January 24, 2003 Special Dispatch No. 461

Saudi Columnist Welcomes Joseph Lieberman's Candidacy

January 24, 2003
Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 461

In an article published in the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat,[1] columnist Walid Abu Murshid cites four reasons why Arabs should welcome the candidacy of Senator Joseph Lieberman for President of the United States. The following are excerpts from the article:

"Last but not least [in the list of candidates is] Senator Joe Lieberman (Conn) - the previous candidate for the vice-presidency on Al Gore's ticket - announced his intention to compete in the race from a position [meant] to save 'the American Dream' which is [in danger of] disappearing during the Bush reign."

"What candidate Lieberman did not say was 'the American Dream' has turned into a nightmare during the Bush reign. And what no candidate for the American presidency has revealed so far is his position regarding the last existing colonialism in the 21st century—the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza."

"Is there any good for the Middle East from candidates who have not uttered a word about it? Perhaps it is early to expect a public position regarding the Palestinian case and George Bush's preventive war against terrorism [which is] still in its beginnings."

"The reserved reaction of the American Jews to the announcement of Joseph Lieberman, the orthodox Jew, of his candidacy for the presidency encourages the preference for the candidacy for more than one reason."

Reason One: The Jews Will be Blamed for Everything

"The [first] reason is the Jewish reservation itself, the fear that 'the Jews will be blamed for everything done by the American administration' —as stated by the [Zionist] Anti-Defamation League —this fear which could lead the Jewish president to offer the Palestinians what was not offered by the sole Catholic president (John Kennedy) and the heads of all the Protestant denominations who followed him to the White House, ending with George Bush."

Reason Two: He Must Prove His Americanism over His Jewishness

"The second reason is a requirement that the first Jewish President of the United States must prove that he places his Americanism ahead of his Jewishness. The most visible proof for this would be the settlement of the Middle East conflict away from the flagrant bias of his Jewishness and in keeping with American interests in the Middle East."

Reason Three: Good for Ambitions of Non-Christian Minorities in the U.S.

"The third reason is the American openness regarding a Jew achieving the first job in Washington. If the American openness is such that it would permit giving the management of its national affairs to a Jew, it would augur well for the ambitions of non-Christian minorities."

Reason Four: Could Ignite Antisemitic Trends in the U.S.

"The fourth reason is the possibility that the American voter would refuse to surrender his affairs to a non-Christian president. Such a refusal could ignite antisemitic trends which would force the Zionist organizations in America to launch a confrontation with the Protestant, Anglo-Saxon 'establishment' in America. Any 'side' struggle involving the Zionist organizations inside the United States would, in the long run, reduce the Zionist influence in Washington."


[1] Al- Sharq Al-Awsat, January 19, 2003.

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