During his presidency, Carter frequently pressured and criticized Israel. After leaving the office, Carter continued to exhibit a strong pro-Arab bias. A 1998 book (The Unfinished Presidency) by Prof. Douglas Brinkley, director of the Eisenhower Center at the University of New Orleans, concerning Carter’s post-presidential activities, revealed that Carter was “buoyed by the Intifada [and] passed on to the Palestinians through Arafat, his congratulations” (p. 247); Carter privately believes “that the Israeli government ran an apartheid state” (p. 239); Carter claims that Yasir Arafat has been “unfairly maligned in the Western press” (p. 121); and Carter “drafted on his home computer the strategy and wording for a generic speech Arafat was to deliver soon for Western ears” (p. 341).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “For there to be any chance of facilitating a durable and meaningful peace, a U.S. envoy must have an appreciation of the importance of the Israel-America alliance so that the Arabs understand from the beginning that the U.S. will not join them in pressuring Israel for one-sided concessions. In addition, the U.S. envoy must recognize that the Palestinian Arabs have consistently violated all of the agreements they previously signed with Israel, and that the Palestinian Authority does not accept Israel’s right to exist as demonstrated by its official maps, letterhead, and school textbooks, which show “Palestine” replacing all of Israel. None of these four candidates meet those basic criteria.”

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